Boho is the boys from the Meating Room’s second restaurant. Bigger, bolder and more importantly – licensed, it is the sixth and final of the restaurants to open at the Studio One Hotel in Dubai Studio City. Located on the left-wing mezzanine floor, its interior, although not the prettiest, is instantly appealing. And that maybe be due to the extensive use of wood and shrubbery (plastic). A full glass display on one end allows you to look into the hustle and bustle of the kitchen but pride of place is taken by the bar, in the middle of the restaurant. You can choose from high table and chairs to dine at or more conventional seating. Both are equally comfortable.
The food at Boho is amazing. I feel much of that’s because they’ve successfully managed to bring across much of the Meating Room’s DNA, and also some of their most popular dishes like their orgasmicly good, must order lamb chops – the only lamb chops in town better than my favourite at Al Damyati & Iskandaron in Karama. These perfectly spiced and cooked chops work as well as a starter or an accompaniment with drinks as they do as a main. Speaking of starters, this is one place where you want to look over the soups and salads, smile and head straight for the appetizers.
I’ve tried the Bihari Spice Chicken Tikka, Boti Licious (grilled meat), Chicken Wings Inferno, BBQ Chicken Wings, and the Eggplant Dip & Chips. Every time I have been to Boho, I have had the lamb chops as a starter. The eggplant chips and mutabbal-like dip are delightful. The BBQ chicken wings are too. I’m not a big fan of the inferno wings though, another cross over from Karama, as I find the sauce too floral. I loved the taste of the chicken tikka but not its over tenderised, almost mushy texture. I’ve actually flagged this only to be told that most of their customers prefer their tikka like this. Hmm.
There are two ways to go with the mains, contemporary Indian or International. Should you mix the two? Unless you feel comfortable eating a burger with daal makhani on the side, I don’t think so nor do I think that was the intention of the creators. Having had both, I actually prefer the international section more, specifically the Lokum-Grill Tenderloin which is grilled on a hot stone plate (in pure butter) at your table.
The Truffle Quinoa Risotto is exquisite and one of the vegetarian highlights of an otherwise carnivore-biased menu. And then there is the Banana Leaf Wrap Grill Hamour which is deliriously good. I have not yet tried their signature Boho burger, but I am told it is worth every one of the 120 Dirhams it costs.
The Indian section is cute. I’m sure it’ll be a huge hit with the Western pallet (=white people). Everything is beautifully presented and somewhat milder spice-wise and creamier that in pukka Indian restaurants. This is more Indego by Vineet and Mint Leaf of London than Jaffer Bhai’s or Sthan. And although I’m more of a Karama/Meena Bazaar kind of guy, I liked the Comfort Chicken 68 (butter chicken to you and me) but not so much the Daal Makhani which did not have the depth I expected. The breads were lovely though. The fact that you can have a cold pint of draft beer with your curry makes up for everything though.
The dessert section of the menu is understandably short and sweet (no pun intended); I’d be surprised if anyone would have space for dessert. I only tried some because one of their two hugely talented chefs, Mert, insisted. I liked both the Chocolate Tiramisu and the Trio Milk Cake which is the least sweet of the two (the Japanese will love this for its toned-down sweetness). Chef Mert is Turkish and mainly handles the grills and BBQ (and lokum steak) whereas Chef Ram, a Meating Room veteran, manages behind the scenes. It’s a harmonious formula which is reflected in their delicious food. Now if only we can get Chef Mert to do a Salt Bae before serving the lokum…
The service at Boho is as delicious as its food. Irrespective of who you are, you are treated like a retuning regular from the minute you step into the restaurant. If you live locally and have visited Kickers in Sport City you may recognise manager, Ninad. He heads a team of super friendly barmen, wait staff and servers who include, smiliest of the lot, Vincy – also from Kickers.
Together they will wine and dine you like few other restaurants in Dubai. I am absolutely smitten with this restaurant. It’s everything the Meating Room was and more. Irrespective of where you live in Dubai, this little restaurant in Studio City is well worth a detour.
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Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue. Join me on Instagram @ravenousxerxes or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.