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Dubai has a restaurant for every craving you could possibly muster. Being the cultural cauldron that it is, this city can give you gourmet dining in the Burj Al Arab or a shawarma at 3am in Satwa. With every establishment in Dubai trying to outshine the other, where can you go to feel at home? If comic strips on the walls and a vintage fireplace remind you of your childhood abode, you need to visit The Scene restaurant.
A culinary project of celebrity chef Simon Rimmer, The Scene is a restaurant whose food hits the right spot and whose nostalgic décor hits the right memories.
The Scene belongs to a collection of seven restaurants and lounges at Pier 7 in Dubai Marina. Offering unbeatable views of the shimmering marina waters, the restaurant has a spacious al fresco terrace and also doubles as a museum with the unique articles of furniture it has on display.
Irreplaceable chairs from markets, charity boutiques and auctions across the UK can be found here. One of them is a nugget of classic cinema — the indelible bathtub sofa from Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
“Andrew Shipley, our designer, was key in translating the idea from paper to the place you see,” says Rimmer. “The restaurant is also very tactile, full of textures and patterns.”
Seen at the Scene
British artist Grayson Perry, known for his outrageously unusual art, is one of The Scene’s frequent guests. “You’d find him in a corner with our Candyfloss cocktail and a sausage roll,” says the restaurant owner.
Just like its ambiance, The Scene serves the best of British comfort cuisine. The menu has dishes ideal for a summer picnic or a winter evening in the rain. While most chefs are busy collecting Michelin stars, the ones at The Scene are still working towards perfecting their mother’s recipes.
Guests are invited to stroll down memory lane, while the restaurant plays classic tunes from the 70s and serves beverages (besides tea) in artistic kettles.
Diners might even be surprised to know that they’re sitting on couches from Rimmer’s childhood home. The chef claims to have borrowed some furniture from his parents’ house on a “long-term lend”. It doesn’t get any more home-grown than that.
The Scene has furniture for every occasion. Leather armchairs and a wooden table for coffee with a colleague, a luminous bar for cocktails and an ornate banquet table for dinner with family members.
Other things to do
If you get bored while waiting for an elevator to take you to another of Pier 7’s restaurants, The Scene has a tasteful array of books that smell like your middle school library. If you’re just homesick, visit The Scene for a pacifying cup of tea.
Asked about The Scene’s location in Dubai Marina, Rimmer says, “Dubai’s landscape has changed so much in the past 15 years since we’ve been in the business and we feel like we’re at the forefront of this. Our location is in the heart of a new Dubai, it’s a very vibrant marina.”
What distinguishes The Scene from most eateries is that diners come for more than just the cuisine. There are instances when guests visit for lunch and stay until dinner and longer. Even the decadent meals are served on antique china. Or just a convincing doppelganger!
As Dubai constantly encourages people to step out of their comfort zone, The Scene serves up your comfort zone with a side of potato chips. This shabby chic restaurant isn’t the first of Rimmer’s endeavours. The Greens was his first leap into the business of gastronomy.
He took that leap of faith with the assistance of just two recipe books and not a clue how to cook. The Scene restaurant — and the message it promotes — is allowing people to be their most organic selves. With an appetite.
Source: Nichole Nikoliovich, Special to Property Weekly