There's more than Dubai in the UAE, the country has other 6 emirates, SIX!, a lot of places to visit and try out, but being based in Dubai usually limits your day to day choices to what's available in the emirate, which is A LOT, to be honest. We booked a staycation in Ras Al-Khaimah, about one and a half hour away from Dubai, in the Rixos Bab Al Bahr resort, which is a 5 starts 24h all-inclusive experience, quite a great deal and adding a few great dinning options makes it even better.
Fishbone, is one of the restaurants available for booking in the Resort. The thing with these resorts is that they can't guarantee you a table at any restaurant, everything is on a first-come first-serve basis and with all the COVID-19 restrictions, the tables are even less, we consider ourselves lucky we managed to get a table at Fishbone twice, so that we could see how consistent they are in terms of quality. Of course, two visits are not enough to see if a restaurant is consistent in time but we can't stay there for a three months, which is usually the time span we visit restaurants before posting a review, but we can have a general idea at least.
I don't know what to write here, if you're going to this restaurant you're probably staying at the resort, I don't know if these restaurants are open so that anyone goes there and eat. For me, I just used Google Maps to get to the resort and asked around where the restaurant was. Nothing too special about the arrival other than the resort staff is very friendly and helpful.
In the Restaurant
Once we reached, we were greeted by Maryam, the hostess, and guided to our table, there's a lot of space inside which is great if you're visiting with kids and a big stroller (ours is a double stroller, so it's huge), we managed ourselves through the restaurant seamlessly and made ourselves comfortable at our table. The restaurant inside is very neat and clean and they have all the COVID preventive measures, transparent glass divisions between tables, sanitizer everywhere and all the staff wears their masks properly, no noses peeping out. All the colors are light and inviting and there are nice fish decorations around, reminding you it's a seafood restaurant, the decoration feels very Greek.
Next, Martin, our waiter for the night, hand us the menus and we start going through it, we had a though day, our baby cried all day, we were all in a not-very-good mood and I was a bit overwhelmed going through the menu, next thing I know, I hear a voice "sir, I would recommend you the octopus, the shrimp tartare, the stuffed sea bream is great and you need to try the salmon too, but you can't leave without trying our seafood pasta so I'll bring one too" I turn and it was the restaurant manager, Ibrahim, this just made my night, I wasn't in the mood to think about what I wanted to eat and I believe this guy used some ancient Egyptian magic to read my mind and just approach us and tell us what was good. Then I asked "and what about dessert?", he gave the perfect answer "both options are great, I'll bring you one of each", this is someone who really understands you and is ready to make you feel at home and taken care of. Thank you so much Ibrahim.
The second time we visited, it was almost the same, only that we did know what to order already, Maryam, Martin and Ibrahim did a great job taking care of us and making us feel at home, we would come back and stay again just to eat at Fishbone and spend some time around this people.
- Greek salad (because you need to eat your veggies)
- Shrimp tartare
- Stuffed sea bream
- Grilled salmon
- Seafood linguine
- I ordered a glass of their house white wine, which is included as part of the all-inclusive drinks menu
- Water for the rest
- Sesame soufflé with tahini
- Napoleon cake
Dish by dish
This has all the things to fresh you up after a beach day, tomato, cucumber, lettuce, kalamata olives, dried oregano, onion and feta cheese to remind you where you are, with a citric dressing. I’m not a salad person and I loved it. It is a generous portion for one person and it’s the ideal dish to start your meal after a sunny day at the pool or the beach.
Minced shrimps perfectly seasoned, it was delicious, you get what you see, all the flavor is in the shrimps, it comes with some beetroot purée and a slice of orange to complement the citric flavor from the lemon sauce in the tartare, this is a very delicate dish I’m sure will please your palate.
Stuffed sea bream
Preparing fish is tricky, not everyone knows how to do it and those who know, some do it wrong. Fish is so delicate it’s very easy to screw it up. The key to a good fish is simplicity, only seasoned with salt to enhance the flavor of the fish and stuffed with bay leaves, carrot and a little bit of onions and lemon to give it a good punch, it’s cooked on a way that preserves all the flavors very well. The whole dish will remind you you’re at the gate to the sea (Bab al Bahr), you can taste the ocean in your mouth as you chew it.
The creamy spinach is a good complement along with the roasted potatoes, this will not disappoint you if you don’t mind dealing with the fish bones, pro tip, if you cut it from the back all the fish will come off very easily, thank Ibrahim for the advice if you visit.
Salmon is another dish very tricky to prepare, it has three ways to be cooked: raw, perfect and over cooked. This, although it was well done, it was still juicy and tender. Served with mashed beans and a capers sauce, the acidity from the sauce complements and enhances the taste of the salmon and the creamy mashed beans will cut that acidity out of your mouth, this dish has a great balance.
Who doesn’t like pasta? Everyone loves it, right? But when it comes to seafood pasta, it’s tricky, it’s tomato sauce with seafood. Not this time, it comes with shrimps, mussels, calamari and, the secret, bisque sauce which is made from the shells of the prawns, this will make you feel the taste of the ocean in your mouth, this is among the best seafood pastas I’ve tried in the UAE within this price range.
Sesame soufflé with tahini
I was a bit skeptical of this one, sesame and tahini in a dessert? Who on earth would eat that? Well... I ate 3, how about you? It’s served hot, it will melt in your mouth, the sesame and the tahini turns out to complement each other perfectly and the vanilla ice cream is great to reset your palate for the next bite. 100% recommended.
Puff pastry and custard can never go wrong, thick custard layers sandwiched between two crispy puff pastry sheets. Sweet and balanced.
All the dishes went well with their house white wine (the salad not so much, but it was bearable), this is great because then you don't have to order a chargeable wine and add to your bill if you're staying on a budget.
- Overall: 4.8 out of 5, I was surprised they only have 2.7 in Zomato, this seems quite low for me, ok, I'm aware the shrimps and other things might be frozen, but, come on, it's an all-inclusive menu, hotels and restaurants also need to make a living, besides, you can use frozen ingredients and still make a great dish, a good chef can turn basic ingredients into something great and very pleasant to eat. Service was great!, again, thank you Ibrahim, Maryam and Martin for a very pleasant dinner, twice!
- Value for money: I wouldn't know how to judge it because I was staying at the resort and didn't pay at the restaurant, so, take this 5 out of 5 as a rating for the whole stay experience, Fishbone had a great weight on our rating for the stay.