Why you HAVE TO eat here next time you're at Dubai Mall
Aubaine stands out from the rest of the mall's food joints (which is no easy task)
Aubaine is a sophisticated French restaurant, boulangerie and patisserie which sits right at the entrance of Dubai Mall. It already has nine locations in London and this is the first in the UAE, the branch opened in December 2015 and is quickly getting a name for itself, among foodies in Dubai, for the stand out French cooking.
Competing with the likes of Social House, Markette, and Le Pain Quotidien, it's difficult to draw crowds, especially as a new kid on the block, but everything from the unique interiors, genuinely friendly staff, varied menu and a much-too-tempting patisserie, mean Aubaine is already making a name for itself, and it was suitably busy when we visited on a Saturday for lunch.
New to the Dubai foodie scene, we think this one will fit right in; here are the reasons why...
The decor is unique
It's rare for anyone to be surprised by decor but Aubaine's interiors are interesting, fresh and fun. One entire wall is covered with garden growth, dark green with sprigs of tiny white and blue flowers protruding, about a couple of inches thick. This is in contrast with the industrial style ceilings with exposed silver beams and the glass lantern style lighting. The colour theme is mainly grey and white and huge glass windows add brightness. It's different, it's cool and it definitely stands out.
It's not your run-of-the-mill mall eatery
Right from the moment we entered, we knew this was no ordinary mall restaurant. After we ordered starters and mains, a variety of warm breads were brought to the table. They had been baked fresh on the premises that morning and were served with real French butter. Yum. For drinks I tried a homemade mint and lime juice...a refreshing, healthy start to the meal that was a cut above the average sugary concoctions that pass for juices these days.
The starters are top quality
For starters we went for the Tartare de Saumon; a salmon tartare with broccoli mousse, lemon coulis and parsley presse and the panko-crusted fish goujons with tartare sauce and a little wedge of lemon. The salmon tartare was light, made with onions for extra flavour and well presented. The goujons were served on a slate plate, with a tiny bit of greenery and tartare sauce, and were cooked exactly as you would hope for; a deliciously crunchy outside with fresh light and tasty fish on the inside. Simple dishes that set the bar high for the rest of the meal.
The ENTIRE menu looks great
For mains we ordered the 220g beef fillet served with crispy shallots and pepper sauce and the cabillaud with toasted cracked wheat and Mediterranean vegetables, aubergine caviar, saffron oil and preserved veg.
The cabillaud (roasted cod) was the highlight; it came with cracked wheat which is super healthy and high in fibre (which was great considering the desserts we were about the demolish). If you're a fish-lover this menu is definitely for you, with options of sauteed fresh water prawns, spaghetti lobster and the super tempting moules frites (...which I definitely want to try on my next visit). For a casual lunch date the salads looked great and are super healthy too; considering we had three courses, we would probably have been better off with a lighter option for the main course.
The pastries are out of this world
Unsure if we had room for dessert our waitress kindly offered to bring out a selection of the treats available and 'we could decide, then,'...she was obviously confident that after seeing the tray we would be tempted to try something. She was right; we're suckers for desserts. We saw the tray... and we ordered.
The selection of mouth-watering goodies included a mango cheesecake, a mille-feuille, a chocolate fondant, a caramel or a raspberry tart, a macaroon or an eclair. We choose the raspberry and pistachio tart. This was heaven; sweet but not too heavy after such a big meal.
Anything else you need to know?
The breakfast menu looks AMAZING. It's very simple, with not a whole lot on it but it offers the ultimate breakfast champions; think avo' on toast with slow roasted tomatoes and poached eggs, eggs florentine on toasted brioche, French toast with blueberries, or a L'Croc Aubaine, or pretty much anything with eggs. Afterwards, you can treat yourself to a fresh croissant or pain au chocolat and some black coffee....it would be rude not to, this is a French spot after all!
The important bits:
Typical starters here cost between AED 35 for the soup of the day to AED 77 for beef carpaccio
Mains cost between AED 68 for a spicy rigatoni and AED 138 for the filet of beef.
Salads and sandwiches start at AED 32 for the spring salad
Desserts start at AED 12 for a croissant
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