This is “La Maison du Saumon” aka The House of Salmon which has become renowned in both Beirut and now Dubai. During a visit to Dubai, I had to check out the Dubai version of my favorite restaurant. I must honestly add, I was a tad curious especially that it was located within the Mall of the Emirates!
The silver Salmontini inscription at the doorway proudly welcomes us into the restaurant, which was cozily nestled away from the rest of the mall with other culinary houses.
Once inside, we were greeted by the soft din of muted voices by a welcoming staff, who are mostly Lebanese, creating a hushed but tranquil feeling reflected in the he pastel hues and recessed lighting of the two-tiered dining room.
The place that accommodates 120 people in the dinning and over 20 people on its superlative alcohol bar is simply cozy without being claustrophobic. A six square-meters painting by Ghada Saghiyeh, a renowned Lebanese artist hangs in the restaurant. Just pass by to have a look; you’ll understand why I pointed it out.
Tall windows at the far end of the room shows a view of the indoor ski slopes. What an impressive restaurant! The minute you’re in, you feel that you are on a trip around the world. Imagine having a Scottish salmon, with Indian rice, looking at the French Alps ski resort?
True to the restaurant’s name, the menu boasts a lavish spread of salmon delights in each of its savory forms, from raw carpaccio and sashimi to grilled ricotta-stuffed salmon and even fried salmon (‘fish and chips’ on their lunch special). Salmontini has a wide selection of salads, sashimi platters, grilled platters and more – enough to entice the hungry person in me. The best part is that the menu is simple and easy to read.
Taking the order, the waiter says, “Our salmon is prepared following traditional methods. We have our own smokehouse on wood fire.”
Yes indeed, everything is home made. It was a hard choice to make, but I chose to have the Crab Meat Salad: Super fresh crab, not the usual pink colored crabs you find in supermarkets, with a mixture of fresh vegetables, mango cubes, covered with a freshly cut crab marinated in a soft savory sauce.
The Alaskan Black Cod is sweet and pure. White from the inside, black from the outside, not chewy, every piece of the fish is separate. It is a very hard dish to prepare, but the Lebanese chef at Salmontini, with more than 10 years experience has mastered the art of this dish – I add, perfectly.
Ricotta Stuffed Fillet with chives sauce is a big piece of filet, filled with ricotta cheese in the middle, which comes with wild rice and sliced vegetables, sautéed in butter and herbs.
Selection of Maki and Sashimi: Very Fresh, large pieces and some of them are exclusive signature pieces to Salmontini with unique and crunchy taste.
I must say, the experience reminded me of home – the Salmontini in Beirut that I am used to and enjoy.You must experience the passion I have for this place.
Salmontini opens 7 days a weak, lunch and dinner time.