There is no denying that Enigma is a super fancy place. The tables are topped with ironed white cloths, each person gets a little couch especially for their handbags to rest on and the interiors feel so designer that it could get quite intimidating (It’s all Versace!) The truth is however, that there’s something about it that doesn’t allow you to feel any of the pretentiousness that you would expect.
“I love Persian food” my friend yelled excitedly when I called her to ask if she would be my dining buddy for that night. Good, I thought to myself, I wanted an expert with me. Although that expert mainly eats Persian kebabs in old Dubai on the side of the road, it was still great to have someone who has had experience with Iranian food.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Persian cuisine. Nonetheless I knew the night at Enigma would be nothing short of amazing. I had eaten there quite a few times, back when it was Turkish (Enigma changes their concept regularly, to keep things fresh). The experience was always pleasant, but the prices were more on the higher end, making it slightly exclusive and not exactly available to all. In their defence, their head chef does have Michelin stars. Chef Mansour Memarian designed this new ‘Taste of Persia’ menu with dishes that were more affordable than any of the previous themes at Enigma. With appetizers ranging around Dh45 and main courses from Dh90 to around Dh150.
The menu is designed with a sharing style concept in mind and the best part is that a lot of the dishes are being prepared live. Like literally on the table in front of you. The menu also features light, simple and well known classic dishes, which two or more are able to eat together. The dinner started with a complementary greeting from the chef, which included a variety of fresh herbs with walnuts, homemade Persian cheese, roasted Persian bread, olives and some homemade pickles. I love a nice freebie, especially when the quality is this good. We had a Salad Shirazi to start, which was made with chopped up cucumbers, ripe tomatoes, white onions and dried mint scented with lime, my favourite appetizer, which was the Salad Chupan made of Watermelon, cress, candied olives, walnuts and homemade Persian cheese. In my opinion, no combination tops watermelon and cheese. Kind of weird but totally bomb.
Definitely don’t skip their ‘Divine Yoghurts”. We tried their Masto Laboo, yoghurt made with red beetroot and cumin.
The yoghurt stayed on the table, (I made sure of that!) as the rest of our food came. For our main course we enjoyed the signature Kabab Versace, which was made with sliced triple a beef tenderloin rolls marinated with walnut and sweet basil smoked on charcoal. We decided to try a seafood dish, the Marinated Hammour with onions and green pepper.
Desert was one of the live dishes prepared right at our table, the chefs brought over the Faludeh, it was made with Saffron ice cream, glass noodles in rosewater with homemade syrups assembled at the table with a dose of liquid nitrogen, which I stupidly asked to have poured over my hand, so I could find out how cold it really was. It was so cold, it felt hot on my palms. You can tell that at Enigma, cooking is storytelling and through the unique dishes. And this story is the journey through Persia.
Location Palazzo Versace Dubai Cost Approximately Dh200 per person Timings Monday to Saturday, from 7pm to 11pm Contact 04 5568830