Dusty's in Dubai is like eating in a treehouse

DIFC welcomes another restaurant to its hub, strengthening its claims to be a legitimate hotspot.

August 4, 2016

Al Fattan Currency House in Dubai's financial district is full to the brim with places to check out. Joining Cle, Sass Café, and R Trader is Dusty’s, a casual and calm restaurant that’s spot on for a chilled dinner with a pal.

Sitting inside is a bit like being in a treehouse as planks of wood, bits of crate and beams line walls and floors. Large columns are covered with bits of old posters and strange comics from France and Japan. Is that a campfire? No, it’s the orange glow from some discreet lighting.

We felt this might be the sort of house that Mad Max would live in, although we doubt he’s in one place long enough to put down roots and focus on interior design.  

A quick scan of the menu and everything sounds very ‘orderable.’ You want it all. The dishes sound simple, inviting, comforting. The concept, however, may seem a little muddled. 

Some of the menu is something close to refined sports bar food: wagyu sliders, cheesy garlic bread, lobster tacos. But other dishes are just plain posh: beef carpaccio, black cod marinated in miso, a fillet steak. Decide what mood you’re in (pub or posh, or perhaps both) and navigate your way carefully through the menu.

Those lobster tacos we mentioned (AED 80) were the highlight of the starters. Three crisp tacos were crammed with shreds of lobster and a puree of mango, avocado and coriander. The cheesy garlic bread (AED 36) was a huge portion and we suspect you’ll wolf it down moreishly within five minutes of taking your table.

The chermoula seabass (AED 140) sounded interesting, but the North African spice used to marinate the fish didn’t really arrive on the tastebuds. The feta and courgette salad on the side, however, was a lovely, clean idea. Similarly, the crispy duck salad (AED 85) was a well-judged combination of salty duck, fresh greens and juicy pomegranate seeds.

Ultimately, Dusty’s is another welcome addition to this DIFC hotspot that has plenty of personality, which is a much sought-after quality in Dubai.

Rating 6.8 out of 10