Bazxar: A New Menu and A Familiar Face
Bazxar at DIFC takes inspiration from the concept of the food hall, a place that serves as the intersection of different global cuisines. The restaurant is divided into five areas, each with its own themed decor. The burger area, for example, has a casual, hole-in-the-wall diner vibe with dim fluorescent lighting and a graffitied wall, while the Asian section with its low wooden tables looks like it was transplanted from a neighborhood Chinese restaurant. I’m exploring the fine dining area, with a sleek and sophisticated aesthetic and artwork hanging from the walls, to sample its new menu.
The menu has been designed by Chef Izu Ani, of La Serre and La Petite Maison fame, and is Mediterranean-inspired. The vegetarian selection for the night isn’t too extensive, but seems to provide a good snapshot of what’s available.
It’s not often that a meal starts off with a dish that people are still talking about after the meal is over, but Bazxar’s Pull-Apart Bread is just that kind of dish. This flaky loaf is like a layered pastry, with the layers running sideways rather than upwards, combined with the gooeyness of melted cheese and the aroma of fresh herbs. It comes with a side of herbed butter, but the bread alone will leave you quite satisfied.
Bazxar’s Burrata also sets itself apart from the myriad burrata dishes you’ll find around Dubai. It’s infused with a subtle truffle flavor, and swaps out the usual heirloom tomato slices for cherry tomatoes and edamame. Little pieces of dried fruit add a burst of unexpected sweetness to the dish. The final vegetarian starter is Cherry Tomato with Goat’s Cheese and a Hazelnut Crust. Tomatoes and any sort of creamy cheese always pair well together, and the hazelnut crust adds a more grounded flavor. It does seem s a bit odd, though, to have two similar cheese and tomato dishes on the table. Perhaps one of their new salads could have balanced things out.
For the main course, the only veggie option is the Cepes Risotto. It’s a very well made dish, with a texture that’s not too creamy. The Cepe mushrooms are rich and hearty, but at the end of the day, it is just a mushroom risotto, even if a tasty one. Given the overall of creativity of Bazxar’s concept, I would have loved to see a veggie main that wasn’t so run-of-the-mill.
Creme brulee and Yuzu Cheesecake are the dessert options for the evening. The brulee is creamy indulgence with a perfectly caramelized topping, while the cheesecake tempers its richness with tart yuzu. They’re both very well done.
Bazxar is big on atmosphere, combining its refined look with some toe tapping live music and some very helpful wait staff. While Chef Izu Ani’s fine dining menu does deliver flavorful Mediterranean-style fare, the roster of vegetarian dishes could be filled out a bit more. I’m keen to try out the other facets of the restaurant too, such as the cafe or the Asian station, and discover what they’ve got cooking for veggie lovers.
Veggie Friendly: ✔ Vegan Friendly: X
Pros: Interesting concept, good decor, good flavors
Cons: Too many creamy and cheesy dishes, main course could use some more variety
Price: $$ (50 - 200 AED)
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