La Mer has joined the evergrowing places TO BE at Dubai. Our previous visit was to experience Masti – a progressive Indian venture. And this time we are trying SLAB.
I was sitting at a cafe and ordered a mojito for myself. The berry drink comes with a small test tube where liquid is poured to emit a smoky effect. This may not seem uncommon in Dubai, where terms such as “molecular gastronomy” are used in almost every restaurant.
Dubai being a melting pot of nationalities is usually one of the first to welcome trends in this industry. But, restaurants that follow a “trend” blindly just makes questioning their credibility easier.
Although it may attract a crowd, but are theatrics really necessary to make the customer pay for their food? Not to be a sore thumb here, but I too love good entertainment. The way your drink is bubbling and emitting smoke like a science project is exciting. However, I feel that it’s a saturated concept now. I agree it brings in people, but I’m sure there’s a different set of audience that will visit for food alone.
I’m not just talking about smoky drinks here. Let’s talk about something that went viral some time ago. The salt bae concept was nothing more than shocking.
The said viral video shows a man cutting meat exceptionally well and then coating it with an excessive amount of salt in a pose that has his elbow pointing outwards. Excuse me, but I DO NOT want my meat to be covered in salt that has touched someone’s forearm before. I recently read an article explaining how the food actually tastes at Nusr-et and was appalled at how people are willing to pay a part of their monthly salary for it. Click here to read.
The use of liquid nitrogen in almost every dish has turned the restaurant business into a comical theatre. Although, there are some venues that really do justice to the concept, like Carnival by Tresind that focuses on progressive Indian dining.
What’s silly are eateries that just incorporate these techniques without it matching their concept/idea. What would you think of an Italian place serving butter chicken? Surprisingly, Dubai has that too.
I admit I like the blowtorched crème brûlée in front of guests, or a sizzling plate of meat that is brought straight from the kitchen. But, gimmicks that have nothing to do with the dish is something I’m not a fan of.
The last few restaurants I visited focused on putting an exceptionally well-prepared plate in front of us. No theatrics were involved. And, we still enjoyed the simplicity. Which makes me think, is the concept finally dying in Dubai?
I’ll leave that for you to decide.
What do you think? Are theatrics getting old for Dubai?
Until then, happy eating! xx
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