London calling: Why everyone should visit this buzzing botanical eatery in Dubai

The London Project encapsulates the soul of England's capital
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London calling: Why everyone should visit this buzzing botanical eatery in Dubai

You’d be forgiven for thinking Dubai’s new dining experience, The London Project, was an export from England. In fact, it’s a homegrown concept promising “a unique dining destination and social movement”. 

Brits missing London won't regret a visit 

Eager to see these claims in motion, we visited the restaurant on Bluewaters Island to taste the British menu and sip mocktails in the botanical garden. But before that, we had to find it. Basically, get as close to the huge, not-yet-opened wheel called Ain Dubai as possible and then you’ll see the entrance. Once inside, the split-level restaurant and bar's interior is nothing short of magical. Décor is an urban jungle, and upstairs the garden for drinks is modelled on a wild, overgrown English country garden. Instagram, eat your heart out.

We sit outside on the second floor and by 8pm (it was a Thursday) both the outdoor and indoor upstairs seating was full. Good news travels fast, clearly, and there was a lively, but not noisy, atmosphere paired with a mellow house DJ. Plus, the views are really breathtaking. Look out across the beautifully lit Arabian Gulf, or gaze up to the world's largest wheel. Spoilt? Us?! 

Welcome to the garden

The 'London eclectic menu' showcases the freshest, organic and world-class ingredients inspired from both the city’s street and fine food.  The menu is designed to be shared with friends (the more you invite the more variety comes to the table) and we tucked into burrata, hand-dived scallops served with avocado puree, purple potato tacos and a take on the classic fish and chips - all served from an open-plan kitchen. 

When dessert stops being the after-party entertainment and becomes the belle of the ball

Back to the interior, and in-between the shrubbery there’s a big focus on artworks, with the venue boasting a number of specially commissioned, genuinely masterful works of art adorning the walls.

Admittedly, it’s tough to truly encapsulate the heart and soul of London without physically being there, but every aspect (apart from running out of English breakfast tea... oops) has been carefully considered by the two DXB-based project founders, Stephen Valentino and Keith West. We left The London Project feeling full of nutritious and inventive dishes and a new appreciation for Dubai and it's spectacular views. You'll find us here going forward.

The London Project is open daily from midday to late. Dishes start from Dhs55. Call (+971) 56 913 4699 to make a reservation  

Photos: Supplied