We know what you are thinking. Another day, another Michelin-star chef is opening a restaurant in the UAE. Does Dubai really need another celebrity chef eatery? Is this place worth the hype? What makes it so special?
The answer is yes. Yes Marina Social is worthy of the hype (and then some), yes Dubai needs another celebrity chef eatery and yes we will be returning with bells on, thank you very much Jason Atherton. What makes it so special? Well, there's the incredible food of course, the unreal service, passionate waiters, quirky touches, down to earth atmosphere... But lets start from the beginning shall we?
We visited Marina Social on a busy Thursday evening. We were welcomed in such a way that instantly made us feel at home, made us feel special, but didn't put us on edge. The balance was perfect. A trolley came towards us almost immediately, wheeling a refreshing apertif our way as we looked over the menu.
Next a polite and knowledgable waiter was on hand to explain the concept, the menu and the signature dishes and lead us on our foodie journey...
Stand out creations include Marina Social's take on the British 'tea and toast' – the sharing starter comes on a cute wooden shelf display cabinet and features a teapot filled with mushroom tea, a jug of parmesan milk, decadent marrow butter and homemade sourdough toast. The Social Dog is also a mighty fine entrée, and features a plump duck and foie gras sausage with caramelised onions, cheddar cheese and mustard mayonnaise wrapped in brioche.
Although we did not try it, the pan-fried squab pigeon has been doing the rounds on social media and is said to be incredible, and we must say that every dish we tried was perfection (and we're eager to return to taste the things we missed). Even a humble raw salad of snow peas sent our tastebuds to heaven. So simple, so clean and fresh, and yet so moorish. Divine.
If we had to highlight just one dish it would be the burrata. This is no ordinary burrata and there is a reason that Atherton calls it 'the Instagram dish' – it's concealed within a big fat juicy tomato and comes with a dehydrated tomato salad for zing. So fun. And super tasty.
Marina Social is currently open for dinner seven days a week and the Intercontinental Dubai Marina eatery will soon open for weekend lunches according to our source. Visitors will soon be able to enjoy the expansive terrace overlooking the Dubai Marina as the Dubai temperatures begin to cool for the autumn/winter season. To find out more or to make a reservation visit the Marina Social website here.