Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Dubai Review: Bice at the Hilton Dubai Jumeirah

I got back in one piece to Dubai on Tuesday night and squeezed the kids as promised. Since then I've been seriously jet-lagged - that 24-hour travel time plus the 11-hour time difference has proven to be a bit tricky to shake off - hence the no-show on the blog. Apologies, but a brain like porridge just doesn't blog too well.

Actually, a brain like porridge doesn't do anything well. So far, I've managed to act even more like a dork than usual, inadvertently offend at least three people, waffle like a fool at all and sundry, sideswipe myself on umpteen door frames, scrape both shins (now sporting scabs, v attractive), nearly get wiped out on the Sheik Zayed Road twice, drop things constantly and shout in an unreasonable manner at the kids about 93 times. Not bad for a mere four days, eh?

The upside is that I quite like waking up at 3am every morning. It's amazing how much stuff you can get done when everyone else is safely tucked up in bed.

The only way to get through jetlag is to carry on regardless and drink as much antioxidant-rich grown-up grape juice as possible, so Alpha and I trotted off to Bice at the Hilton Dubai Jumeirah on Thursday night for a belated birthday celebration.

If you're into super-bling and like to make a grand entrance then don't bother with Bice; although it's not exactly a bargain, it's unpretentious by Dubai standards and you're unlikely to have much fun if c'leb spotting is what pushes your buttons. Although Bice is essentially a chain - the original Bice in Milan dates back to 1926 and there are now Bice restaurants all over the globe, including Bice MARE in Dubai Mall - Bice at the Hilton boasts a fistful of awards and enjoys consistently good reviews from both critics and the public.

The place attracts a slightly older and fairly sedate crowd* who come for the excellent food, the decent wine list and attentive yet unobtrusive service. While Bice's interior is a little tired and the live piano music won't be to everyone's taste, anyone claiming to be a foodie won't be disappointed by what turns up on their plate.

From the beautiful olive oil and homemade pesto for dipping still-warm foccaccia and other Italian speciality breads through to a wide choice of pasta, meat and fish dishes, Bice showcases Italian food at its best - fresh flavours, quality ingredients and uncomplicated presentation.

Bice might be a safe choice but it's an excellent one. Put it on your list of venues for where to take the parents when they're in town. Also suitable if you're trying to fool people into thinking you're a classy grown-up with subtle good taste and a penchant for the finer things in life (it can't fail, however shabby the truth may be).


* Also attracts a number of smug-looking older men showing off sexy younger lady-friends ... so people-watching can offer a hugely amusing diversion while in recovery between courses


Daddy Papersurfer said...

I find scraped shins very attractive ... this probably doesn't help does it? ... sorry.

EM Smith said...

If you can write as good as that on jet lag and continent hopping, then serve me up some of what you got!!

Kate S. said...

Daddy - you are very, very strange.

Thanks EM, it's entirely down to lots of caffeine and our legendary Smith stubbornness... you've got it already!

Anonymous said...

I went to Bice once and saw a bloke there with two hookers. Classy place.

Anonymous said...

Hookers??? In Dubai??? Omg, what is the world coming to?