Teible excites with an eco-focused, farm-to-table, seasonal menu sourcing ingredients from local UAE farmers.
There’s a palpable serenity at Teible. Sparse, somewhat Nordic furniture dresses a lacquered ash-grey dining floor in a space punctuated with oversized, potted greenery lending colour and optimism. Glittering light dances across the dining room. Here, the Jaddaf Waterfront Marina is not the only thing offering quiet reflection. There is zen here. The ivory blinds shield from Dubai’s increasingly boisterous sun.
You’d be forgiven for forgetting this is Dubai: a land of skyscrapers and notable materialism. But here I am, alongside the Jameel Arts Centre, sitting at Teible (pronounced table): the latest eco-smart, farm-to-table restaurant on people’s lips. A bookmark tucked inside a napkin affirms Chef Carlos Frunze’s mission statement: “a concept motivated by a four-pillar value system that includes sustainability, seasonality, simplicity, and integrity”. Teible joins a rising chorus of eco-conscious, sustainable restaurants such as the FACT award-winning BOCA and Lowe; the latter being No 23 on MENA 2022 and winner of the MENA 50 Best 2022 Sustainable Restaurant Award. The UAE, a country not widely known for its eco-sustainability, finds a voice of leadership.
Teible’s Bistronomy menu offers a tight eight courses for lunch. Good, I like a short menu. Anything above 20 dishes makes me edgy. The menu is deliberate and calculated while both casual and recognisable. It says you’ve been here before, but not quite like this. Teible strides confidently through bolshy, gutsy courses. Dishes that grab you by the throat and demand your attention. Whereas, the delicate courses feel as if they are in their first draft.
The simple plating of Teible’s magnificent Garum Beef Tartare (AED 58) is a picture. Made from local beef tenderloin, it sings with the brightness of pickled, grilled kohlrabi, then lawned liberally with a rippling funk of manchego. A statement of intent, I would come back for this dish alone.
The Garum Burger must be in the conversation as one of Dubai’s best burgers (AED 67), delivering quality over quantity. A voluptuous housemade potato bun sandwiches 80-day fermented local beef in an umami-rich, garum glaze enveloped in aged cheddar cheese dusted with burnt local onion powder and beef powder. Imagine Bovril in a bun. Lusciously beefy, Teible’s burger with fermented chilli aioli and pickled gherkins makes licking fingers not just acceptable, but compulsory.
I finish with Teible’s Thousand Dates dessert (AED 54): bringing together a date cake, crispy sheets of date sugar phyllo pastry with date caramel mousse, all accompanied with aromatic brûléed fresh figs and a tangy buttermilk ice cream. The ice cream is a masterstroke that stands up to all that sweetness. It’s all delicious and capable: tutored in the school of sweet, crunch, soft, cold but, more than anything, satisfying in the way that only good desserts can do.
Unlicensed, a Swinging Twenties mocktail (AED 28) zips with enough mouth-puckering sharpness to make any facelift redundant: fruity raspberries, lemon and vinegar subdued by pomegranate juice. A beautiful, glowing rogue.
Still, some dishes shine less brightly compared to their more assertive peers, while still demonstrating technique and character. The Umami Custard (AED 46), a Japanese-inspired mushroom chawanmushi, trembles as the delicate mushroom dashi pools into divots carved by my spoon. The crispy, brittle fried oyster mushrooms add a much-welcomed texture, but it’s all a bit too subtle and coy for my liking. Something’s missing.
The locally-sourced and charred Shio Koji Swordfish (AED 78) wallows in a citrus-spiked buttermilk beurre blanc studded with a pine nut crust. It’s tasty, but leans a little sweet and offers a modest portion that leaves room for the Cece fire-roasted potatoes I spot enviously on another table (AED 65).
I still keenly await the return of their evening degustation menus after Ramadan. I will bring friends and hope to see you there.
GO: Visit www.teible.com for reservations and more information.