Food review: A more casual Social by Heinz Beck
Same three-Michelin Star experience in an increasingly informal package makes this institution worth a revisit
A staple on Dubai’s gastronomic circuit, Social by Heinz Beck at the Waldorf Astoria on The Palm has been welcoming the great, good and hungry through its doors for over seven years now; guests predominantly booking in for the house specialty: a ten-course blind degustation menu. This odyssey of contemporary Italian cuisine from the hands of one of the world’s best is a sight (and many mouthfuls) to behold and thoroughly recommended for gourmands with a penchant for the Bel Paese. However, despite being able to see ourselves frequenting the property every night given half a chance, an intricate almost encyclopedic culinary journey over multiple stages isn’t always completely necessary. More often than not you simply crave a decent plate of pasta, right? This is where Social’s new a la carte and laid back Saturday lunch come into their own.
Heading down on a typically busy Thursday night, the evolved vibrant list of dishes must already be making a jovial impact because the dining room was buzzing. Groups of guests, huddled in conversation and laughter, drank in the atmosphere in between bites of delicious fare. On our table, the evening began with a prawn and calamari Tempura with mustard mayonnaise and burrata with tomatoes and olives. Both classics, both delightful. The calamari in particular was on par with anything you’d find on your European summer tour and set off nicely with the accompanying dip.
Next up the star recipe of Spaghetti and caviar was, without exaggeration, a revelation. So straightforward yet incredibly effective, the rich buttery strands of pasta seamlessly melded with the salty creaminess of the Beluga to create a flavour unlike any other we’ve sampled around town. The risotto with clams was also a knockout, but for us the former should be taking home a trophy.
Mains of beef tenderloin perched beside a creamed potato salad and sea bass fillet with asparagus were lovely: the sea bass with its delicate texture enhanced by the greens’ crunch was intensely pleasing, nevertheless after sampling the ‘Spag-Belug’, we were goners. Barely enough room for dessert, a Social Tiramisu was shared, though with the weekend rolling around, you can guess the item which will have us returning to the eatery.
Where: Social by Heinz Beck
Best dish: Spaghetti and caviar
Av. cost. pp: Dh400