El Chiringuito was the recipient of our 2017 award for Best New Nightlife Venue at the Time Out Dubai Music & Nightlife Awards back in April. Though it doesn’t position itself as a restaurant, necessarily (on the whole, it’s definitely more of an all-day beach club and bar, albeit of a far higher standard than most), the food is certainly worthy of one.
It’s a come-as-you-are sort of place. You can spend the day lounging on the beach or by the pool, and on Fridays it’s home to a lively brunch that continues long into the evening, so no one will bat an eyelid if you turn up in flip-flops – a refreshing change from the strict dress codes of the rest of the city. Perhaps it’s for this reason that, once seated at one of the pale wood tables, with a cool breeze blowing and a Spanish beverage, we feel a world away from Dubai.
It’s a stunning setting for an evening meal, or a lazy lunch, thanks to its strings of twinkling fairly lights, hanging wisteria, oversized dreamcatchers and plush, pillowy seats.
The menu covers everything from salads, tapas and platters of antipasti to burgers and plenty of seafood.
It’s mostly designed for sharing, such as the huge spaghetti frutti di mare or roasted lamb shoulder with roast potatoes.
The execution of everything we order is impeccable. The clams – cooked in a white grape sauce with parsley, shallots and garlic – are punchy and delicious, the tuna tartare is meaty and fresh with a sharp soy and ginger sauce, and a nutty edge from the sesame seeds.
We love the mushroom and truffle risotto, too. It’s decadent and creamy, but the flavours are spot on (the truffle isn’t one bit overpowering). For dessert, try the almond summer crumble. The whipped vanilla marscapone cream is supremely light and packed with juicy berries.
Prices are steep, but what El Chiringuito serves is a step up from bar food, best enjoyed after a long, lazy beach day or over a leisurely evening. The bottom line Food that’s more than just an afterthought to a stunning location.