FRNDS Grand Cafe
FRNDS grand Café – Just opened 4 months ago, same company as Lucky Fish on the Palm, but a whole new concept.
Great style and architectural concept, the room was classic, mystic, elegant, with very wide chandeliers giving those NY classic and jazzy vibes.
Despite the restaurant be fairly empty, they placed on a table on the very far end of all the other people were sat down in the middle. I thought because all other tables would be reserved but didn’t happen, restaurant remained fairly empty.
Sharma, our waitress from SA was absolutely adorable, haven’t encounter such a warmth and nice person in a restaurant for a long time. She knew the menu, gave us her best suggestions and was always attentive to our requests.
On the other hand, the gentlemen (cannot even count how many came to serve us anymore), you could feel a sense of stress, heavy energy, not smiling much. Literally a completely different vibe from what the girl was giving us.
Before the starters, the chef sends a complimentary tuna ceviche with avocado that was delicious, this detail definitely is very well kept.
For starters, we had escargots and asparagus Hollandaise (as my friend is vegetarian). The escargot were delicious, just missing more sauce where you can deep bread in it (very Portuguese characteristic :D ).
For mains, we ordered Black Truffle Risotto, with reference from ‘Lucky Fish’ of being amazing and Aage nasu (grilled eggplant, den misu, furikake, rice pops, hajikame). The taste of the risotto was good but very undercooked, we basically left it all behind and explain the reason we didn’t eat it, the eggplant I personally didn’t like it as the sweetness was very, very rich for me, feeling I was eating a strawberry compote.
For desserts, Pannacotta and Profiteroles. Pannacotta texture and flavor amazing, but it simply doesn’t work with cherry. It becomes very empowering the sweetness and missing the citrus/acidic flavor on it, for example from red fruits instead. Profiteroles, stunning ‘Ferrero Rocher’ flavour, but the crunchiness inside it becomes very watery, feeling the profiteroles just become defrosted (was not the case, was just the construction of the desert).
The manager asked us about the whole experience, the reason we left the risotto behind and we explained all the above. Also stating, for such high quality of venue, we were expecting higher quality in the kitchen.
After all these points were taken, came the bill and none of a single penny was dropped. We didn’t expect otherwise, but as we didn’t eat the risotto and we honestly said it was undercooked, taking in consideration this, they acknowledged it and communicate to the chef, maybe they could be attentive enough to not charge this dish specifically. But no, we paid in full. Obviously, the friend I was having dinner with, wanted to give a very generous tip due to the girl serving us, but unfortunately, we find it fair just to pay the bill (without tip) since they were charging for all the food, despite our highlights to the main dish.
Anyhow: is it a place to go back to? Hmm, for the food? Maybe not. For the lady serving us, décor, ambience? Absolutely!
Cuisine: Mediterranean & Japanese
Price: $$$ (around 1200dhs for 2 pax with a bottle of prosecco)
(DJ started very upbeat and party house music and after went for a more relaxed house music, should be other way around)
Parking: Not sure as we went by taxi
(just two toilets for such a big venue)
Value for money: 6/10
Venue Review Classification: 6/10