Restaurant Review: La Residence

Nestled in the glorious Raffles Hotel lies a French restaurant with a Mediterranean twist that goes by the name of La Residence. Right from the tables and leather seats to the sparkly chandeliers the entire restaurant protrudes a very classy and elegant vibe (definitely not for casual dining) and the dimly set lighting of La Residence is perfect for a very glamorous and romantic date night (like the one we had).
We were lucky enough to sit down and have a chat with the chef himself, Fabrizio Lusenti, who literally blew us away. Not only was he so passionate about the food he prepares and portrays at La Residence, but his sincerity and eagerness to please and satisfy his customers is something we find rare and commendable.
We trusted our entire dinner into his hands (since he knew best) and we were left in anticipation as to what gastronomical marvel he’ll create for us. One point worth mentioning is that most of these dishes as served in tasting portions, so be rest assured that small quantities is something that isn’t entertained at La Residence.
As we got ourselves comfortable, we were immediately presented with two beautiful Fines De Claire No 3 Oysters served on a tray mounted with ice and a side of mignonette (a condiment made with minced shallots, cracked pepper and vinegar). The oysters were fresh and posed as a perfect start to our first course of the night.
We were then presented with a beautifully plated portion of Baby Calamari and Sicilian Prawns with pumpkin cream, wild mushrooms and pomegranate. The play of flavors and textures in this dish were quiet interesting, in a good way of course. The consistency of the pumpkin puree was perfect and seasoned well.
Our next course was the Landes Foie Gras with strawberry and onion marmalade. Foie Gras is a popular choice in the WhereMyFoodAt journal, so having this dish presented on our table was a pleasant surprise to us. Creamy and rich foie gras coated our palette lusciously and the slight sweetness of the marmalade was definitely necessary for a contrast in flavor. Absolutely delicious!
It was then time for the Roasted Scallops Salad with mango, asparagus, baby beetroot and almond sorbet. An intricately arranged dish, this salad obviously didn’t taste like your regular salads. The perfectly seared scallops went surprisingly well with the almond sorbet making this dish not only delightful to look at, but eat as well.
Next, we tried La Residence’s twist on Mac and Cheese but sampling the Macaroni Cheese Vintage Comté with truffle ragout. Definitely not for the health conscious but then again among majority of the food we eat, “healthy” is at the least of our priorities. The truffle ragout is what added to the richness of the dish and gave it that perfect earthy flavor. Also, it is worth mentioning that we’ve never seen a “mac and cheese” dish so elegantly presented.
Another favorite and well received dish on the table was the Gnocchi with violet potatoes and vegetables. The gnocchi was fluffy and soft and the pesto dressing balanced the heaviness of the dish.
The Sole Meunière with zucchini blossom and confit tomatoes was one of the most perfectly cooked dishes we’ve had at La Residence. The delicate arrangement of the zucchini blossom, tomatoes and olives helped the dish look very pretty and each of these condiments elevated the flavor of the sole which by itself tasted absolutely fresh and organic.
For our next course (eighth one if you’re keeping track), we had the best of them all, the Beef Cheek Bourguignon with autumn vegetables. What’s not to love in this dish? The beef was perfectly moist and juicy, the sauce was dense and packed with flavor, the potatoes were silky smooth and the mushrooms had the perfect bite to it. Definitely without a doubt, our dish of the day!
Our last two courses were sweet ones. We were presented with a beautiful Assortment of Tropical Sorbet – passion fruit, coconut, mango, guava and banana. We favored the banana and mango the most, however loved the texture and consistency of all the sorbets.
The best however was the Moelleux au Chocolat with wild berry and mascarpone sorbet. After we were done gazing at how beautifully presented this dessert was, we then began to tuck into this dessert which we would like to consider a very “fancy” chocolate fondant. The chocolate oozed out silky smooth as we cut into the dessert and the berries and sorbet wrapped up the dessert beautifully.
The Bill:
Baby Calamari and Sicilian Prawns – Dhs90
Foie Gras – Dhs85
Roasted Scallops Salad – Dhs105
Macaroni Cheese Vintage Comté – Dhs140
Gnocchi – Dhs70
Sole Meunière – Dhs190
Beef Cheek Bourguignon – Dhs95
Assortment of Tropical Sorbet – Dhs60
Moelleux au Chocolat – Dhs65

Ambience – 4.5/5
Service – 4/5
Food – 4/5
Value – 4/5

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