Fun and buzzy with the most insane views across the whole of Dubai marina, Jason Atherton’s Marina Social is a must-visit spot if you’re heading out to Dubai, located on the first floor of the Intercontinental Hotel.
With a glorious London style telephone box at the hotel entrance, there’s also a gleaming pillar box red post box in the restaurant, staying true to Atherton’s British roots. The menu is also a reflection of true British dishes, from the sharer plate of beef wellington to the classic fish and chips along with some dishes which have a Mediterranean feel. Although the restaurant may have the name of a celebrity chef, this isn’t just ordinary fare and you’re in for a truly spectacular feast at Marina Social.
Unapologetically sociable, there’s a great vibe as soon as you sit down, while the staff are chatty and happy to help with any request – including taking our many photos against that glorious and glitzy panoramic backdrop!
We started with a glass of fizz, (because, well, why not?!) whilst feasting on straight-out-of-the-oven sourdough bread, slathered in far too much salty butter! My friend proclaimed her gluten-free bread was right up there with the best she’s ever had at London’s The Savoy, so we knew we were off to a good start!
Starters followed – Atlantic crab for me, with pea-shaped pieces of apple, avo and orange caviar and a green jelly canopy with black Avruga caviar decorating the dish. Sweet and delicate with the sharpness of the apple, the smooth taste of avo and the pop of the caviar made for an absolutlely gorgeous dish.
My friend went for the beetroot ‘rose’ with goats cheese which was slightly lacking in goats cheese, but presented beautifully with thin layers of the beetroot making up the petals of a flower. Beetroot consommé was then poured around the bowl for added juiciness, while contrasting crunch came from the walnuts, complementing the flavour of the burrata.
We also tried Marina Social’s signature starter – an unbelievably flavorful tomato stuffed full of creamy burrata and served with 25 year aged balsamic and sea salt. A cheeky little shot glass of pure, clear tomato juice arrives with this dish to heighten the flavour.
Mains were a tough choice, because there are just so many on the menu. Torn between the honey glazed duck breast and the risotto of butter poached lobster (how good does that sound?!), I eventually decided on the ‘you can’t go wrong with a steak from Jason Atherton’ and ordered the 300g signature Black Angus ribeye which arrived just as I’d asked for it – medium, with a rich peppercorn sauce and the finest triple cooked chips with that wonderful crunch.
An avid seafood eater, my friend ordered the sea bass which comes ‘pan fried’ on a bed of aubergine and peppers caponata, along with a scoop of rich basil pesto to really heighten those flavours and get the taste buds going. ‘One of the best’ she’s had, was the review after devouring every last mouthful.
While Marina Social could just be another of Dubai’s very nice restaurants, (it’s become somewhat of a foodie capital of late), this restaurant really excelled with its service. Getting the balance just right so that the waiting staff are just passing at the right time or asking how you’re evening is going at just the right moment, shows fantastic training from Atherton. Their wine knowledge was also excellent and we enjoyed a number of gorgeous reds and whites throughout our evening, all which paired perfectly with each individual dish.
If you’re heading out to Dubai, Marina Social should be top of your list for a memorable night of incredible food, impeccable service and insane views of the marina.