Geales: Not Your Average English Fare

Forget pie and mash...this is the place for succulent seafood

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You don’t have to go far to find the sea in Dubai. And, the good thing is that most restaurants recognise their proximity to the sea and tip their hat to it's existence with a broad seafood offering on their menus. Sushi, sashimi and a variety of seafood dishes can be found in abundance in Dubai. But what I didn't expect was to find some of the best seafood offerings at Geales at Le Royal Meriden, which sells itself as a very British eatery with very British dishes. I like my fish to be simply cooked with the produce speaking for itself and that's exactly the art that GEALES has mastered.

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With the Union Jack branding everywhere and the very British sounding name, you'd be forgiven for thinking Geales is all roast beef, Lancashire hotpots and rather good fish and chips. It was only when the waiter invited us inside to see the fresh seafood that I grasped what this place was actually about. Huge mounds of fresh oysters, whole fish, lobsters and prawns were laid out behind glass, while immaculately presented chefs talked you through the choices. 

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I started to think the regular menu I was handed when I sat down was a little defunct, after seeing all the seafood on offer!

Although tempted by the lobster, I always feel sorry for the little fellows, so wanted to let him live on and plumped for the whole lemon sole instead. It came cooked whole with lemon, capers, chips and tartar sauce. I couldn't fault it in any way, although if I was being picky, I do prefer thin chips rather than the chunky ones, but that's just me and I know people are split 50/50 on this important debate!

Our starters were prawn cocktail (very good) and a salmon tartar that was zingy, fresh and had a great little kick. 

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I'd describe the place as high-end in terms of the service, style and the people. But I'm not sure if your normal tourist would expect that from the very English menu – so that will be a nice surprise for them. But the best surprise is the seafood. I've only ever seen a couple of seafood bars like this in the UK and indeed it reminded me more of an Australian seafood eating experience, but that's no excuse not to tuck in once you're there, as the cooking is superb. Anywhere that can take a simple piece of fish and have the confidence not to do much with it, gets my vote of confidence. Why complicate things that don't need to be?

If you are a seafood lover then this is the spot you, give the very English dishes a miss – they might be amazing and of course they're Geales' bread and butter, but they should be shouting about the seafood counter here, it's one of the best I've eaten at. 

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Written By

Niall Harbison

Niall founded our sister site Lovin' Dublin with a few simple aims: discover new places to eat in Dublin and share simple recipes cooked up in his kitchen.