A much-needed breath of fresh air in Dubai’s dining scene, Marina Social offers gourmet Michelin star worthy food – it is helmed by Dubai’s comeback kid Jason Atherton after all – in a stylish yet laid-back environment.
The space is divided into a lounge (The Social Room) and a separate restaurant section, unified by the contemporary, hip décor – think, a smart neutral colour scheme and retro-style light bulbs – that is minimalist yet inviting. A striking installation at the entrance commands attention, while Marina views and an open kitchen complement the buzzing atmosphere.
Atherton, who describes the food as “thought provoking haute cuisine tapas”, wants to ensure that “people have fun here”. In an earlier conversation, he’d said that his goal with the ‘Social’ line of venues is to provide a space which people can use as they like and make it their own – whether it’s for a sit-down dinner with friends, a quick catch-up over drinks and nibbles, celebrating a special occasion, or simply a dessert stop; there’s a separate dessert bar too here!
The sharing-style menu is primarily Mediterranean-inspired British cuisine. Expect a hint of playfulness and creativity in dishes such as Tea and toast – a quirky, savoury take on afternoon tea where the tea is a mushroom and Parmesan soup, and jam is a bone marrow relish; delicious goat’s cheese churros with truffle honey; and my favourite, tomato and burrata – a highly technical dish where a whole tomato comes stuffed with the creamy cheese, and is drizzled over with an aged balsamic.
With the vibe of a smart restaurant that could be in London, Sydney, New York or any other global city for that matter, Marina Social delivers on all counts.
Located at Intercontinental Dubai Marina hotel. Call 04-4466664.