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Terra Firma at the Intercontinental

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by Tammy Facey (subscribe)
Read. Write. Run.
Published December 14th 2012
Whoever said steak was a bad thing?
The Food and service deserve an A*, from the time they opened our car door to them seating us in the restaurant, the Intercontinental and Terra Firma Steakhouse were outstanding.



Firstly the hotel is stunning, large glass doors open to a cream and gold decorated lobby, replete with marble flooring and smiles from the staff. The lobby, which is more like an apartment, holds its own with a floor to ceiling 25 foot high Christmas tree decorated with simple gold lights. It is more than an impressive seasonal touch, and really adds to the wow factor of the hotel.

We were lead by a friendly porter to the Terra Firma Steakhouse, who was happy to take our picture when we posed and pouted down the lens. Leaving us at the door of the Terra Firma, which is a highly polished, dark wood, glossy steakhouse we were greeted with a smile and welcome.

We were quickly seated on the outdoor terrace and given menus in lightning time. They have an extensive wine list, as well as popular beers, fresh juices and soft drinks, but we stuck with water, which was put on ice, and topped up every time our glasses were nearing empty.

We skipped starters, however to whet the appetite Terra Firma like all good restaurants brought out bread; a small hunk of partially sliced wholegrain was presented on a wooden board with a perfectly rounded knob of butter. The bread was still warm; it was melt in your mouth good, and I believe was freshly baked.



Onto our mains, we both ordered the fish; salmon fillet, cooked on the grill (they ask you how you'd like it, barbecued, or broiled) with a lemon butter sauce. The sauce turned out to be more like a puree spread across the plate beneath the salmon, and the plate was decorated with seasoned cress leaves, lovely.



In addition to the sauce was a side plate of lemon butter. It tasted like spring: fresh, zingy, but buttery and smooth. Terra Firma really think of everything because as well as the delicious food and sides, they provide half a muslin-cloth wrapped lemon (to catch the pips of course), should you like extra zip to your meat. The side of creamed spinach with nutmeg was equally delicious; earthy but fresh flavours, with a creaminess that wasn't overpowering, but complimentary.



We opted to share a dessert, and beautifully presented, with a berry fruit coulis on the side was the best cheesecake I have ever eaten. Cheesecake haters I urge you to try this. I am not a fan of cheesecake, but this was an incredibly light, vanillery slice of goodness.



There aren't many downsides to this divine restaurant, but there was only one chicken dish on the menu amongst an array of hung, and aged beef, from Australian to the more expensive waygu beef. Impressive.

I wouldn't recommend this place for vegetarians, it being a steakhouse, mind, although their salads and vegetarian dish sound delicious. If the mains are anything to go by the portions are generous, well seasoned, and tasty.

With outdoor seating as well as inside, Terra Firma is a picturesque, luxurious eatery; dark wood decking, dark wicker seats and candles dotted around, it is a romantic setting for all guests. Even in the Dubai heat, the considerate staff offer a pashmina for ladies, and at the end of your meal will proffer a lit cigar. Fancy.

If you're on a budget do not fret, the Terra Firma was cheaper than expected, and they accept The Entertainer vouchers. For both meals and drinks we paid 200 DHS. However if you do not have a voucher expect to pay about 200 DHS each.

We didn't want to leave, but walking through the hotel back to the lobby we were guided to two red and black glittering chaise lounge's - perfect for when you're waiting for your taxi/valet. The Terra Firma, and the Intercontinental are all about luxe, it was truly five star treatment.
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Why? Best service, best steak, best atmosphere
When: 7 days a week
Phone: 44 (0)871-942-9200
Where: At the lower ground of the hotel
Cost: 200 DHS per person
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