We had seen the photos with the often hilarious (and borderline scandalous) descriptions on Instagram. We had heard of the secret-but-not-so-secret-entrance via the parking lot. We had also read the words “SHUCK ME” off many Facebook, Instagram and blog posts. And we were convinced we wanted to check it out!
The Maine Oyster Bar & Grill really kind of has it all – beautiful decor, delicious food, amazing service and staff, way too many beautiful faces (prerequisite for the job, maybe?) and a perfect playlist. By speaking to Canadian Head Chef Liam Breen, you can tell the amount of attention and love that was put into getting this place together. Everything from the menu (somethings might change), to re-establishing what a brunch really should be, to getting the most gorgeous wall behind the bar just right, it all comes together very nicely.
If we zone in on food, here’s some advice: wear pants with an elastic waist band. You’ll need it. The menu flows in a most unique way (they place Bloody Marys with the food…because they’re incredibly intelligent and consider it an integral part of the meal, as one should) so take a good read before you decide on anything!
To start, bread is served with roasted garlic and butter. So even if you didn’t want bread…you are now forced to eat it. Bread and garlic butter combo = 10, She said, She said = 0!
Lobster rolls aren’t my most favorite thing. But if I had pick a lobster roll, I’d pick this. It was delicious. The bread was lightly toasted and the filling wasn’t over bearing. Also, you see those potato crisps on the side? – they make those in-house. I told them they need to bag and sell them. They’re so addictive.
Grilled Octopus with a putanesca sauce and sunchoke puree. Delicious.
Jerk Crabacado. I really loved this dish. I mean it’s crab, jerk and avocado. What could go wrong?
The winner of the starters round (yes, we ate all this just for starters and no, you aren’t allowed to judge) were the Fish Tacos. We were a table of three and the order has two tacos. It’s a good thing we are all friends. In hind sight, get your own order of this one, trust me. The fish filling is so tasty and has the right amount of kick to it!
We were ready to jump into
maines mains but Sous Chef Saradhi “Prada” Dakara insisted there was no way we were leaving without trying oysters. I should take a minute to mention here, I’ve had oysters once in my life before and I didn’t leave that experience a cheering fan. When asked “how do you like it”, I politely said “it tastes…like the ocean.” I think the person took it as a complement… like I was referring to the freshness of the oyster. I wasn’t. That’s all it was to me – the ocean. Anyway, given it was being insisted, I gave it another whirl. Or in this case, a shuck.
There’s Jersey, Fine De Claire, Princess De Kermancy, and Umami, served with mignonette, horseradish, lemon and tabasco. They also do AED 10 per piece every weekday from 6pm – 8pm.
I dunked QUITE a bit of tobasco on mine and honestly, it wasn’t so bad!
Now…we move on to the “maines”.
Fish and Chips. Because it’s on a menu and would be ridiculous not to order. The batter wasn’t super thick and you could actually taste the fish – making these a winner!
Spicy Shrimp Linguini. The sauce on this pasta was really fresh and definitely had a kick to it.
Halibut served on a bed of smashed potatoes, beef bacon and peas – all smothered in beautiful creamy bearnaise.
We really wanted dessert when we got there. There were so many things we wanted to try – the rocky road brownie, sticky toffee pudding or key lime pie however, we just really couldn’t take a breath of air in let alone eat anything else.
We’ve heard that this place has a completely different vibe at night. To quote the chef – “it turns into a totally different place”. We’re convinced! We will be checking out soon and you should too!
Location – Double Tree by Hilton, JBR
DISCLOSURE: We were guests of The Maine Oyster Bar & Grill but as always, all opinions are our own.