Kizmet

On its website, Kizmet describes their journey as ‘a story of almost traditional cooking,’ and the attitude is an apt one.  Diners should expect a well-developed menu, one that reflects a variety of unique dishes in a market full of (sometimes boring) burrata.  Plating and service are also strong points at this Downtown venue.

Reservation
While walk-ins are welcome, feel free to call ahead on 04 338 8717 or e-mail RESERVATIONS@KIZMETRESTAURANT.COM

Reservations can also be made via the website: https://www.kizmetrestaurant.com/reservations

Parking
You’re in luck!  Unless the Opera is in session, plan on parking underground at one of the Dubai Opera spaces (located off of Shekih Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard). Alternatively, if you plan on enjoying something from the creative list of cocktails, have a taxi drop you near the Dubai Opera sign and walk over.

Greeting and Seating
Setting itself apart amidst the other venues near Dubai Opera, you’ll notice Kizmet has literally rolled out the red carpet for its guests.  Even as a long time Dubai residents, we’re impressed by the backdrop of the soaring Burj Khalifa.  Once inside, our delight only increases as we receive a quick tour of the space.  Located across two levels, the downstairs is an open space, with funky light fixtures and art adorning the walls.  Large windows allow plenty of natural light.  Upstairs is a more Miami chic approach, with an expansive bar and views of downtown Dubai.  We choose to sit downstairs, and, as the music is just a touch too loud for conversation, we ask the team to turn things down (which they are happy to accommodate).  At the table, cleverly designed napkins read ‘lick your lips’ and menus are presented in a way where guests simply mark their choices (with pencils marked ‘be naughty/be nice.’)

Service
During the evening, everyone we came across (from the GM to Chef Rubi to the servers) was knowledgable and if we might say so, quite proud of their menu.  We think this bears mention, as Kizmet’s approach is clearly much more than the ‘ma’am/sir’ technique so many restaurants in town seem to go with.  Any notes we give on dishes are professionally received.  Ultimately, we walk away from the meal feeling like we’ve been welcomed into someone’s home.

Our Order
With a global small bites approach, there was plenty to choose from.  My dining partner and I start immediately with Artichoke (because, honestly, where else can you find them on the menu in Dubai?).  We also place an order for the cleverly named My Girlfriend is Not Hungry (i.e., avocado fries, in case you were wondering), and, because I genuinely love carbs of all kinds, the Bread Service.  To finish this first round, we also request the Hummus, which is served with Tofu churros (yes, those are a thing).  For someone who typically orders tartare and carpaccio as starters, I’m delighted with all of the vegetarian dishes and don’t find myself missing traditional proteins at all.  The plating of everything is perfect for sharing between two people, or for hungry solo diners.  While I want just a bit more texture in the artichokes, it’s nothing that would stop me from ordering the dish (or any of the dishes we’ve had so far) again.

For our next course, I request one of my all-time favorites, the Scallops, and we decide on two additional signature dishes: the creatively named Layover in Poland and Bone Marrow.  We both agree the Layover in Poland — with its perfectly steamed pierogis, served with a shot of beet-y borscht, is our favorite dish of the evening.  The scallops come with sunflower seed risotto, which also works – offering a milder bit of crunch.  Furthermore, we both concede that the cook on the bone marrow isn’t exactly perfect, but the presentation is thoughtful, and enjoy it is accompanied with freshly baked (and buttered) bread.

Were we thirsty?  We were!  Did I mention Kizmet is licensed?  They are!  Spirits have a decent range, and I decide to try the Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee.  In reviewing the cocktail menu, we like that the approach at Kizmet is to take the guesswork out for guests, and they have listed all their specialty cocktails at AED65.  It’s a trend I wish more venues would follow.  My guest has a quick look at the wine selection and chooses a glass of white.

For the sake of reviewing the whole menu, we peruse the dessert menu, aptly entitled the ‘Sweet Tooth Department.’  The chef surprises with both the heavenly Tres Leches and the deliciously deconstructed Al-Ffogato.  The presentation is at a peak here, and I spy other items on the menu I would love to come back and try.

Pacing
The first few dishes arrive quite quickly -- almost too fast -- and then we settle into a more relaxed pace.  After the initial rush, there were no further issues.

Ambiance
The best seats at Kizmet really depend on what you’re in the mood for.  Personally, I would recommend going upstairs for a drink, then coming downstairs for a bite.  Even if the music was too loud originally, once turned down to an acceptable volume, the hip soundtrack definitely matches the contemporary space.

Price
Most of the smaller dishes are priced between AED25-45, with more ‘main’ styled dishes going upwards in price.  Our multi-course menu (with drinks) amounted to AED650.  For the most part, I find dishes to be priced quite fairly, and, given the range of the menu, guests could certainly save money if they wanted to drop in for a quick few bites and a creative cocktail or two.  In my research, I also spy a very reasonable lunch set menu of AED79, which could be an affordable approach to check out some of what Kizmet has to offer.

Overall, would I return?
I would be delighted to go back to Kizmet!  Having been for dinner, I’d love to see what the breakfast menu is all about.  Also, as much of the menu I tried, there are still other dishes (pizza!) that I would love to order.

Recommendations
The one of a kind ‘Layover in Poland’ is one of the more creative dishes in the city.  Additionally, good bone marrow is sometimes a difficult menu item to find in Dubai.  If you’re a fan, be sure to order and let us know your thoughts.

Overall rating – 4.3 out of 5

Disclaimer: MenuPages was a guest of this establishment.