You probably recognise the name Cavalli Club and know it as that luxurious dancefloor in the Fairmont Hotel. It’s famous for it’s sheer opulence, glamour and people queuing out the door to get in.
What you may not know it for (yet) is a restaurant that’s really coming into its own. Located in the Fairmont on Sheikh Zayed Road, and surrounded by the likes of Catch, Okku and numerous other of Dubai’s hottest restaurants, there is stiff competition in the area. So how will the Cavalli Club draw the crowds to dine? By offering the complete dining experience. Now opening at 8.30pm every night (arrive any earlier and you actually won’t get let in) this IS the complete experience. Expect exquisite food, a stunning venue with some fun swing performances and a live DJ set thrown in for good measure.
We took a trip down there to try out the new menu; we could write essays about our dining experience, but for your sake, we’ll be brief (ish). Here are the bits you need to hear about…
Lots of you have already been to the club (if so skip ahead now) but how could I talk about the Cavalli Club and NOT mention the decor. From the moment you enter (on a red carpet no less) you’re surrounded by the Cavalli design; a product of Roberto Cavalli, the designer who lent his name to the club and is famous for hislove for animal print.
The club is on the first floor so your options to get there are either a wide staircase with thick, black furry walls, or the zebra print lift. This first impression sets you up for what’s to come. The thick black fur (any ‘Get Him To The Greek Fans’ will have to seriously resist the urge to stroke them) covers the walls of entire club and hopefully you’re a fan of zebra print because it’s EVERYWHERE (with a small dose of leopard print thrown in for good measure). The ceiling is pitch black with fairy lights flickering all over, and then, most impressive of all, these big drooping chandeliers which are literally dripping with Swarovski crystals, I guess there are about eight in all.
If you haven’t been before, this is serious shock and awe stuff.
The attention to detail
The water is served in black Roberto Cavalli glasses, the food on Roberto Cavalli tableware, each table has got one or two large candelabra and beautiful lotus flower table arrangements and Roberto Cavalli’s signature introduces you to the menu (you certainly won’t forget where you are).
You dine by the light of the candelabras and the chandeliers, and then later, once your meal is finished, the music beat picks up and the lights brighten as it transforms from a dark, intimate dinner venue into a pounding club. To intertwine the dining and the clubbing experience is not easy to do, but here they do it seamlessly.
The starters were incredible
This menu was lovingly created by Francesco Stara, the head chef there who recommended a couple of starters to share, this was a great excuse to get a little taster of everything. Each dish was brought plated up and then divided into four; we started with expertly grilled octopus with beans and a spicy beef and salami stew, foie gras with a superb onion jam and grilled homemade bread which was perfectly crunchy. The red prawns carpaccio was plated beautifully, it was served with compressed watermelon, an unusual flavour combo but it really worked. The highlight was a super crispy eggplant parmigiana and pinzimonio salad on top, crispy on the outside, and deliciously cheesy on the inside…a perfect combo.
The classic Italian pasta was divine
In a typical Italian meal, after the starter you have a hot, non-meat course; like a soup or a pasta. We took a look at the menu and decided to have one…When in Rome right? Pastas fittingly dominated this part of the menu with things like gnocchetti sardi with duck breast bolognese or a seafood risotto sounding incredibly tempting; I eventually went with the handmade culurgiones. These are wrapped pasta parcels typical of Sardinia, where the head chef learnt his trade. They were filled with goat’s cheese ricotta and were absolutely heavenly, damn the main course coming up or I would have ordered seconds.
The sea bass looked (nearly) too good to eat
The sea bass I ordered looked like a piece of art. Beautifully executed with teeny-tiny slivers of zucchini on top and placed around the plate, coupled with some braised spring onion cream. Of the four of us, two choose the lamb with sauteed broccoli and a spinach puree. Another ordered the fregola (small little balls of pasta) with wild mushroom and black winter truffle; this was so rich and just bursting with flavour; if you’re a fan of mushrooms do not leave without trying this dish. We also tried the milk-fed veal milanese with a herbs bread crumb which came served on hot charcoals; the crumbs were buttery and the meat was deliciously tender.
The desserts were heavenly (they really saved the best till last)
We tried our very best (and succeeded) to forget our New Year eating promises once we saw the dessert menu; the explanation on the menu is brief but any notions of a simple dessert go out the window once they’re served.
Each individual dessert was worthy of an ‘oohhhhhh’ once it arrived…seriously! The chocolate surprise, which is made with seven different chocolate textures comes with its own jug of hot chocolate sauce; you drizzle this over the dessert which causes the top to collapse in on itself revealing the chocolatey-gooeyness inside. The lemon Sorrento was like a deconstructed lemon meringue cake reconstructed in a new contemporary way; think of a globe of hard lemon sugar with lemon deliciousness inside. We also sampled the liquorice and truffle parfait, an unusual flavour for more adventurous tastebuds and a classic Italian tiramisu; Tiramisu meaning ‘pick me up’ in Italian…which is the absolute opposite of what you could do with us by the end of that meal.
The important bits:
Starters range between AED 95 and AED 150
Mains range between AED 180 and AED 240
Desserts cost AED 75
Want to experience this quality food at a slightly more affordable cost?
Ladies (sorry lads) can enjoy a three-course set menu and complimentary drinks every Tuesday for AED 150
…Or ease yourself into the week on Sundays with a three-course set menu and selected beverages for AED 250 per person.