How Bread Street Kitchen Dubai is normalising eating out
I think it's fair to say that the idea of dining out these days comes with a helping of anxiety and a constant stream of “should we? shouldn’t we?’ questions while making the reservation. In many cases, you even second guess the decision to step out of your house as the mask-clad hostess greets you at the door and leads you to your table.
After hearing stories of people who had dined out around Dubai in the early stages of re-opening, we walked into Gordon Ramsey’s Bread Street Kitchen at Atlantis, the Palm, with a plenty of caution. But by the time we sat down at my socially distanced table of two, we were immediately put at ease. The truth is, gone are the days of bustling restaurants packed to the brim. A crammed bar, a long reservation list and random conversations with strangers at a restaurant are things of the past. Now, you’ll find only every third table occupied with a minimum distance of six feet between them.
BSK also now provides an Atlantis bag on your table to stow away your mask and gloves while you eat, and as soon as you sit down, the staff come over with a germkilling bottle of sanitizer to pump oodles of it onto your palms. Another victim of Covid-19 is the carte du jour. At Ramsay’s restaurant, menus have been relegated and been replaced with two QR codes: one for food and the other for drinks, which you pull up on your smartphone.
The food however has not been relegated. Ramsay’s popular British gastro-pub still serves its favourites, albeit with a pared down menu. From the spicy tuna tartare to the BSK Wagyu beef burger and battered fish and chips, it remains quintessentially British food. Other popular dishes include Ramsay’s favourite butter chicken curry, as well as a variety of beef, chicken or lamb roasts to tuck into.
If anything, the food at BSK has improved since it first opened in Dubai. However, the dessert is still a star at the restaurant with the sticky toffee banana pudding hitting just the right spot with its banana bread flavours and mousse-like texture.
Despite the effects of the pandemic still very much a reality, the city has slowly been returning to something that resembles normality, with its residents trying their best to get back to their pre-lockdown lives. One of those steps is to go out for a meal. Whether there is an enforced curfew or not, the emotional impact of stepping out to get a feel for what the new reality is, is important. And Bread Street Kitchen is a good example of how, in the new normal, to do dining out right.