The Maine Land Brasserie
With multiple (successful) locations across the city, The Maine has set up residence in Business Bay at Zaha Hadid designed hotel, ME by Melia Hotel (opening later this year). With a design inspired by an upscale restaurant, the Maine Land Brasserie immediately creates a beautiful and memorable aesthetic. On arrival, guests will notice the soaring double-height ceilings, bentwood rattan chairs, massive windows, and ‘gram-worthy crystal chandeliers, plus an open kitchen that allows diners to view all the action.
The menu includes everything from shellfish to snails and fresh fish, to bespoke steak cuts. The team has also adapted the new location to offer new dishes. Additionally, the sophisticated bar is handled by skilled mixologists.
Given the size of the restaurant and its immense popularity, we highly encourage guests to call ahead of time to avoid disappointment.
In this instance, we choose to drive ourselves, and avail of the valet parking (guests are presented with a card which can be validated inside the restaurant). Should you decide to get dropped off, there is an entrance on the hotel’s ground level, with a dedicated driveway.
Greeting and Seating
My dining partner and I are warmly greeted and shown to a table with views towards the kitchen, overlooking much of the dining room. The dining room itself is cozy, but the ambiance adds to an atmosphere of modern dining.
The service at The Maine Land Brasserie is unobtrusive and friendly, just how we prefer an approach. We’re further looked after by the GM who, besides being charming, is entirely knowledgable about anything related to hospitality. Also, as a note, I loved that the team was happy to package up any leftover portions, as I hate wasting food.
After reviewing the menu, while we spy a few of The Maine’s signature dishes (offered at the other two locations), we are definitely interested in some of the new offers.
While there is plenty of seafood available, to start, we’re presented with freshly baked bread, served up with grilled garlic, butter, and fresh (local) tomato. It’s a classy beginning. To start, I order the Tuna Tartare, AED89. I enjoy the balance of avocado in this dish (I prefer a reasonably healthy mix or protein and other elements), and it would be easily split between two people. The soy-ginger dressing isn’t overpowering, so we’re off to a great start. My guest, who is not eating seafood, orders the Cauliflower Taco, while I order the Crispy Fish Taco, AED69, which comes with two tacos, made of crispy battered cod.
To showcase more of The Maine’s seafood expertise, I’m also given the Prawns Al La Plancha, AED99. The sweet and succulent protein is grilled and presented simply, just as I prefer. My dining partner is trying to avoid carbs and suggests the Fennel and Sage Chorizo, AED105, which is specific to the Land Brasserie only. As with all of the dishes so far, it can be split with a larger group.
For our main, we split the Filet Mignon, 250g, AED255. Our server is kind enough to split this delicious grass-fed Irish beef at the table for us, which is presented with fries (no complaints from our side). We’re recommended to order the Truffle Butter, AED22, and it’s a delightful addition (as is the order of Bernaise Sauce, AED15). While it might sound simple, the side of the Charred Brussel Sprouts, AED43, is truly delicious, and I find myself continuing to add sprouts to my plate. I’m also encouraged (and cannot deny) that the Truffle Mac and Cheese, AED55, should be ordered. The amount of food we’ve ordered as a main course is plenty for two people.
For dessert, even though we are quite full, we opt for the easy to split the Soft Baked Cookie, topped with vanilla ice cream, AED50 (we choose the chocolate chip version). While there’s not much to improve this classic, it is served straight from the oven and is a comforting finish to the meal.
While I’ve focused on proteins, vegetarians will be delighted, as there is an entire plant-based menu available at The Maine.
No complaints. Food and drinks arrive as expected, we’re not rushed and enjoy a leisurely meal together (so much so that my dining partner ends up being late to her next appointment).
If there is one thing Mr. Joey Ghazal and his team know how to do, it’s creating restaurants with a strong sense of ‘self’ and a seemingly built-in atmosphere (both in design and in the crowd who visits). While the restaurant certainly bustles at night, we’re actually delighted to visit during the day. The soft natural light adds a beautiful element.
Given the ingredients, we feel the pricing is in line with what is offered, but also what is expected with the brand. For guests who want to save some money, we suggest the value for money driven Lunch Prix Fixe menu, which is fairly priced at AED130 per person.
Overall, would you return?
We can easily recommend for a leisurely lunch or dinner. For a date night or night with friends, this would be a guaranteed buzzy outing, and perfect for a beautiful catch up or business meeting for lunch. Furthermore, even at the end of our visit, we feel that we’ve barely sampled any of the menu -- there will be plenty to go back and enjoy.
While we enjoy the entire menu, it seems necessary to try the Prawns a la Plancha, and the Charred Brussel Sprouts - seriously! Of course, if you just wanted to drop in a for a drink, that would be a delight as well.
Ground Floor, ME BY MELIA HOTEL, OPUS BY ZAHA HADID, BUSINESS BAY, Dubai, U.A.E.
Disclaimer: MenuPages.ae was a guest of this establishment.