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FACT Review: Chez Wam offers a surprising take on classic dishes 

Chef Hadrien Villedieu is behind the menu, which celebrates his roots and travels.

It’s hard to create a casual yet classy restaurant, which blurs the line between after-work drinks and a fine dining meal. The restaurant Chez Wam, which translates to “at mine”, has mastered the relaxed yet refined dining experience – and it’s well worth checking out. 

Chez Wam aims to make diners feel like they’ve been invited to a friend’s home for food. Located in St. Regis Gardens on Palm Jumeirah, it has been created by the critically-acclaimed hospitality company, Rikas Group. Warning: don’t walk in the 40 degrees heat like us, and head for mall’s west side entrance or the St. Regis hotel’s entrance.

Chez Wam

Chez Wam’s décor includes shades of brown, cream and orange, which are punctuated by gorgeous greenery. The space includes beautiful banquettes by the bar, and a plush private dining room. Look out for the chef’s table and open kitchen, which make for a dramatic dining experience – where every now and then, giant flames caught our eye. We were sat near the floor-to-ceiling windows, which is currently surrounded by construction and will boast a better view. 

Chef Hadrien Villedieu, who has worked with great gastronomes including Alain Passard, Jean Pierre Vigato and Joël Robuchon, introduced himself to us and our fellow diners. The friendly staff talked through the menu, as we heard hits in the background from The Police to Red Hot Chili Peppers. 

Chez Wam

Chez Wam’s menu covers starters, fish, meat, pasta, sides and sharing dishes. We started off in style with 3 Gillardeau Oysters, which were so good, we ordered them twice. The selection included pickles, ponzu and smoked Bloody Mary. 

The starters shone. The Charred Tomatoes and Nectarine salad was prepared by the table, and included Yarah Valley Goats Cheese from Australia. The Marinated Salmon was a creamy concoction, which was as delicious as it was decadent. 

Chez Wam

The Wagyu Beouf Tartare was one of the most innovative takes on the dish we’ve tried. Not only did it combine wasabi peas and kimchi, but it had a crispy texture and smoky finish. The east meets west theme continued with the mains. The Poulet Adobo was a take on the Filipino chicken stew, and the Confit Duck Ravioli reminded us of Chinese dumplings. 

Leave room for dessert. The Guanaua Chocolate Very Fondant oozes so much gooey goodness, it would satisfy any chocoholic’s cravings. Ile Florrante aka The Floating Island, was a soft fluffy cake sat on a bed of custard. 

Chez Wam

Chez Wam’s signature cocktails are a creative take on classics, from a 1919 Negroni to a Not Bloody, Still Mary. Plus, the Botanical CO2 pays homage to St. Regis Gardens location, and includes gin, apple jasmin soda, pomegranate and yuzu. 

Chez Wam could have easily gone for the quick win, and created a tried and tested formulaic French restaurant. Instead, it offers a fresh, elevated take on traditional dishes, and a return-worthy experience. So much so, we found ourselves curious about the rest of the menu. Casual or classy – we love it all, Chez Wam. 

GO: Follow @chezwamdubai on Instagram for more information.

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Kohinoor Sahota - Deputy Editor
A sucker for a good story, if you invite Kohinoor to a gallery, comedy night, new restaurant, hiking trip, cycle ride, pool day or just about any activity, she’ll probably say yes – that is if she isn’t busy planning her next adventure.

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