Asado Dubai: The Esquire Review
Asado is one of those restaurants that hasn’t changed much in the decade-or-so it’s been open.
Its signature feature – a see-through glass kitchen that lets punters see their meat splayed over an open fire – remains smack dab in the middle of the dining room. It still offers some of the best views of the Dubai Fountains and Burj Khalifa one can hope for. And, most importantly, the specialty of the house (a baby goat roasted over said open flame) remains on the menu.
Indeed, Asado certainly follows the ‘ain’t broke, don’t fix’ mantra. But even the most tried-and-tested restaurants can sometimes fall stale, especially in a city that seemingly boasts exciting new restaurants and dining concepts every other week. So, does Asado still do enough to attract Dubai’s discerning diners?
Asado Dubai: What’s the vibe?
The interior has remained the same since the Argentinian steakhouse first opened its doors. Think exposed brickwork, leather chairs, and light fittings crafted out of antlers. Outside remains the real draw here though, and Asado now lets guests sit on a large floating pontoon providing an even better view of the fountains.
As per any restaurant with a decent view, you can expect a few tourists. But because Asado is tucked away (the entrance involves heading through the depths of The Palace Downtown hotel) most diners are either hotel guests or some of the city’s better-knowing foodies.
Asado Dubai: How’s the food?
There’s lots of dishes on offer at Asado, but somehow the menu doesn’t feel overwhelming.
Presented on just two pages, don’t waste your time (and appetite) on the bog-standard starters (mushroom soup, burrata salad, beef carpaccio, etc.) and instead, head directly to the empanadas. These tiny filled pastries are pricey at AED35 per piece, but they’re authentic and delicious.
Asado is a steakhouse through and through, and while it does offer a range of fish and veggie dishes (and they’re not bad, either) only a fool would order anything other than the Cabrito Asado (that’s roasted baby goat to you or I).
It comes on a sizzling hot plate, cut into hearty chunks, and while the more primp and proper might be tempted to have a go with knife and fork, the only Esquire-approved way to eat a baby goat is by hand. It comes with a load of sauces (béarnaise, chimichurri, and peppercorn) but thanks to the chef’s secret marinade, you shouldn’t need them.
If the goat’s not on offer (it can sell out fast, and the chef can’t just “whip up another baby goat” to order) then Asado’s steaks are all of very high quality (as are the staff’s near-encyclopedic knowledge of where each slice of meat came from and what it ate when it went ‘moo’).
Asado Dubai: The Verdict?
When it comes to the food, Asado knows what it does best and sticks to it.
The kitchen’s roaring open fire consistently churns out some of the best meat in the city, and while it could do with a slight visual refresh at least with some of the more garish interior design elements, those sitting outside won’t know (or care for that matter).
Asado Dubai: Where is it?
Asado Dubai is located in The Palace Downtown Hotel.