“The fondest memories are made when
gathered around the table..”
There is no better way to celebrate a great friendship than making memories over good food, with a drink or two and lots of laughter along the way. And that sums up the evening I spent onboard the Bateaux Dubai for a dinner cruise last week, together with good friends who came for a holiday here in Dubai.
Bateaux Dubai and few other dinner cruise vessels are docked on the Dubai Creek in Diera, in one of the older parts of Dubai. From the outside, Bateaux Dubai doesn’t look as grand as some of the other dinner cruises that are heavily lit up with colourful lights on them. To be honest, I was a bit skeptical at first. Moreover, the darkness of the night, with only a small lamp post for light, didn’t impart any pleasure to my already poor eyesight.
However, upon arrival, we were greeted by the cruise stewards, followed by a confirmation of reservation, before they lead us to our table on a red carpet, all ready for a dinner cruise along Dubai Creek scheduled to begin at 8.30 pm.
It was a jaw-dropping moment for me as I stepped on board. I was mesmerised by the the first glimpse of the interior decoration that is still heavily in Christmas mood. I bet, even without all that, it still looks as posh as a fine-dining restaurant !
Almost all the tables were fully occupied. Ours in particular was set next to a window; infact, the whole boat is enclosed by a full glassed wall and roof, complimenting the exclusive look to the whole interior and table settings. The ambiance was very inviting and warm, with soft soothing music being played in the background.
As we settled in our table, welcome drinks and small canapés were served by a waiter who introduced himself as our server for the cruise. The menu was explained to us in detail, as well as recommendations for the evening meal. On top of that, all tables are provided with a basket full of freshly baked breads with high quality spreadable butter. In between courses, we would walk around the outer deck, and were informed once our meals were ready.
Shortly after leaving the dock, we were served with a cup of deliciously concentrated yet very creamy tomato soup. It was so so good, surely the next table could hear the uhh, ahh and hmmm sounds coming from our table ! Curious, I started to process every single piece of knowledge I have and methods I may have used in making tomato soup, to test and analyse what was served to us that night. The combination of silky texture and creaminess, with an equal balance between tartness and caramelised tomato flavours, was a pretty mind-blowing experience, reminding me of the tomato soup I had at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant few years ago.
After the cup of tomato soup, the rest was also as good as it gets. I had a lobster and quinoa starter, which was so refreshing, and was served with a thin slice of celery, mashed avocado, caviar and drops of dressing.
Then, I had roasted beef Rossini that was cooked to perfection, and by that I mean MEDIUM and slightly pink in the middle. It was so delicious and palatable, served with a combination of truffle mash, mini vegetables, a few other items (I cannot remember) and a generous drizzle of thyme sauce.
I finished it all with tonka vanilla panna cotta, a scoop of raspberry sorbet, and a rhubarb compress. The tang from the raspberry and rhubarb balanced out the sweetness of the vanilla panna cotta, working very well for me, as I am not a fan of any dessert except for bread and butter pudding at Marco Pierre White’s restaurant.
Once we completed the whole evening, we were greeted by the head chef, who came on to say hello to each and everyone on board, and to have a little chat about meals and menus. Did I mention that they also offer a great vegetarian menu… just in case you are interested 🙂
The entire two and a half hour dining experience was in a class of its own indeed. Although the view along the cruise was limited due to the darkness of the night, we still stepped out to the deck in between our meals, making enjoyable conversation under the moonlight with Dubai’s landmarks twinkling against the night sky. We clicked loads of photos for memories, having a great laugh in between, while all the time enjoying the winter breeze of the Arabian gulf as the boat wafted along Dubai Creek.
A beautiful evening had by all, and we all agreed that it’s going to be so hard to top this one now !