Dubai:  La Serre’s Chef Izu Ani, has created the Middle East’s first Slow Food restaurant with his French-Mediterranean Bistro and Boulangerie at the Vida Downtown Dubai Hotel.

The charming Paul Bishop interiors and Chef Izu’s fresh, high quality food at the popular eatery bring the South of France to the Middle East.

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All photography Sandra Tinari, Made Journal

Having started his career at Michelin-starred, The Square, in London, Chef Izu later worked across France and Spain at a number of restaurants including the world-renowned, three-Michelin starred Auberge de L’Ill and the two-Michelin starred La Bastide Saint Antoine in the South of France. His European experiences inspired him to establish La Serre, his own French-inspired bistro and Parisian café, serving bread and pastries fresh-baked in-house and Mediterranean meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A French-style herb garden will shortly open onsite, as will a research kitchen in homage to the chef’s time in Spain and its restaurants that take a molecular approach to cooking.

“At La Serre we want to push the boundaries and to further understand the ingredients before we even begin to use them. Dubai is not a transient place for me. It’s my home and that’s why are putting down stems and trying to grow something. What you sow is what you reap and that’s what we want to do at La Serre.”

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In terms of the Paul Bishop Design interiors, with two levels at La Serre, each with different culinary offerings, it was important for the designers to keep the two spaces connected, but at the same time breathe distinct atmospheres into each. The aim with The Boulangerie (ground floor) was to create a place where a continental breakfast can be enjoyed, whether it be croissants and freshly ground coffee or a classic eggs bennedict, but with an attention to detail that would not be out of place in a high-end restaurant.

The decor is modern French in approach – sophisticated, yet relaxed. Head Chef, Izu Ani wanted to create a place where you can come and spend 100 AED and share the same ambiance with those who are spending 1000 AED. Combining the charm of a Parisian street café with the electricity of a Downtown Dubai hotspot, La Serre Boulangerie is a neighborhood hub, which hums from sunrise to late evening.

Meanwhile, a grand staircase leads upstairs to the Bistro; a chic room complete with marble cocktail bar and cream banisters overlooking the Boulevard below. The Bistro houses the piece de resistance of La Serre, the Chef’s Table. A beautiful room seating 12 and adjoining the kitchen, the Chef’s Table allows guests an intimate insight into the electric buzz and theatre of the kitchen.

Offering a Mediterranean menu, the Bistro is open for lunch and dinner.

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