No Frills, Plainly Fabulous Food with a Modernist Twist at Slab, La Mer
Situated on the gorgeous La Mer beachfront, SLAB is no ordinary restaurant, but a culinary laboratory of sorts, manned by an experienced chef, a super friendly manager and a fabulous team, who are well trained and knowledgeable about the rudiments of the food they serve.
The restaurant is quite simple, relaxed and casual without any unnecessary props, but the milieu serves as a powerful canvas that casts focus on the art on plate. Within only a few months of its existence, SLAB has managed to carve a unique niche for itself among foodies that are looking for something different, interesting and healthy at the same time.
SLAB's international menu features dishes inspired from all corners of the globe. Each and every single item on the menu is innovative with a modernist take on some good old favorites. The menu is a constantly evolving one, which changes with the season. This ensures that the best seasonal ingredients are used in preparing the dishes.
The restaurant imports some of their ingredients from abroad to ensure that authenticity is maintained, as well as the taste. Makes perfect sense and I feel other restaurants here should follow suit and constantly keep innovating and evolving to match changes in demand.
The restaurant was developed by Al Tawfeeq Hospitality – a Dubai based hospitality company as a sea-facing restaurant spread across 3,344 square feet with Indoor and Patio setting and pristine views of the Arabian Gulf and Dubai’s iconic skyline. SLAB was launched under the creative direction of Fadi Al-Said, an Investment Banker with a passion for food, who was inspired by his travels and culinary experiences from the world. He met Omar Rodriguez at a New York restaurant he used to frequent. Seeing his passion for great food in sync with his own, he invited Omar to Dubai to lead his newest concept SLAB, as head chef.
Blogliterati.com chatted up with Omar to find out more about the interesting story of SLAB.
What we had
We were served first served a bowl of assorted potato chips with smoked onion dip on side. The chips were home made, crisp and fresh.
In drinks we had Pina smash and golden temple. Pina smash was a punchy mix of chilli syrup, cilantro, lime and pineapple. The condiments seem simple, but the punch was far too intense. Yes it hit my head, in the first sip, in a very nice way, of course. I loved this unique mocktail and sipped and relished it right through starters to desserts!
In Salads we had Simple Kale which came garnished with crispy shallots, red chili and lime vinaigrette. The vinaigrette added the right hint of tangy without being too strong and the crispy shallots and red chilly gave the dish a delightful twist. 5/5 for this dish.
Charred Corn : The good old corn on cob sans the cob but with oodles of parmesan shreds, brown butter, Japanese mayo, Aleppo pepper and lime. Lovers of sweet corn will find this bliss! It was delicious! 5/5
Snapper Ceviche : A ceviche of gooseberry, shiso and black lime. It was unique in taste.
Crispy Octopus : My ever favourite dish but with a very Korean treatment using Gochujang Aioli and Perilla leaf and a tad lime for that perfect hint of flavor. It was tantalizing even to look at and tasted as wonderful as it looked. It was crispy outside with the meat inside being perfectly cooked and soft. I’ve tried it in other places where I usually found the meat to be rather rubbery and chewy. Here it won my heart with its perfect texture. 5/5
Smoked Beef Jam : Truffle mustard and pickles over grilled sourdough. This dish tantalized with its smoky beefy flavor. In taste it was quite unique.
Spicy noodles : The noodle kept its word of being spicy - as a true spice lover would love it. Well, It wasn’t overdone, I found the spice to be just perfect and the dish was indeed a pleasure to the taste buds.
In desserts we had Insanity pie and Tres Leches. Both were literally 'insanely' good! It was love at first bite with the insanity pie. The Tres Leches too was remarkable. A milk lovers dream dish - it was soft, luscious, creamy and d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s !
This restaurant ticked all the right boxes in terms of quality of food, taste, service, ambiance and value. Slab combines all the elements of a fine dining restaurant but has set it in a relaxed contemporary setting, where diners can enjoy their food without any thrills or frills. The open-plan space has an open kitchen too with exposed preparation counters where guests can see their food being made, which is a good thing. Highly recommend this restaurant as a must try!