Incredible food, cars, books and remote controlled toilets!
Is this the coolest cafe/restaurant in town?
Before arriving at ‘Intersect by Lexus’, I have to admit I was already sat on the proverbial fence. With a title like that, what are you to expect? A pit-stop dining experience featuring waiters in oily overalls? Sitting in a car seat and eating your dinner from the glove box? Hazards on for empty glasses, flash your lights for service? Sorry if you liked the sound of all that, but no: the reality was a lot more refined.
So, what exactly has Lexus brought to the table that could potentially improve the mileage and performance of your average cafe/restaurant (terrible puns unfortunately intended)? Quite a lot as it turns out…
On first impressions, the concept at Intersect appears a little muddled. Is it a restaurant? Cafe? Book Club? Garage? Art Gallery? The answer is, yes to all of the above! As I nestled into soft leather bench seats, snuggled between packed bookshelves and impressive artwork, and slowly started to take in the impressive surroundings, it all started to make sense.
While there is incredible attention to detail, from the Lexus emblem interwoven into intricate design features to the rather serious looking menu, Intersect somehow manages to retain a relaxed cafe vibe. The staff are attentive and knowledgeable, but not overbearing. This manages to successfully be one ultra cool coffee hangout for you DIFC locals and yet also a great place to impress your clients on a business lunch. The balance is right.
Before we talk about the food, let me dwell a little longer on the detail at Intersect. Our beautiful seats were made from the same leather found in their LFA supercar, the intricate bamboo wall design is a representation of the Lexus Spindle Grille and the ceiling is designed to mimic the flowing dunes of the desert. A guided tour, which all diners are treated to, pointed out many more subtle reflections of the Lexus creativity and concept within the interior design.
Slightly less subtle, but still completely awesome, was the inclusion of an actual Lexus car in the showroom area downstairs - not something you see every day in your average restaurant.
So what about the food? Our host tempted us in with her own personal recommendations from a very appetising menu, going into mouthwatering detail explaining the flavours with great gastronomic gusto. There is a sharing concept here with the menu divided into small plates and large plates. You could actually treat the small plates as tapas, order a bunch and really get stuck in with many tempting options.
From the small plates, myself and my date had the Portuguese Octopus and the New Zealand Venison. While the venison deserves a nod with its very tasty coffee jus and an extremely moreish artichoke and egg yolk confit, the octopus was the real star here: charred to crisp perfection on the outside but still delightfully soft in the middle, well seasoned and in great company with an incredible smoky Romesco Sauce and heirloom tomatoes. Everything on the plate worked.
For the main event we ordered the fillet of Chilean Seabass and the Beef Short Ribs. Once again, the seafood shone, with a smoked onion puree glaze on the seabass lifting the whole plate without overpowering the delicate flavour of the beautifully cooked fish. This dish was stunning. The grass fed Wagyu ribs had been lovingly cooked for 36 hours and was perfectly tender. Hidden in its accompanying celeriac and leek puree were...wait for it... finely diced pieces of apple! After I got over the initial shock of the apple and ribs combo I actually found it worked really well, cutting through the fatty, saltiness of that hunk of beef and black bean jus. It’s something I have never tried before and something that I really warmed to.
Make sure to leave enough room for dessert - the chocolate hazelnut cake with salted caramel came with a delicious hazelnut cream that must have been siphoned on to our plates at the last second as it was so unbelievably light and airy, but still packed with nutty flavour. The salted caramel soaking into the base of the cake caused a bit of a fight over who could have the last little mouthful. This is not one for sharing!
If all of this isn’t enough to tempt you down to DIFC, then maybe I should mention the futuristic toilet... complete with remote control! It’s very Buck Rogers, Alan Partridge would approve.
Small plates from 40AED - 95AED
Large plates from 60AED - 160AED
Brunch with hops and grapes - 295AED
Book your table here http://www.lexus.ae/lexus-worl...