Cherrie Blossom has a lot going for it. Sadly good food and service aren’t on that list. In fact, Cherrie Blossom turned out one of the biggest disappointments of my otherwise fantastic culinary adventure of 2016. Why? Perhaps because I expected too much. Perhaps because it’s located in one of the most beautiful locations in Dubai, the picturesque Jumeirah Fishermen’s Harbour, rubbing shoulders with hidden gems like Alto Mar, the Mint Leaf and Bait Misk. Perhaps it’s because I read too much into the reviews.
Cherrie Blossom is a restaurant which has lost its identity. I suspected this when I first looked at the menu. And I knew I was right when the overtly-timid waitress highlighted the newest addition to their menu – steak. Really? Isn’t this supposed to be an Asian restaurant? We went there thinking it was because it used to be listed as “Pan-Asian” on Zomato. On checking I’ve found this has now been changed to “International”, whatever that means.
Location is…unbelievable; without doubt one of the best in Dubai. The interior of the restaurant is actually really nice with an obvious amount of time, effort and money invested.
There are a number of seating/dining areas to choose from; as one would expect the best view is from the roof-top, where we were seated, which gives you a sublime, panoramic 180° of the harbour and beyond.
I suspect the outdoor, ground floor experience is no less enjoyable; the harbour at eye-level has its own magical appeal.
Faced with a change in the type of cuisine offered by the restaurant we decided to order a cross-section. Sitting on the edge of a fishermen’s harbour, seafood was a must so we ordered the Cherrie Blossom Seafood Platter. We also ordered a Moroccan Chicken Tagine and, in honour of their ‘Pan-Asian’ days, a Thai Green Curry with Prawns.
Our food took over half an hour to arrive. During this unacceptably long time our table was visited only once, and that for a bottle of flat San Pellegrino to be dropped off. Nothing was offered in the way of bread, crackers, etc. to keep us busy with until our food arrived.
Our Seafood Platter, which was cold by the time we got it, comprised of two fillets of tasteless white fish, two or three Jumbo prawns which were suspiciously mushy (we didn’t eat them), a couple of pieces of limp (also tasteless) squid and, a couple more smaller prawns. Really? Since when does big prawn, small prawn constitute variety?
The tagine was just as bad. In fact it was not a tagine at all. It was a bad excuse for rock-hard, bone-dry chicken breast curry – dreadful. And the potatoes were half raw.
The Thai Green Curry saved them from the third gong. Whist no-where near authentic, in comparison with the other two dishes, it was delightful (but let’s be honest, cook anything in coconut cream and its bound to taste good). We actually used the curry sauce to flavour the fish fillets. So now we know what green curry with fish tastes like, quite nice thank you very much.
Service was always going to be something of a mission impossible, with one waitress handling three tables, one of which had a party of six. All credit to her, she tried hard…but failed miserably; let down as much by the lack of a second pair of helping hands, as by a slow kitchen. We felt bad for her because she was obviously doing her best. The manager, who took my reservation, and works the tables on the ground floor is a pleasant chap. He listened to my grumblings, apologised and gave me a consolatory 20% discount off my bill – I’m surprised he let me pay at all.
Until these guys get themselves seriously sorted, I cannot recommend this restaurant. Consider other (any other) options.