Chicken and chips at the Burj Al Arab

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Geoffrey ThomasThe West Australian
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Burj Al Arab in Dubai.
Camera IconBurj Al Arab in Dubai. Credit: PR IMAGE

Ever since it was built the Burj Al Arab in Dubai has been an icon of opulence and I wanted to write a story about its Skyview Bar and Restaurant on the 27th floor.

After a trip to the Paris Air Show I met up with my wife Christine and her two sons in Dubai and we decided to try and arrange a visit.

Small problem! The only way to visit was with a lunch or dinner reservation, so we elected for the former thinking it would be cheaper.

The Burj is opulence on steroids. Everything is grand, everything is magnificent, including the four storey high aquarium we marvelled at from the escalator up to the mezzanine floor.

We arrived at the 27th floor quite overawed knowing that this was going to cost us no matter which way you sliced and diced it.

The leather-bound lunch menus arrived and even the pages were the highest-grade chart paper.

The selections were absolutely three-star Michelin with a price to match.

Christine and I were aghast — this was going to cost a fortune but there was no way out.

“Well, you’re only here once,” I quipped with a half-hearted smile.

Then Christine’s youngest Mitchell, 16 at the time, announced he didn’t like any of the options and could he have chicken and chips!

I was mortified. How would this request be received?

I summoned the maître d’ to beg for chicken and chips on Mitch’s behalf and was surprised to find that this request could be met.

Our meals duly arrived and were works of art — small works of art, made smaller by the giant plates on which they were presented.

Mitch however had a plate full of succulent chicken piled high with chips to die for.

It wasn’t long before were raiding his plate to supplement our perfectly constructed but meagre meals.

Hoping to limit the financial damage I didn’t invite sweets but the boys were not to be denied so exotic ice-creams were duly delivered.

Then another magnificent leather-bound folder arrived, this time with bill.

Back in 2005 it was eye watering, each meal costing over $200 with Mitchell’s chicken and chips totalling a meagre $10!!

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