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Restaurant Review: La Plage by French Riviera, Jumeirah Al Qasr, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates

La Plage by French Riviera is an exquisite beachside Mediterranean restaurant at Jumeirah Al Qasr in Dubai, led by acclaimed chef Kim Joinié-Maurin.

By Georgie Bentley-Buckle  |  April 1, 2022

If the Côte D’Azure and Dubai have one thing in common, they are synonymous with luxury. Introducing a glimmer of the French Riviera to The Middle East is Jumeirah Al Qasr’s newly opened restaurant La Plage by French Riviera: a smart but equally bohemian beach restaurant with an elegant Mediterranean style menu.

La Plage is one of the latest fine-dining concepts from The Jumeirah Group, leaders of luxury in Dubai with 24 properties across eight countries. With a private beach, and overlooked by the striking Burj Al Arab, (the city’s iconic sail-shaped building) it brings the French’s famous hospitality to life on its secluded shoreline.

La Plage by French Riviera
La Plage is one of the latest fine-dining concepts from The Jumeirah Group, leaders of luxury in Dubai with 24 properties across eight countries

Exuding Côte D’Azure glamour, on a breezy but warm spring evening in March, La Plage momentarily removed us from the manicured bustle of urban life, despite being located in the centre of the city. Set to the soundtrack of the ocean, the restaurant’s setting is a textured mix of rustic rope and driftwood, interjected with pink orchids. This is the setting for a menu that combines French classics with modern interpretations, catering to guests throughout the sun-soaked days, before stretching into dusk for lazy, laissez-faire dinners.

Classics include familiar French favourites such as oysters or steak tartare, to clever modern interpretations (one being an ingenious signature caramelized onion with parmesan cheese ice cream) which, this alone, my guests will return for. Hot and cold dishes (we were told) are designed for sharing; however, the options available did not seem to reflect this style – a classic French consommé soup being one example.

La Plage by French Riviera food
Classics include familiar French favourites such as oysters or steak tartare, to clever modern interpretations.

Aside from a recommended thin and crispy pizzetta truffle we collectively tear apart, we each order our own dish to start, washed down with magnums of pale Minuity rosé. These included oysters on ice, tartare de boeuf which was tasty but missing a finishing touch from perhaps a suitable condiment, and the wildly popular caramelized onion with parmesan cheese ice cream – which to the unknowing eye was disguised as the classic tarte tatin. Other examples available include an avocado and tomato salad, caviar – oddly served with mashed potato, and a salade niçoise.

Unsurprisingly, truffle trailblazes its way across the main dishes: from a black truffle rigatoni with parmesan cream and beef jus to truffle fries and purée de pomme de terre. In my opinion, the steaks truly shine at La Plage. Choose from either the filet de boeuf (180g USDA prime tenderloin) with creamy mashed potatoes and a red wine bourguignon sauce which I savoured; or the contre-filet de boeuf (a 250g black Angus striploin) served with a black pepper sauce. Sticking with the seaside theme, seafood dishes include a full platter of fruits de mer – (featuring octopus, calamari and langoustines), dover sole or Mediterranean sea bass with a white wine emulsion.

La Plage by French Riviera
Head to the beachfront at Jumeirah Al Qasr where a new seaside paradise – La Plage, awaits

With a mostly savoury palate, I often overlook desserts – I wouldn’t recommend you do so at La Plage. The sweet star of the show included a crème brulée style French toast, alongside a rich chocolate dessert. Meanwhile, dishes are matched with a list of sea-style cocktails. Choose from the riviera sour: made with pisco, black rice, lime, rhubarb and aquafaba, the beetroot mary: mixed with beetroot juice and a spice blend, and the signature cucumber martini with juniper spirit, cucumber, lime and elderflower.

Head chef Kim Joinié-Maurin is the mastermind behind the menu at La Plage, notably outshining our waitress’ unenthusiastic demeanour. Cited as one of the world’s most innovative chefs, and the former culinary pioneer at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah’s Skyview Bar and Restaurant – for more than a decade Kim has worked with the world-famous, multi-Michelin starred French chef, Joël Robuchon. This wealth of experience recreating the finest French food is apparent throughout his ingenious creations, transporting diners to the charisma of the Côte D’Azure.

La Plage by French Riviera
Head chef Kim Joinié-Maurin is the mastermind behind the menu at La Plage

Factbox

Address: Beachfront, Jumeirah Al Qasr King Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud St – Umm Suqeim St – Dubai
Phone: +971 04 432 3232
Website: jumeirah.com/en/dine/dubai/al-qasr-la-plage-by-french-riviera