Conclusion: Could OFK be the Dubai Mall’s answer to gastronomy?
Elevated shopping center. Yes really…
The restaurants in the mall aren’t supposed to be that good. The interior design of the OFK (Open Flame Kitchen) looks sophisticated and expensive, with beautifully presented – and delicious – food and impeccable service. As Executive Chef Mateus Coelho rightly says: “If we packaged this restaurant and put it at DIFC it wouldn’t look out of place.
The presence of Coelho is a major factor in OFK’s success. Previously at Flamingo Room in Jumeirah Al Naseem, he helped Natasha Sideris launch the DIFC Avli by Tashas hotspot at the big boys corner of LPM and Zuma. His knowledge of the DIFC food scene has clearly informed Coelho’s high menu at OFK, which jumps around Indian curry and tandoori, sushi, pizza and pasta. In addition, there is meat and fish cooked on a robata grill and a parrilla grill, which have been custom made to fit the interior of the open kitchen and add energy to the atmosphere. .
As a result, the menu can seem a bit haphazard, with gyoza alongside risotto, tacos, and lamb tikka. But we assume that a varied menu is essential for the business lunch crowd, which was large during What’s new visit during the week.
Served on rustic and minimalist stone plates, the Pomelo and Duck Salad (Dhs60), Spicy Tuna Wonton Tacos (Dhs55) and Spicy Salmon Crispy Rice (Dhs50) were right on the money.
A pair of sliders (Dhs45) were basically chic Big Macs – we mean this in a good way – but the standout main course was the wagyu ribs (Dhs80). Cooked sous vide for 48 hours (what other restaurant in the mall does that?), They were absurdly tender and topped with a lip-smacking sweet chili frosting. Finish with the homemade tiramisu (60 Dhs) served at the table, and you will leave happy with OFK.
A stunning wavy polished stone sushi bar is the centerpiece of this surprisingly fine Fashion Avenue restaurant, which has a light above that resembles the rings of Saturn. The staff uniforms of the gray collared grandpa shirts are cool; the lively jazz matches the ambiance perfectly; and the service is quick, bright and relaxed. OFK is way above its weight and surely has to be considered the most elegant and accomplished restaurant in the Dubai Mall. Transfer this place to DIFC and it would be an overnight success.
Fashion Avenue, The Dubai Mall, daily noon to 11:40 p.m. Phone: (0) 4 386 3599. ofk.me
Words: Rob Chilton
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