Prime 68 – JW Marriott Marquis Dubai
We have all seen the new, tallest hotel in the World – the new JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai, but have you visited their restaurants already? We finally gave it a try and booked a table for two, for dinner at their fine dining signature restaurant, the Prime 68.
The name of the restaurant comes from ‘prime’, as in prime steak, and ’68’ as in being located the 68th floor of the building.
The reservation process, as expected was very smooth, the lady on the phone took all our details, our special request to have a table at the window to enjoy the view and seconds after we hung up the phone, we received a text message confirmation. Well done so far.
A couple of hours later, we finally arrived at the new, impressive hotel. Ladies say it looks like a huge diamond sparkling over Dubai’s Sheik Zayed Road, men say the building looks more like a massive cheese grater. I tend more to agree with those who call it a diamond. Up on the entrance of the hotel, we were greeted very friendly by the bell boy who opened the car door with a smile and reach out his hand to assist me getting out of the car. The lobby was the next highlight. A huge flower arrangement filled with Lilies stood out in the middle of the impressive, classic and stylish atrium. We were greeted by the Guest Relations Manager, who asked were we wanted to go and showed us the way to the right elevator taking us up to the 68th floor.
We took the elevator up to the 68th floor, were we were greeted by a hostess, who took our details and lead us to our table, by the window. Very good service so far.
Being seated, we glanced around the restaurant, which was not as busy as expected and found it to be kind of too steril. It was all white, with a few back glass elements and many mirror walls. It was clean, but needed a bit or more abience. There was no music playing at all and you could only hear other guests talking.
All of a sudden Ms Veronica, approached our table, who was going to take care of us for this evening. She welcomed us, handed over menus and left as soon as she arrived. We decided to have an apéritif first and make up our mind about the food later. Whiskey Sour and one Caipiroska.
Before we placed our order, we were handed over the wine list as well, and Veronica informed us that she would be back with some bread and to take the rest of our orders. We asked her about the drinks and she told us, they were ready but she needed to pick them up first.
As soon as she left one colleague passed by to place the bread. A minutes later, another colleague placed the drinks. Veronica came back to take our order.
We asked for: tuna tartare, mushroom and truffle soup, a 6oz Argentinian steak with steak butter and creamy spinach and a 8oz rib eye steal with cheese macaroni and lobster bits.
With the food, we ordered a bottle of Chateau Musar, of Lebanon.
Veronica confirmed our order, and made us laugh badly. Instead of looking at us, saying thank you or gifting us with a smile, she turned around, looked herself in the mirror and smiled at herself. Interesting, but I guess she was just as distracted from the high mirror walls as myself. A funny little detail spotted by Servicexcellence’s eagle eye, and Veronica kept doing the same thing all night long. At least it showed she was very concerned about her appearance. Again she came back to double check the vintage of the wine, as two of the Musar’s were available but she did not check before which one we decided for.
We did not wait longer than three minutes until the third colleague passed by and offered us a shot of tomato soup with a drop of oil, as an amuse bouche. The shot of soup was semi warm but tasted refreshing and one could feel the herbs and fresh ingredients the chef obviously has worked with.
While waiting for our starters, we discovered about another six colleagues, besides the previously mentioned four service staff. Obviously the place was over staffed, and all of them, as well as other guests passing by, made us feel like sitting on a highway. ‘Lots of traffic’.
We just sipped on our pre-drinks when our wine was served, amuse bouche taken away and again another waiter passed by to serve our starters.
The tuna tartare on avocado, fresh and a little bit spicy. Compliments to the kitchen.
When it came to the food, as said we ordered steaks. A lot can go wring with steaks, if they are over cooked or take off the stove to quickly, but ours were fine. Nothing too impressive, just fine, up to standards and as expected.
The highlight was the cheese macaroni side dish with lobster bits. The pasta cooked al-dente, the lobster just enough to get the taste and the cheese melted on top. What a teaser. Fantastic.
However, talking about the service and ambiance, this what we care for. The ambience as said was a bit shallow. No music, no decoration, the overall environment too busy and non of the ( a total of 11) staff was smiling, not once. Either they were too busy to smile, or the just opened hotel and the hype about the same, was still a shock to them and made them look tense. The service was smooth, yes indeed all of them followed the standards and knew what was expected of them, but it was not personalized, it was clean and a bit too cold.
We finished our meal, and asked for the bill. As we had half a bottle of wine left, we asked the same to be taken up to the bar and finish it there. We were informed that the elevators did not work, and asked to use the service elevator, back of the house. An interesting experience and a bit awkward, but fair enough, if the elevators do not work, there is nothing we could do.
We arrived at the bar, where one of Veronica’s many colleagues, placed our wine and the glasses on the table and left, wishing us a nice evening. That was it for the night. No one in the bar passed by to greet, to refill the wine glasses or change ashtrays.
The bar, again would have been such a highlight with that impressive view, but the music playlist of MarronFive and Madona, was just as put together with little effort as the decoration of the bar. Zero.
having in mind that the hotel has opened it’s doors a couple of months ago, it all felt still like pre-opneing stage.
The music changed to Rihana and we decided to leave.
Overall the experience was okay. The entire place needs more of ambience, more of a personal touch, so does the service. It is an establishment with great potential which has not been used up to the maximum just yet.
We will be back to try out one of the other many restaurants and bars the new, tallest hotel in the World has to offer.
Keep in touch.