While I’ll admit, I visited Bagatelle when it first opened a few years ago, like many of the restaurants in Dubai, it’s been a minute since I’ve been able to return. In my absence, the venue, which has always had a bit of a party reputation, has added a late-night element which is now greater than ever. As usual, I’m primarily interested in the food, but it’s good to mix things up now and then. Located in the Fairmont Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road, guests should walk from the front through the lobby, where there is a dedicated lift marked with the Bagatelle logo, found on the first floor. Upon entering, the interior hasn’t changed from my initial visit, and it’s very much the eclectic, arty scene I remember. Tall ceilings, bright colours, and cosy tables adorn this space. This is a great location for groups, as there are plenty of round tables, and banquettes.
With Chef Ricardo Gonçalves at the helm, the menu offers upscale Mediterranean cuisine, similar to various popular restaurants around the city. There are plenty of tempting offers, but we choose to start with the Salade Bagatelle, which includes a lovely mix of butter lettuce, parmesan, and a delicate house vinaigrette. Is it possible to dine out in Dubai without sampling Burrata? We think not, so my dining partner and I said yes to the Burrata Truffée. The truffle dressing is a bit heavy for my taste, and while we always enjoy this cheese, there are other restaurants that do a more preferable version.
Similarly, while the Tartare de Boeuf, with its crispy potato and Bagatelle secret sauce, is nice, it’s not the best in the city. The chop on a beef is a bit fine, and the presentation could improve. Fortunately, the Lobster Roll, with its sweet lobster meat tossed in citrus mayonnaise on a homemade brioche roll, is definitely one to order again. To finish off our starters, we split the Carpaccio de Saumon. Made with organic Scottish salmon, avocado mousse, pickled cucumber, and aguachile sauce, it’s a lighter balance to some of the other dishes we’ve enjoyed.
One of the signature items at Bagatelle remains as delicious as the first time I tried it — the incredibly moreish Pizza à la Truffe Noire. And yes, this is Dubai, so of course, guests can add black truffle to their pizza (at market price). And yes, I think every restaurant should include a pizza course….the price tag might seem a bit steep, but it is an absolutely delicious pizza.
Although the Linguine Au Homard Epice looks tempting, my dining partner and I are both feeling like a steak and ordered the Filet de Wagyu for our main course. This striploin comes with French fries and pink and green peppercorn sauce. It’s cooked as requested, but we both agree we would probably try seafood for another visit. The price is in line for this protein, but a slightly larger serving would be appreciated.
There are several expected side dishes, and they are hard to pass up. We choose two kinds of potato: the Pomme Purée à la Truffe and the Frites Maison, as well as the Broccolini. The side dishes complement our main course and are easily split between two people. Yes, sadly, we’re too full for desserts.
Service at Bagatelle is attentive and friendly, and not pretentious. Our only wish? The venue would go smoke-free. Additionally, we’d love to see a few more options for vegetarian diners, who are something of an afterthought.
If you’re interested in an even wilder night, the ‘Bagaeton’ Night Brunch happens every Saturday, featuring DJ Polin. With a dedicated 3-hour set menu, accompanied by beverage selections (we miss the bubbles, but the rest seems to go over well), this is a party atmosphere (complete with a change of scenery and diners out of their seats dancing).
Would we return to Bagatelle? While I don’t think I’m personally in the target demographic, this is a very lively place to dine. If you’re looking for a party, or at least pretty people to party with, Bagatelle should be at the top of your list.
Salade Bagatelle, AED 55
Burrata Truffée, AED 95
Tartare de Boeuf, AED 90
Lobster Roll, AED 135
Carpaccio de Saumon, AED 75
Pizza à la Truffe Noire, AED 130
Filet de Wagyu, AED 395
Pomme Purée à la Truffe, AED 50
Frites Maison, AED 35
Broccolini, AED 50
Bagatelle, Fairmont Dubai, +971 4 354 5035