Review: Dry Age Boutique, Dubai: More Than A Luxury Butcher
Dubai's Dry Age Boutique: More Than A Luxury Butcher
The Dry Age Boutique, WAFI Mall, First Floor (Near Food Court), Oud Metha Road, Umm Hurair 2, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Opening times: Monday to Saturday - 12noon to 9pm, Friday - 3pm to 10pm and closed on Sundays.
This review follows an unpaid invite to The Dry Age Boutique to try three products together with meeting the owner, but EatGoSee also bought three additional products to take home. The views below are genuine including opportunities for the Dry Age Boutique to go from good to great.
Written by EatGoSee // See other food reviews here
Unique ingredient quality option for food and cooking enthusiasts
Appointment-based tasting sessions are well worth it
The museum-like display demonstrates the ageing process on beef, duck, lamb and more
The 64 days aged rib eye is the stuff of my favourite dreams
Wafi Mall is an unusual location
Online delivery is in the works but not currently available
The pricing may be prohibitive for some
Dry Age Boutique comes as many become more plant-based
Less is more is the answer. As I eat less meat, I am more discerning about quality meat. I want to restore the notion that meat is a treat and not a given. The diffusion of supermarkets commoditised food and created an impersonal relationship with it. There is nothing sincere about animal flesh swathed in plastic wrap labelled for its parts and weight. The supermarket aisle is a flesh gallery portioned in plastic coffins.
The mastery of butchery is lost on many. Butchery is more than advanced lab dissections. Butchers tell you how to cook a steak, how to slow cook a joint, they reveal a chicken’s oysters, advise on which herbs to add. The artistry of French trims, the value of rare breeds and, if you’re lucky, you get bones or freebie trims thrown in for loyalty. Ah yes, the rewards of loyalty. You do not get this at supermarkets. Supermarkets reward you with self-scanning and queues.
I shopped at higher-end butchers in London for those meals that mattered: my parents visiting, friends reporting back on the week’s adventure, time with Mrs EatGoSee or just time to myself.
The Dry Age Boutique entrance on the First Floor of Wafi Mall near Starbucks
The Dry Age Boutique’s approach
The entrance is high-octane with floor to ceiling glass panels that answers the question: what would Damien Hirst do with a mausoleum to meat, but make it luxury?
Beyond the entrance reveals dark-panelled, plum-stained wood stretching towards a meeting room featuring a lacquered table where, I sit with Mirco Beutler, the owner and founder of The Dry Age Boutique. Mirco enthusiastically runs through the genesis of the Dry Age Boutique. It all started with selling temperature-controlled fridges to restaurants. A phalanx of fridges flanks the Boutique like museums displaying giant joints of beef, lamb, duck and more slowly leaching water leaving behind a more intensely mature meat flavour. He became known as The Dry Age Guy by returning to chefs effusing the virtues of his dry-age fridges. Keep Mirco in your thoughts the next time you glide past meat fridges on display in your favourite steak restaurant.
Inside the Dry Age Boutique looking onto the Boutique floor space including ager fridges, reception and the tasting room
The Dry Age Boutique’s tasting class, a must-try
My tasting includes a beef carpaccio, a 37-day aged, Australian Angus T-Bone steak and a 64-day aged US Angus Rib Eye. Stand back, there is a lot of information there. More information than your local supermarket or InstaShop will provide you. Mirco takes me through the importance and the differences between sourcing, marbling grades, grass-feeding days in the field. We discuss the impact (or not) of slathering inches of butter like a child’s birthday cake on some joints hanging pendulously in the tasting room.
US Rib Eye Angus Steak aged 64 days; Australian Angus T Bone Steak aged 37 days
To say the beef is delicious would be an understatement. There is a detectable difference between the 64-day aged rib eye and the 37-day aged T-bone. The 64-day aged rib eye is rippled with marbling radiating from a fatty core like edible, creamy sunbeams. The additional month’s ageing to the rib eye creates a mature, nearly gamey and more nutty taste. The rib eye begs for flame grilling, bolshy red wine and a heart-stopping slab of dauphinoise. The raw carpaccio slivers are impossibly soft singing with delicious beef and a hit of seasoning. I may lovingly place each strip under my eyes as the beefy juiciness sinks in to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. That’s how these things work, right? My 37 day aged T-bone is tenderised through dry ageing accompanied by a black garlic umami bomb quenelle and a smattering of salt.
Beef Carpaccio with olive oil and light seasoning
The Dry Age Boutique is offering something novel in Dubai. There are many good quality butchers in Dubai but the unique value proposition here is not limited to the effects of dry ageing. The team here are acutely informed about marbling, wagyu grades, sourcing and more. This is a masterclass that begs why (most) other meat purveyors do not wield the same interest or information.
Reception at the Dry Age Boutique where they take you through various cuts, prices and all you need to know
Is the Dry Age Boutique perfect?
As with any launch, there are three key areas that the Dry Age Boutique should keep in mind to advance and realize its potential.
The Dry Age Boutique’s location and, home delivery?
Firstly, WAFI Mall is a curious location. While it affords the Dry Age Boutique a generous space, its accessibility is an open discussion. The team is currently investigating home delivery options. Still, a sojourn to the Dry Age Boutique’s palatial space is worth a special journey to marvel at the considerable investment in a unique experience and skip away with enough meat to make Hannibal Lector blush.
The Dry Age Boutique’s product pricing
Pricing will be a consideration notwithstanding this is a unique and superior product proposition. The Dry Age Boutique is not a value-driven purchase; it leans towards special occasions or moments when you want to impress. It is priced accordingly. My rump steak, cowboy and Porterhouse hovered around 800 grams each and cost between 190 – 320 dhs depending on their wagyu grade. Some may quiver at these prices but keep in mind you will easily creep over 1000 dhs in restaurants without the same marbling or ageing. The keen home cooks know they can reproduce the same steak at home for less, even paying for the wine, sides and appetisers while pocketing change.
Pricing will also be impacted by the Dry Age Boutique’s choice of cuts.
The Dry Age’s lean towards premium cuts
I share with Mirco that secondary or offcuts are noticeably absent among his meat gallery. I would love a feather blade, oxtail, short rib or beef cheek option. I suspect many discerning home cooks agree. Mirco promptly investigates options with suppliers during our time together. I will come back to the Dry Age Boutique, but I will return faster knowing these cuts are available.
The Dry Age Boutique displays with beef coated in butter and wagyu beef cubes with black garlic (magic stuff)
Would I Return to the Dry Age Boutique and Who Should Come Here?
Home cooks and enthusiasts alike should seriously book an appointment to the Dry Age Boutique. I will return as soon as I make it through my hefty stash of purchases. My 55-day aged rump steak disappeared swiftly following a gentle sous vide bath and flash grilling.
Barbecues with large groups, roast dinners with dry-aged duck or chicken, an intimate dinner for two with a chateaubriand on special occasions or for the solo steak lover looking for something different.
Most photos were kindly provided by the Dry Age Boutique.