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Classic American Cooking with a Twist at Firebird Diner by Michael Mina, Dubai

The main restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre is an American-style diner, but not just any American-style diner…This is Firebird Diner by Michael Mina, an award-winning multi-Michelin-starred celebrity chef

Now regular readers will know, I’m not really a ribs ‘n wings kind of girl; sushi and salad is more my cup of tea…but Michael Mina’s reinterpreted classic American dishes had me interested. Also it was love at first sight with the restaurant interior…like something out of one of my favourite iconic movies, Grease, designer Adam Tihany had really captured the essence of the 1950’s diner. I could just imagine Danny and Sandy drawing up a seat at the bar and ordering a milkshake!
But at the same time it was super slick and luxurious…a combination of glittering steel, white and red leather and mirrored walls meant, like the food, this wasn’t just any American style diner.

You could choose from counter-style dining or cosy booths.
And this wouldn’t be a classic American diner without a jukebox! Guests can choose their favourite songs from choices spanning generations of time. 
Outside a word of unnecessary encouragement is displayed on a living wall.
And there’s plenty of shady seating on the terrace for those looking to enjoy the Dubai sunshine!
Now, this really is the type of food Mr S loves and hungry after our four hour flight, his eyes absolutely lit up when he saw the menu…’chicken wings…’ he said straight away ‘I’m definitely having chicken wings..’ Chicken wings and few other things ordered, we hungrily awaited our order while nibbling on these delicious scones.
And those chicken wings did not disappoint, served Buffalo-style with chicken thigh meat, they were tender and smothered in buttery hot sauce with blue cheese on the side. Mr S of course ate every single last one.

Perfect pieces of popcorn shrimp were in a light non-greasy tempura batter and with a chilli infused lime and a spicy mayo for an added punch! 
There are lighter options too and we went ahead and ordered a smoked fish platter so I could spread some salmon pate on to bagel chips whilst Mr S worked his way through the chicken wings.

If you have any doubts to the potential quality of an American-style diner, then don’t. Egyptian-born Micheal Mina is the recipient of the coveted James Beard award and and his Mina Group has over 28 restaurants across the USA, including two with a Michelin star. Firebird Diner is his first restaurant outside of the States and perhaps the only diner I’ve seen where you can order a foie gras doughnut! Quality of ingredients is at the forefront and beef is USDA prime cuts from Creekstone farms, some of the very best America meat available. 
Mr S’s fried chicken was epic…honestly, it was huge but he loved the perfectly crisp skin and the accompaniments of beans and kale. I know…KALE…it may be token greenery but just like everything else here it’s prepared beautifully. With so many favourites Mr S found it hard to narrow it down…so he ordered a side order of burger…to be fair it was a mini slider, he’s not *that* greedy.

His classic All-American burger was topped with gouda and secret sauce with a little onion marmalade. There’s actually a huge choice of burgers and as well as the classic we were told the duck confit burger is one of the most popular choices. Though some may be tempted by the Khalifa Burger which featured a double patty, foie gras and lobster tail mimicking the epic heights of its namesake. I sampled his duck fat fries, beautifully hot and crisp, some the best I’ve had lately. 
Further token greenery for Mr S…grilled asparagus with raita and mint…
Ok maybe I let the side down a little by ordering grilled salmon with kale and quinoa salad topped with citrus fruits and almonds. But my healthier option was delicious, a really perfectly cooked piece of fish and a very well dressed salad.

Firebird Diner is perhaps best known for its desserts so no matter how full you are don’t leave without trying them!
The campfire s’mores are the signature dessert here and a little cauldron of fire is placed in the table so that you can toast the home-made marshmallows stuffed with chocolate and covered in crackers yourself.

There’s something so wonderfully nostalgic about eating this campfire classic in an iconic 1950’s dinner and it will bring back childhood memories for many. Just another way that Four Seasons Hotel DIFC, has a very personal and homely feel to it. Of course the hot molten marshmallows and the melted chocolate were the best thing ever…but this was a close second.
Molten chocolate cake with cookie crumbs and vanilla ice cream, and hot liquid chocolate poured over the top… again a gourmet twist on a childhood favourite. Who could forget the pleasure of having a hot fudge sundae as a treat?

Now as I mentioned in my previous post, Four Seasons Hotel DIFC is a smaller more boutique hotel and though you can have bar snacks and tapas in the other lounges, all main meals are served at Firebird Diner. Personally I prefer this as I always prefer quality over quantity when it comes to hotel restaurants, plus there are some high standard restaurants just steps away from the hotel.

And speaking of which that also applies to breakfast buffets. At Firebird Diner it’s small but perfectly formed with a focus on top notch produce rather than crazy amounts of food. Guests are welcomed to enjoy the full continental buffet, order from the a la carte menu and enjoy a few little surprises from the chef.

A carefully curated selection of breads and pastries are beautifully made and presented.
And there’s gorgeous breakfast canapés to choose from.

And a whole side of salmon.

From the a la carte menu we ordered smoked salmon eggs benedict with spinach which had the absolute perfect yolky ooze. 
You can opt for eggs any style, build your own omelette or order this croissant with egg white, avocado and spicy tomato salsa. 
And from the sweet section we chose a Belgian waffle with whipped cream and berries. It came with maple syrup but the staff were happy to indulge Mr S’s chocolate sauce addction!
Adding some house-made cold-pressed juices and the requisite coffee to our feast, we had the perfect flat lay with the back ground of the diner’s checkerboard floor!

I knew Mr S would love Firebird Diner, but I was surprised by how much I loved it too. Great atmosphere, beautiful decor and fantastic food in the heart of the Dubai International Financial Centre.


Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre
Gate Village
Building 9

+971 (0)4 506 0000

Our stay at Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre and lunch at Firebird Diner was complimentary