If you are a foodie, you may have already heard a lot about Marina Social. Jason Atherton’s Marina Social, his 17th restaurant worldwide and 1st venture in Dubai. Marina Social consists of the Social Room with a DJ booth and a semi private area, along with a private dining area perfect for a business lunch or a dinner for an occasion.
Where: Marina Social, Dubai Marina.
Cuisine: Contemporary British-European
Perfect for: Casual dining.
– A take on ‘English afternoon tea’ mushroom tea, bone marrow toast, gentleman’s relish
– Salad of snow peas, Parmesan, mint, radish, buttermilk dressing
– Gillardeau oyster, Oscietra caviar, cucumber granita
– Smoked lobster, lemon butter sauce, chervil
– Caramelised tart Tatin of apples, Madagascan vanilla ice cream
Service: Friendly and welcoming but a bit slow when it came to the arrival of dishes. Chef Tristin was incredibly helpful with explaining all the main courses. Chef Tristin personally came to our table to explain how the tomato and burrata is made, and almost each time a main course arrived he took time out to personally explain each dish. The chef at the dessert bar was very helpful in shortlisting which 2 from the mouthwatering menu of desserts we would like.
What we loved: The sharing concept and Jason’s signature dessert bar. They have an open kitchen where guests could interact with the chefs even during their meal. The English tea and toast was very interesting. It was more than just tea and toast. It contained toasted excellent quality butter (out of this world butter! ) and small mugs of coffee I thought, but it was mushroom soup! It was a good start to our meal. Additionally, the dessert bar we were seated at allowed us to interact with the chefs which was a nice idea and was also truly the highlight of the evening. The mini ice cream’s we received as we sat at the dessert bar was just mouthwatering it was vanilla ice cream topped with caramel popcorn and caramel. From the mains, we loved the lobster and its presentation, it was simple yet different. It arrived on our table in a treasure box, when opened it was steaming hot (literally steaming!). I think the little things done at Marina Social show how much work has been put in into the tiny elements at the restaurant. The restaurant was pretty occupied for a Monday evening. The amount of guests dining was amazing. And people kept coming even when we were leaving at about 11pm! All the tiny things, such as the buttermilk dressing on the salad, the English afternoon tea and the Goats cheese with the ‘churros’ truffled honey dish made it a unique dining experience.
What we didn’t like as much: The Hype that went on for a while about Marina Social, we expected a bit too much. I think that not only us, but everyone has been wanting to try out Marina Social even before it opened because of the suspense of every dish like the tea and toast and the Tomato and Burrata. Every round of food was a bit slow and maybe the increase in time between dishes would be better. Being a sharing concept, we felt like the quantity of few dishes like the salad with the Parmesan and tuna dish were a bit too less. Moreover, we would definitely suggest to go in with a group as food intervals are pretty long (and the main concept is ‘sharing’, hence ‘Marina Social’).
What we recommend:
- English Tea and toast
- The Tomato and Burrata
- Herb roasted chicken, charred leek, smoked thigh and leek tartine
- The chocolate and peanut bar, cookie crumble, banana ice cream (And we highly recommend everyone to try out their dessert bar! Every dish on this dessert menu is a must try!)
- Caramelised tart Tatin of apples, Madagascan vanilla ice cream
Ambiance: Full house, pretty fancy.
More on Marina Social: A lot has been put into their interiors and ambiance. The steel cutlery they use was designed by the person who made the interiors at Buckingham Palace. Their bar area is still going to be changed as they have a lot of more furniture that has to be added. I liked how there were 2 different areas. If you are planning to go for a dinner at Marina Social, be sure to go few hours earlier so you can stop by their Social Bar first and then carry on to Dinner. They had an open kitchen where guests could interact with the chefs even during their meal. They also have a candy trolley going around the restaurant with vintage tins. Moreover, guests can even make a reservation at Marina Social only for desserts. Make sure if you are dining for a full course meal here here you take out about 2 – 2.5 hours of your time. You don’t have to have the whole meal if you don’t want to. It is surely a different dining experience! Lastly, Do not forget to make a reservation before going, it’s definitely worth the visit.