Whether you’re at Fairmont Dubai for a staycation or a ‘steak-ation,’ The Exchange Grill makes for an essential dining experience.
Dubai is well-seasoned with steakhouses, and so The Exchange Grill is required to work hard in order to keep pace with the pack leaders. But with the location, at the Fairmont Dubai, and the reported quality of its cuts, all filed under prime – it’s little wonder that booking in advance is recommended.
Our fellow diners make up a diverse crowd, we spy groups of suits discussing business deals over their sizzling steaks and date night couples avoiding eye contact with anything other than the menu.
The restaurant is open for dinner daily, and its dark interiors and plush seating are a familiar sight for anyone who’s been to the best of the city’s steakhouses. We opt for the three-course set menu, priced at AED 350 per person.
There is an excellent selection of house beverages to choose from, so if you choose to have a few drinks with your meal, the staff are more than happy to guide you through recommendations.
An impressive tableside bread selection kicks off our meal, and our appetisers arrive shortly after. We’ve selected the foie gras tempura, which we felt was an interesting interpretation of a classic. Though, if truth be told – we are beasts of habit, now presented with it, we long for the traditional toast accompaniment, perhaps a lightly charred disc of brioche, fit for generous smearing.
The beef tartare however is an immediate and resounding hit for us. Roasted garlic and tomato bread along with a smoked mushroom consommé all pair beautifully with the delicate meat, and we are quick to polish off this dish. No notes.
For our main dishes, we order the 7oz Angus fillet mignon and the Atlantic cod ‘Asian style’. The fillet mignon is cooked perfectly, and is served with a delicate potato puree and spinach, before being topped off with a beef jus. The texture of the meat is supple yet soft, and the smokiness from the char rounds off each bite.
The cod is flaky and served with a few root vegetables and charred celeriac. The ‘Asian style’ element of this dish comes courtesy of a black sesame dressing, an aromatic foil – perhaps a tad too deep, for the delicate flavour of the delightfully cuite cod.
Dessert brings with it some thrilling table-top theatrics, namely with the molten chocolate sphere. Lightly covered in gold dust, a warm sauce is poured over to melt the thin shell and reveal a delicious combination of vanilla ice cream, raspberry coconut jelly, and other delectable treats.
Similarly, the hazelnut mango cheesecake is served with a flourish – toasted marshmallow, caramelised hazelnuts, and cubes of mango jelly come together in an absolutely decadent treat that we highly recommend you end your meal with.
Stop by The Exchange Grill if you want to take the guesswork out of going to a steakhouse. The set menu offers a mere glimpse of what this restaurant can offer, so we do encourage you to come back to explore everything else in your own time.
Dubai Week dined as a guest of the restaurant. The Exchange Grill, Fairmont Dubai, DWTC area on the Sheikh Zayed Road. 04 332 5555.