“Would you care to consider a portion of fine white truffle as part of your meal tonight? Perhaps finely grated over your pasta, or infused in olive oil to drizzle over your seafood salad…” Ahh, so many options with the fabled subterranean mushroom. Our waiter is proud to be the custodian of this exquisite knobbly specimen, hermetically sealed, sitting atop its own trolley, and laying on a bed of rice, three quail eggs its bedfellows…
With this welcome, three friends thrill at the imminent prospect of experiencing Bice, the Hilton Dubai’s sophisticated fine dining establishment. Our waiters pour us water, bring extra chairs for our handbags (true; we are in Dubai after all) tempt us with truffle, coax our appetites alive with warm dipping bread, olive oil and various pastes, even before we opened our menus.
Inspired by Beatrice (‘Bice’ to her friends) Ruggini’s 1926 family kitchen, cucina cooking with a modern twist has spread globally. Thirty Bice outlets are located from New York, Milan, Muscat, Tokyo to Dubai. It is within the Dubai Hilton, Jumiera Beach Residence, that Bice continues its stronghold on Dubai’s food-lovers’ affections, what with the Arabian Gulf serving as a stunning backdrop. But five star beaches and opulent hotels are not our concern right now. All we three can think about is what to choose. Lobster? Sea bass? Seared Tuna?? The Milanese-inspired menu makes Pavlov’s dogs of us all.
Seafood and meat dishes are plentiful but not gluttonous, and none of us leave the table feeling overstuffed nor hankering for something else to eat. Portions. Tick. Quality. Tick. Service – impeccable and what an ambience the staff create – just so so right. 1926 was a good year to start the cucina business but 2012 is even better, for the fruits of Beatrice’s labours have come bearing down upon my taste buds, and I lick my lips in appreciation.