Important note: this review was written when Jason Atherton was cooking here, so the review should be treated with considerable caution given the different chef (Scott Price) now. It should also be noted that the relationship of Verre with Gordon Ramsay has, as of late 2011, ceased, though the same chef is continuing in place.
There’s no getting away from him. A team from Gordon’s main restaurant London opened Verre in 2001, and I have to say they are doing a very fine job indeed, producing a meal better than can be had at either Claridges or the Connaught in London (both under Ramsay’s supervision). The dining room is on the first floor at the surprisingly sleek and sophisticated Hilton in bustling Dubai Creek (I never thought I’d have "sleek" and "Hilton" in the same sentence, but there you are). The dining room is modern and elegant, with top-class white linen tablecloths – you have to pinch yourself to realise you are not in London.
The amuse-bouche of chilled pea soup was rich and excellent, and the breads here are baked fresh and delicious. The sea scallops were roasted and served with a superb caper and raisin dressing (sounds odd but it worked) and with baby raisin beignets giving a texture balance, along with a silky cauliflower puree – the sharp taste of the capers was an excellent foil to the gentle flavours of the cauliflower puree and scallops (18/20). The ravioli of lobster and salmon had excellent pasta and high quality salmon and lobster, a little marjoram adding a well chosen additional dimension, with an intensely flavoured veloute of lobster (17/20).
John Dory was roasted and served with wild mushrooms and an elegant veloute of ceps, with a little brandade of the John Dory on the side (18/20). The halibut was pan fried and offered with another fine ravioli, this time of langoustines, with a Sauternes sauce and a little oscietra caviar. There is a cheese board but you can’t get unpasteurised cheese here, so I skipped this. The service is excellent and even the coffee is top notch. Just don’t read the prices on the wine list or it will ruin your evening. The food itself for two came to under £90, and there is a long tasting menu from about £50, so this represents excellent value apart from the alcohol.