Chef Izu Works His Magic at Carine

Just a few months old eatery located in the heart of the Emirates Golf Club, Carine is owned and operated by Chef Izu Ani who is the culinary genius behind several eateries in Dubai, including The Lighthouse, La Serre, La Petite Maison, and Izu Brasserie & Bakery. Now he has recently launched Carine, a cozy, yet elegant venue emanating French charm, as a tribute to his wife Carine, and serving up some of the freshest French Mediterranean food in town.

With floor-to-ceiling windows, we sat indoors as the terrace is closed during the summer and enjoyed the stunning views. Each table has a large bottle of organic olive oil which we were informed was from Chef Izu’s own farm in Greece. Served in a small bowl, a huge Sicilian lemon is squeezed and some vinegar is added to create the most divine dipping sauce for the fresh breads that Chef Izu is so renowned for.

Our starters included three key signature dishes; we had their burrata with marinated grilled peppers, rocket leaves, and pesto. Hands down, it was the best burrata I have tried—loaded with creaminess and done perfectly. The quinoa salad with confit duck included orange segments and was packed with flavor and unlike most duck, not at all tough or chewy. And finally, the grilled tiger prawns with apple-harissa relish were juicy and spicy with a jus that was ideal for dipping the fresh bread.

From the mains, we enjoyed the roasted fillet of sea bass with tomato sauce and sumac rice which was a great combination. The tomatoes lent an understated tart flavor which went well with rice in this favorite of mine. The potato gratin, a French classic, of course goes well with everything and the star of the evening: the lamb cutlet was three beautifully cooked lamb cutlets on pita bread with spiced aubergine. It was  succulent with the mint yogurt sauce and done beautifully. We also had the super aromatic truffle rigatoni which was a rich, fragrant dish we all loved.

Desserts included an extremely rich and chocolaty Molten Brownie Marshmallow with Anglaise cream which was poured over the top. The Passion-fruit cheesecake and the Tiramisu were also perfect, end-of-a good-meal treats that satisfied my inner sweet tooth completely.

The Verdict: Carine is a place to take friends and family not to only to sample Chef Izu’s super fresh and flavorful dishes, but to relax and take in the beautiful ambiance and the French/ Mediterranean style hospitality.