French chef Pierre Gagnaire has no less than three Michelin stars to his name. His first patisserie in the region, Choix Patisserie & Restaurant, recently launched in the Intercontinental Hotel in Festival City. Overseen by Reflets’ head chef Olivier Biles, the venue has an impressive pedigree already. With tales of chocolate and macarons aplenty, we hot-heeled it down to sample some sweet treats.
Taking the concept of chic Parisian café and giving it a dash of Dubai’s modern attitude, Choix is contemporary yet demure. Chairs in forest yellow and vibrant purple are reminiscent of the mad hatters tea party, but its open plan layout and minimalist décor keep it looking fresh.
Taking the corner spot of the hotel lobby, the patisserie injects some colour to the hotel’s ground floor. Those who like to dine al fresco can sit on the terrace, which has views (albeit very distant) of the Burj Khalifah.
Though Choix calls itself a patisserie and restaurant, it definitely airs more on the patisserie side – but that’s no bad thing. The delectable range of savoury options includes steak tartare, which, since we’re in Dubai, is topped with edible gold. Homemade bread and a selection of what we can only describe as ‘posh sandwiches’ make this the perfect spot for a leisurely lunch. Think croque monsieur made with grilled zucchini, mozzarella, pesto, rucola salad and sundried tomatoes.
But it is sweets that Choix is bound to become renowned for. You heard it here first – they are delightful. We sampled miniature vanilla flavoured éclairs and sponge cake with orange custard and ginger marmalade. No matter how full you are, we recommend ordering a selection of divine macarons which come in a range of pretty colours, with flavours like rose, raspberry and truffle.
As one would expect from a newly open patisserie in Festival City (on a weeknight), Choix is quiet. However, we’re assured that it can become very busy at lunchtime.
The selection of teas and melt-in-your-mouth treats makes it well worth the journey.
A leisurely lunch or an afternoon of decadence.
Choix Patisserie & Restaurant | Intercontinental Hotel | Dubai Festival City | (04) 701 1136