Le Relais de l’Entrecote, Downtown Dubai

Le Relais de l’Entrecote, Downtown Dubai

This import from Paris comes has developed something of a legendary reputation around the world with its no-menu approach to food. All you get is a standard offering of its signature steak and chips, with a salad to start with, and a choice of desserts.

Located along the bustling Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid boulevard, with the street-side seating that seems de rigeur here, the restaurant features typical French bistro-style décor inside, with wood-panelled walls, little lamps and vintage art.

On arrival, we were served the starter salad of greens with a mustard dressing and walnuts quite promptly — and it was a pleasant start to the meal. The mains arrived soon after — in fact, the food was brought out even before we had finished our earlier course, but it could just have been an extension of the quintessential European experience that the restaurant embodies, of no-nonsense, fuss-free food with service to match!

Our steaks, when they were served, were delicious however — sliced, doused in their special sauce (I picked up hints of mustard, tarragon and parsley in the flavours), with perfectly crisped chips on the side. The price includes two servings of steak. But, it is at the dessert course that they really shine — this is the only bit they have a menu for, with a wide selection of the classic European-style desserts offer, ranging from profiteroles to crème brulee, and everything in between. I opted for the Relais summer vacherin, a tower of meringue, cream and strawberries that was delicious but too big to finish. My friend’s Dame blanche was a similarly decadent concoction that she too had to give up on halfway, but thoroughly enjoyed. This sort of a choice-free approach, while refreshingly different, also means that the quality of the food needs to be unsurpassed. While that may be the case in the Parisian outpost, which regularly has queues at the door, the Dubai venue has yet to get there.

If you want to go: Set menu is Dhs130 (desserts priced separately), call 04- 5530461.

Best for: A relaxed steak dinner at good-value prices