Review: LaLuz Restaurant in DIFC

The Spanish restaurant helmed by an ex-elBulli chef promises the works – and then delivers too.

We showed up at the latest Spanish restaurant in the city, LaLuz, at 7.30pm. By then the suits had left Gate Village, thankfully stripping the area of its stuffy business vibe and replacing it with a welcome degree of blissful calm. Stunning art galleries and artificial water bodies paved our path to the restaurant that was prepping for dinner. Enter, and you’ll find a well-stocked bar to your right. More importantly, keep an eye out for the case of wines behind it – later on in the evening, we’re told that most of the wines here are sourced from a single family-owned vineyard that specialises in limited-edition batches of wine that pair perfectly well with the food if you leave the selection to their well-informed somm.

We turn left and head to the dining tables. The wait staff quickly mill around the table and politely help us settle down before bringing us the first course of a pre-set menu. Served first are spherical olives that quiver all the way from the table to our palette. The globules of olive reduction tell you one thing – the chef’s understands molecular gastronomy. After all chef Alain Devahive is an ex-elBulli hand having trained and worked at what was undoubtedly one of the world’s best restaurants of its time.

La Luz, Dubai

Ceviche at La Luz, Dubai.

But unlike elBulli, LaLuz isn’t about molecular gastronomy and theatre on your plate – here, it’s about simple, neatly plated food that nails the tasting brief. Case in point, the thinly sliced beef carpaccio with foie gras infused in it. Ditto for the lobster, wrapped in avocado and topped with caviar and edible flowers.

LaLuz restaurant, Dubai

LaLuz restaurant, Dubai

The main course pulls up in the form of Mediterranean black rice with a prawn carpaccio and seafood foam on top. The other dish served along with it was octopus dipped in potato foam and finished with smoked paprika, showing what a little creativity can do to turn around a classic dish. Before the desserts, LaLuz has one more main course to send our way – a roasted meat canelón with another ace ingredient worked into it – foie gras.

The desserts are a treat and we’d recommend the torrija – milky bread that’s fried and caramelised, typically served during Easter in Spain, and comes plated along with yeast ice cream. Pair it with a sweet wine, and you’ll finish the meal on a truly high note. The entire experience of dining in this restaurant doesn’t feel rushed and the overall vibe is sociable. If you want some fine Catalonian cuisine and searching for a central location to get to, you know exactly where to go.