I finally made it to cheese and wine night at the Sofitel at Jumeirah Beach Residences (JBR). I had been meaning to go ever since I read about it in the hotel’s newsletter which they deliver to the neighboring apartments.
For 150 dhs ($40) on Wednesdays at Plantation Lounge, 7pm to 10pm, you get to enjoy a French Cheese and Wine buffet while listening to live jazz. A big bonus for me is that the Sofitel is
walking stumbling distance from my apartment.
Food and drink-wise, the Sofitel does a pretty good job for 150 dhs. The cheapest glass of wine on a menu in Dubai will easily set you back 30-40 dhs. In addition to the advertised cheese and wine buffet, there were hors d’oeuvres, a bit of salad, and a selection of sweets. I loved the little spoons of foie gras with port and wine jelly. I must have eaten all the ones in the photo below. I think they stopped replenishing at one point because of me. Or maybe I just ate them out.
All the cheese were from France and I was quite happy with the selection. My three favorites of the night were the Morbier, Comte, and the Langres which reminded me of my favorite stinky cheese, the Epoisses.
To accompany the cheese, there was a variety of bread (no crackers though), jams, preserves, compotes, and fresh fruit. The only thing that seemed to be missing for me was honey.
There was a digital photo frame by the jams that displayed a photo and slide of each of the cheeses detailing their region of origin, source (cow, sheep), texture, etc. It would have been nice if we had been given a list and description of all the cheeses so we could jot down our own tasting notes.
For the wines, I sampled a Riesling and a Malbec from Argentina but my favorite of the night was a Merlot from South Africa.
There was also a rosé, a Lebanese wine (Massaya), and a few others but I stuck with mostly the South African Merlot. They seemed to rotate the wines from the serving table as each bottle was finished but if there was one that we liked but wasn’t on the table anymore, we were still able to request it from the servers and it would magically appear.
It was moms’ night out so three other mom-friends and myself arrived at Plantation Lounge at 8pm after we had all put our children to bed. We were towards the back of the room and because of the way the lounge is designed with the art partitions, we didn’t get any view of the jazz duo but at least we were closer to the buffet station :).
My only gripe of the evening was that we weren’t informed of “last call”. As stay at home moms, we hardly ever see each other without our babies in tow, so we got quite engrossed in our conversations and didn’t realize it was 10pm until I noticed the servers clearing away all the wine and cheese.
When we asked if we could get one last round of wine, the manager seemed to get grumpy about it and then brought over four glasses of red wine without even asking what we were drinking in the first place. One of our party wasn’t even drinking red wine.
Although the wine and cheese were cleared away, all the desserts were left intact for the remainder of the evening.
If you know of any other wine and cheese specials in Dubai, please leave a comment and let me know – I love cheese (and wine) and always up for trying new kinds.
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For more info and reservations: Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach Residences, Dubai Marina, 04 448 4848.