Good food and great views mean a business lunch menu at Vu makes more than just economic sense, writes Emily Shardlow
The business lunch menu at Vu in the Emirate Towers is something of a bargain. Three courses of unfussy and, for the most part, very tasty fare for Dh145 per person. The selection isn't huge but for that price you don't really expect it to be. For each course there is a choice of three dishes (meat, fish, or vegetarian for the starter and mains), so unless you're particularly picky, you should find something you like.
On arriving at the Emirates Towers, a high-speed lift whisks you up to the 50th floor and from there, the view unfolds. A floor-to-ceiling window runs along the length of the whole restaurant, which means that diners have a spectacular vantage point to enjoy their meal from.
I opted for a hearty starter and a lighter main course, while my companion did things the other way around. An open lasagne of sweetbreads, mushroom marmalade and a veal jus was warming and wintry, with the size of the portion preventing the intense flavours from being overwhelming. The sweetbreads were, thankfully, free of sinew; crisp on the outside, with a sweet, nutty taste. Layers of fresh pasta were mere millimetres too thick and a touch claggy, but by no means did this ruin the dish. My friend's cured salmon with pickled beetroot and grain mustard ice cream came simply but stylishly presented; the ice cream melted nicely into the slices of fresh fish and added an interesting element to what could have otherwise been a mundane offering.
Her main course of braised lamb shank was well received. The meat fell to pieces, just as it should, the mash had a buttery decadence to it, and a few pieces of tomato added a refreshing element to a rich dish. When it arrived it wasn't as hot as it should have been, but that was our only criticism. My Mediterranean-style tuna was given a hint of the Middle East, thanks to a delicious paprika chickpea purée, which was smooth and smoky, like an altogether elevated version of hummus. And now we reach the only major quibble I have with this meal. The tuna is advertised on the menu as being seared, a word that hints at the application of intense heat at some point along the way. The pale grey exterior of this piece of fish suggested otherwise though, as did the fact that it was served rather more medium, than the rare I'd requested and had a slightly tough texture.
Desserts were lovely, though - light and simple. Macerated strawberries with banana custard and strawberry sorbet were a well-paired combination, but it was the crème brulée that was the stand-out dish of the day. Served in a dainty bowl, with a thin, perfectly crisp layer of sugar, and a faint hint of coconut, it was refined and classy, without aspiring to be too flash - much like the restaurant itself. I think that is what I liked about this place so much, neither the food, service, nor decor try too hard, yet they still deliver.
Meal for two, including service, Dh290. Vu, Jumeirah Emirates Towers. Reservations 043198088 Reviews are conducted anonymously and meals are paid for by The National.