Lido is the all-day dining restaurant at the QE2 in Mina Rashid. Located on the Quarter Deck of this once proud symbol of British style and luxury, its shambles of an interior ctrl-alt-deleted all the romanticism and nostalgia I had towards the QE2. In fact, it felt to me more like a cheap three-star package holiday venue than the main dining area of an iconic luxury liner.
The food was no better. Yes, the buffet offered variety but quality – absolutely not. The chef manning the live noodle station was a chatty, smiley young man who, on the strength of the noodle dish he served me, should have been handcuffed, blindfolded and taken out to the main deck and…thrown overboard. Yes, it was that bad. I tried a (very) little bit of everything (the sacrifices I make for my reviews) and there was nothing – absolutely nothing, which I would go back for.
Service, when a server eventually graced our table, was an exercise in friendly incompetence. Imagine, we’re a corporate party table of twenty in a let-the-wine-flow kind of a mood. We start by ordering a bottle each of red and white, clearly telling our waiter to replace as required. So, what does he do? He brings one bottle of red and…leaves. He doesn’t pour, just leaves it on the table and trots off to God knows where – really? Of course, two toasts later we’re ready for our next bottle. So, we actually spend much of our meal trying to get someone to serve us their cheapo Dhs 30 wine which they are selling us at Dhs 500! Our waiter finally returned (at dessert) with our bottle of white! Unforgivable.
My experience aboard the QE2 was not an entire disaster. There’s a small, old school bar just before the entrance of Lido. The bartender is a cool dude Filipino who helped us run the half-off, happy hour gauntlet right down to its limit at the stroke of 8pm. So, the bar and an after-dinner lean on the balcony of the outdoor deck helped balance out some the negativism from the Lido. But all in all, I was disappointed. My childhood images of the QE2 have been dashed forever. For some reason, Dubai’s pixie dust has not worked on this one. Consider other options.
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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.