Prime 68’s first and most obvious asset is its enviable location on the 68th floor, overlooking Sheikh Zayed Road, the heart of Dubai – a true feast for the eyes!
And that’s even before considering what a prodigy restaurant manager from New York has set up in terms of the overall dining experience.
In fact, I have to admit that I have yet to visit a UAE restaurant so completely and positively in tune with its ethos as Prime 68. It is a question of all details aligning towards serving a common and over-arching effect: what the strategic marketing people call the Mission or Vision.
Except often we find that expressed as a hollow and obviously ridiculous hot-air claim – such as the words “Exceptional Customer Service” blatantly printed on a giant banner and placed behind the incompetent bank clerk who has taken an hour of quasi-comical efforts to perform a simple administrative process.
Prime 68 is at the other extreme of the spectrum – it is perfect. The devil is in the details, they say, and Prime 68 has tamed him.
The welcome is sincere and immmediate, the table is ready and waiting, and immaculate in presentation; the ambience is elegant to boot – did I mention the astounding views? – and the waiting staff is clearly from professional stock.
This where hiring decisions determine the direction of the business. The UAE has the potential to hire the very best employees, but not always that happens at the front line of service, opting instead for budget to drive the decision-making. But, you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
Based on our party’s interaction with the service staff at Prime 68, not only their attention to our needs but the finer points of waiting: their knowledge of the menu items, their spot-on suggestions, their intuition and demenour, and even the subtle yet delicate movements in moving plates and cutlery, all combined to create an understated yet very tangible experience of pure restaurant excellence.
We were served by Ms Denisa, for example, from the Czech Republic, who gently and smoothly overrided my choice of sauce by offering to bring her own favourite to accompany my steak – and in fact it perfectly complemented my order. She could have said “Sure, sir,” and brought me whatever I’d asked for, but she had enough knowledge and confidence, and courtesy, to guide me towards a fantastic combination, which otherwise I would have missed.
Curious, I briefly chatted with other members of staff: Mr Martijn, who heralds from the Netherlands, with experience at some of Europe’s finest hotel restaurants; or Mr Myles, from Zimbabwe, who is putting his international hospitality training to good use – the pattern became clear: if you want the best, you hire in the best.
I felt Prime 68 stands out primarily because of this excellent staff: from the affable and very professional manager, to the young man who clears the tables – and I most certainly include the kitchen team!
Above all, excellent steaks!
And the culinary delights continued all the way through the meal.
The menu is tight in selection, as Prime 68 is a focused steakhouse. Yet somehow there is room on the menu for tuna, duck, lamb, chicken, scallops, lobster, and crab, and many more delicacies!
Centerpiece, however, the beef steaks – USDA Prime, or Blackmore Australian Wagyu, or Argentinean “Aberdeen” Angus – the choice is yours; or, do as I did, and go for the Filet Tasting option, which brings you 4oz of each, succulently grilled, and I suspect drizzled with magic potion!
A selection of seven sauces and an abundance of sides will entice you. I would simply suggest to let the staff guide you – put your trust in them.
Some sides to consider:
Simple buttery mash
Steakhouse fries with three dips
Bourbon maple sweet potato with marshmallows
Creamy polenta with Taleggio cheese
Lobster mac and cheese
See the menu here.
Overall, Prime 68 is a real pro that stands out among so many pretentious yet amateurish attempts in Dubai, where dazzling lights are placed ahead of substance and character.
Prime 68 has the location, the ambience, the fantastic food, but above all, a team of professional staff that will guarantee you and your party a tip-top meal on top of the town.
Prime 68 restaurant is easy to find, and reservations are required. Here is an interactive map:
Prime 68 restaurant is part of the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, located high up on Sheikh Zayed Road, just down from the Burj Khalifa, in Dubai.
Sheikh Zayed Road
United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 4 414 0000