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The Act Of Dining -
Reviewed: The Act Dinner Show

The Act Of Dining - Reviewed: The Act Dinner Show

Once known as a swanky saloon where couples went to wine and dine and enjoy a healthy dose of people watching, the supper club has been making a come back in the world as a very popular destination – a place where art, music and fine food come together to draw in the most stylish of crowds. The Act Dubai seems to be pioneering this new-to-Dubai concept. Haute Dubai went in to investigate…

From what we have heard of The Act, we knew we were in for many surprises, but our expectations soon fell short of the kind of surprises that were coming our way. With a concept hailing from Las Vegas, The Act lives up to the city’s doctrine: 'What happens in there stays in there', with a 'no photography' sign on the door which reminded us of the backdoor of a high school musical.

But the scenery changed very quickly once that door was opened, and we were ushered in by a waitress dressed in a corset, one that matches the Victorian expression of the restaurant of course. Our table was facing the stage which is hard to miss, not because we were sitting facing it, but due to the shimmering golden theatre curtain flowing down from the ceiling. Once we were done noticing the stage, it took our eyes a moment to grasp all the other fascinating surroundings: Baroque balconies, Victorian-style tables and chairs and vintage-looking chandeliers that abound. Eager to sample the highly-regarded Peruvian-inspired cuisine, we wasted no time in asking for the menu. We were just about to choose our dishes when one of the performers sneaked up on us, starting the first of many sporadically short shows, which when we visited, revolved around the theme 'Toys in the Attic'.

The changeable high-octane shows, incorporating circus skills, dance and musical theatre, were liberal, edgy and never before witnessed in Dubai, not over dinner at least. It was as if the team behind this restaurant are more choreographers than chefs. Yet, the head chef was recently nominated for “Chef of the Year” at the region’s prestigious BBC Good Food Awards.

With the closing-curtains of the first act, an attractive selection of starters from the sharable set menu we had opted for arrived. We opened with tiradito de beef anticuchero which consists of seared tenderloin in togarashi spice, avocado and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Next, soft empanadas prepared with slow-cooked braised oxtail, followed by pulpo anticuchero grillado (grilled Spanish octopus) and spicy salmon ceviche; were in order. We were told that the salmon ceviche would tickle our taste buds – and tickle them, it did!

A couple of breath-taking short acts later and the main was served. Our selection of three main courses included a dish of pasta (tagliatelle a la huancaina y hongos de monte), roasted duck (arroz con pato) and steak (wagyu ojo de bife) with a side of grantinated potato (pastel de papa). While the steak was just fine, the pasta with black truffle and Peruvian chilli sauce was to-die-for good, and so was the roasted duck served with coriander and orange sauce.

After the delicious main course, the strawberry cheesecake we ordered for dessert seemed like it would tarnish the amazing mix of flavours our taste buds had already enjoyed but that thought quickly evaporated after the first spoonful of this savoury cheesecake . Apparently, it was prepared using macerated strawberries, black pepper and white balsamic reduction. By the time we finished our desert, the curtain call to ‘Toys in the Attic’ was due, but this dinner show will continue to run Monday to Wednesday for several weeks until another stunning act is choreographed.

Empanada de cola de buey (braised oxtail filled Peruvian pastry)

Ceviche de Salmon

Wagyu ojo de bife (grilled rib eye)

Arroz con pato (roasted duck, corriander rice & orange sauce)

Shangri-La Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai
+971 4 4409300 ext:726

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