Fact visits La Cantine Du Faubourg in search of elegance and fine French food.
Living in Dubai, we are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to dining options, and while we fully appreciate the global range of cuisines on offer, the sheer variety of venues can at times be overwhelming. We think this is why despite being high on our dining bucket list, La Cantine Du Faubourg had evaded our dining prowess until very recently.
From the moment we arrive, we find it difficult to fathom why it has taken us so long to visit. Passing a funky graffiti wall we soon transition into a large restaurant space bathed in natural light and replete with low-slung couches, a vibrant red grand piano and billowing curtains. We feel as though we have well and truly arrived!
We soon realise that dining at La Cantine Du Faubourg is more than just a luxurious setting with a menu to match, for each element of the restaurant is executed with the utmost of precision, from the beverages to the highly competent and incredibly efficient service.
La Cantine Du Faubourg is a restaurant where you can kick back and relax in the knowledge that your every need will be taken care of and despite the upmarket setting, there is no pomposity involved, and guests are made to feel immediately at home from the moment they cross the threshold. La Cantine du Faubourg may have originally opened its doors more than a decade ago, at Paris’ top fashion avenue, n°105 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Still, the coveted address has transitioned flawlessly into the dining landscape of Dubai. Providing a multi-faceted venue for a hip lunch, after-work drinks, a culinary adventure or even a pyjama party inspired brunch. Dining at La Cantine Du Faubourg is an all-encompassing experience and one that will likely leave a lasting impression.
As pleasing as the dining room appears, we cannot resist but venture out onto the terrace which feels like a hidden oasis with its olive trees, wooden furnishings and remarkable views to the Dubai skyline and the glass towers that line the Sheikh Zayed Road. Embracing al fresco dining season, we enjoy shady solace from the sun, perched on comfortable furnishings under the dappled shade cast by lush vegetation. It is here that our epicurean adventure begins…
The cuisine at La Cantine Du Faubourg may be French, but the menu offers culinary freedom that escapes the shackles of small portions and over expense for which many French restaurants are renowned. La Cantine, however, provides a focus on simplicity, where the ingredients speak for themselves and the food isn’t over-complicated with unnecessary embellishments. The quality ingredients speak for themselves over a double-page menu that includes raw dishes, caviar, hot and cold appetisers, fish and seafood, meat, pasta, and pour terminer (desserts).
We begin with a creamy Burrata served with datterino tomato and croutons for texture, a very Dubai dish no doubt, but one that is is generously portioned and works as a showcase as to how the simple cheese should be executed. We try to resist our typical go-to choices when dining on French cuisine, regrettable skipping the Escargots de Bourgogne and pan-seared foie gras with spiced date chutney and pickled mango, marking them down as an excuse to return on another occasion. Instead, we opt for the beautifully light sea bass carpaccio, and the resulting dish is one of discreet subtleties, where the delicate flavours of the fish are accentuated and elevated by a touch of truffle and pink peppercorn.
As we pour suivre the main courses we find the selection to be very appealing indeed, offering the likes of grilled lamb chops with cashews and dried apricot, veal Milanese, Grade A5 Wagyu striploin Kagoshima, walnut crusted sea bass and homemade parmesan gnocchi with trumpet mushrooms and white truffle. The varied menu offers so much appeal that we feel repeat visits are essential to grasp the excitement and intricacies of this particular menu. After much deliberation, we settle on the grilled octopus and aren’t disappointed. It’s a refined plate on which a single octopus tentacle takes centre stage, and rightfully so, for the mollusc offers a pleasing char to the incredibly tender tentacle, with additional texture provided in the form of ratte potatoes and a zesty yuzu dressing.
Despite visiting for a leisurely lunch, we’re unable to resist a peek at the dessert menu which includes Fact favourites such as banoffee, chocolate fondant and vanilla mille-feuille, yet we immediately find ourselves enamoured with the tarte au citron meringuée. This glorious dessert is a visual treat and offers an unexpectedly subtle lemon tart topped with magnificent peaks of glossy Italian meringue that is marshmallow-like in texture and utterly indulgent—the perfect complement to a post-dinner coffee.
La Cantine Du Faubourg effortlessly marries together the required elements for an outstanding dining experience while celebrating Joie de vivre. This Parisian restaurant remains a place to see and be seen, but don’t leave it too long (as we did), for La Cantine Du Faubourg is a sure-fire crowd-pleaser.