This latest incarnation of Maine, officially known as The Maine Land Brasserie, is widely considered to the be the best of the three branches: the other two being in JBR and Studio City. It’s a combination of the four classic crystal chandeliers and the full-length bar against the backdrop of the massive floor to ceiling blurred French windows which seems to impress diners the most. Yeah, I must admit that I was pretty impressed when I walked in for the first time too. But for me it wasn’t the grandeur but the nonchalant way in which their interior designers have combined all these elements together – elegant, posh, chic but casual at the same time – brilliant.
If the interior of this branch edges it ahead of the other two, I feel its kitchen, complete with its newly installed Grillworks artisanal grill, is still playing catch up. But you’d have to be an anal food blogger like me to tell the difference. That said, if you are more the carnivore than the pescatarian then this is the branch to be at because that very same wood-fired grill I mentioned above will cook to perfection the amazing cuts of meat they have available. And just like that, Maine steps out of the oyster bar and seaside brasserie shadow and into grill and steakhouse light.
I started my shift from sea to land by ordering their delicious steak frites, an all-time favourite of mine. But before I get ahead of myself, let’s go back to the beginning – consider starting with the Chargrilled Octopus or the Prawns A La Plancha, which was so authentic that my Spanish BFF José-Diego got all nostalgic and homesick (and a little teary-eyed). There are few places in town which do tartars as well as Maine – consider the Italian Steak Tartar or the Tuna Tartar or both if you are in a larger group or going for a tapas style meal; in which case I also recommend their Fish Tacos. Pièce de resistance for me, however, are their freshly shucked Dibba Bay Oysters.
Where mains are concerned, having enjoyed the puniest of the meats available at Maine, I can only imagine what their certified wagyu selection is like – must try. Meat lovers will also like to try their 48 Hour Slow Cooked Short Rib – it’s insane. From the seafood section, I have tried everything from the simple yet surprisingly good Fish and Chips to the superb Dover Sole, served with the most amazing meunière sauce. If carbs aren’t an issue, their Spicy Shrimp Linguini gives Scalini’s Lobster Spaghetti a good run for its money. Call me cuckoo but I now actually prefer Maine’s pasta better.
No review of Maine would be complete without mention of its exemplary service. Similar food and ambiance you may get elsewhere in Dubai but in my mind what differentiates Maine from other restaurants is its genuinely friendly, highly attentive and infinitely accommodating service. It’s what elevates a meal to an experience – whether it’s a quick business lunch or an elaborate night out with friends, it’s the service which makes all the difference. My special thanks to Maine Land Brasserie’s restaurant manager, the beautiful Italian Londoner, Sara, who made us all feel like a returning regulars from the minute my family and I set foot in her restaurant. She and her accomplished team personify the spirit of Maine and make this new branch 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 email@example.com.