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Dubai's FIVE teams up with René Frank for new dessert menus

  • Dubai's FIVE teams up with René Frank for new dessert menus

    Acclaimed chef's creations will be on menus across the hotel group's restaurants

    Consider yourself sweet enough? Then this will be the dessert collab you've been waiting for.

    Because at FIVE Palm Jumeirah and FIVE Jumeirah Village, restaurants have teamed up with chef René Frank, whose restaurants hold two Michelin stars, for an inventive takeover of its restaurants sweet menus.

    With an emphasis on reducing sugar content from desserts, the innovative, Berlin based chef behind CODA, one of the world’s first Michelin-starred dessert restaurants, has crafted menus of light sweet creations for Maiden Shanghai, The Penthouse, The Delisserie at FIVE Palm Jumeirah and for Soul St. at FIVE Jumeirah Village, replacing the white stuff with fresh produce and a bit of razzle dazzle.

    “It was important for us that we make a dessert that is balanced,” he tells Time Out ahead of the official menu launch. “Usually desserts that are served in Dubai are a bit more on the sweeter side. If you compare a chocolate bar and soft drink in Dubai with those in Germany, they have a higher sugar content in Dubai and that's the same with cakes. We just try to make the things balanced.

    “Sugar I would say, is the most important ingredient and gives [any dessert] the sweet taste. If you add a lot of sugar in a dessert, you can use any product and it will taste good. If you take out the sugar, you need to add something else. We have added some great products, [as well as] some entertainment and  things that gets the emotions involved.”

    Frank has drawn on experience and expertise garnered from more than 15 years working in prestigious postings all over the globe.

    From Japanese adzuki cheesecake in The Penthouse and mooncake in Maiden Shanghai to homemade chocolate dragees and nitro black forest cake at Soul St. each menu is curated to reflect each restaurant’s theme.

    “We focus on products, for example chocolate. For The Delisserie, we ground up our own cocoa beans to get a cocoa paste to get a hot chocolate. A lot of fresh fruits are involved as well.

    “In Maiden Shanghai [we wanted to create] what works with the philosophy of chef Luo Bing who uses a lot of organic products and avoids MSG, so we decided to make the concepts that don't use refined sugar for desserts in Maiden Shanghai.

    “All the desserts are specifically made for the venues. Some combinations you would find in CODA but everything fits to the menus of the venues.”

    While admiring the ambition of the culinary scene in Dubai, the chef who discovered his love for baking while watching his grandmother in the kitchen, believes the team at the FIVE can change the city’s mentality of simply offering the customer what they want for dessert.

    “What I see is chefs in Dubai will always do what the customers say. So if the customers say I want Nutella, everybody gets Nutella. I think there is a way to break this [cycle] and that there are also other products to serve.

    “Everybody says ‘the customer wants caramel, they want sweet desserts, everything needs to be more sweet’. I am curious to see how far we can go.

    "We have started very small [but] I think we still can go further. We are still going to make other dishes. We want to see how this comes out and how guests take these kinds of dessert.”

    Having worked in Japan, Europe and the US, it is Frank’s first foray in the Middle East, having visited Dubai for the first time last year, and he says the city has impressed him.

    Will the city's diners feel the same way? Only time, and a few tastings, will tell.

    But a dessert with no downside? Now that's a sweet deal.
    Maiden Shanghai, The Penthouse, The Delisserie: FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai (04 455 9989). Soul St: FIVE Jumeirah Village, JVC (055 700 0515).


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