Restaurant Review:
21 Grams

Umm Suquiem
Park Regis
​Dubai, UAE

Balkan food. Quite an uncommon occurrence in Dubai and pretty much unheard of at least to those of us (or most of us) not from the Balkans. Before we get into this review, a little bit about the Peninsula. The Balkans peninsula is the South Eastern region of Europe and comprises of countries including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Kosovo, parts of Greece and Turkey amongst many others. Needless to say, the peninsula has a rich cuisine that we were only too eager to discover at our tasting. Housed at the cozy Park Regis Boutique Jumeirah Hotel next to the Umm Suqeim park and beach, 21 Grams is the brainchild of its Serbian owner, Stasha, who wanted to bring forth the food and memories from her childhood and the region she belongs to. Nestled within the pretty little hotel is the bright and airy 21 grams that is adorned with minimalist yet vivid wall mounts and boasts of warm shades across the comfortable space. The servers are predominantly from the Balkans and so you get to understand the menu even better when chatting with them. Before picking dishes, we were served the House water (recommended for its beauty) and was it a colorful sight for sore eyes! Moving on, here is everything we had:

Mezze

  • White Bean Hummus with Smoked Paprika
  • Chicken Liver Pate
  • Bouyourdie: Baked Feta cheese with tomato, pepper, olive oil and oregano

Mains

  • Slow-cooked Lamb in Milk with horseradish sauce & poached apple
  • Summer zucchini Moussaka with lentil and chickpea ragout and aged cheddar
  • Oven-baked Seabass with green chard puree and carrot puree

Drinks & Desserts

  • Chocolate hazelnut baklava
  • Elderflower ice cream
  • Peach Honey Smoothie
  • Flat White

If we thought the décor was eye-catching, the food was another level! Vibrant in presentation and delicious in taste. We approached some of the dishes like the chicken liver pate with caution but paired with their freshly baked bread, it turned out to be a Mezze we couldn’t stop having! The Baked feta too was a treat to the taste buds. With regard to the mains, the Moussaka got top marks for presentation but the lamb and seabass won the taste stakes. The smoothie complemented the savory items well.

Now for the desserts; Baklava alone is the epitome of deliciousness but one that comes filled with chocolate and hazelnut has to be something else right? Just the sound of it would make it very popular and turns out that this is one of 21 grams’ most popular desserts. To be very honest though, while one of us really enjoyed this particular dessert, the other one found it slightly underwhelming. The elderflower ice cream is another level though. It was unanimous that this dessert won our hearts. Freshness is rife in this ice cream and it comes garnished with actual edible flowers. We could just imagine this ice cream as a milkshake as well and it was just plain perfect to beat the heat with.

Overall, we absolutely loved everything about 21 grams, from its buoyant location and comfy residence to the beautiful décor and striking dishes, it is a place that makes you feel like you are on vacation every time you visit!
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