St Tropez Bistro, a new dining destination at Mall of the Emirates, hosted a launch party recently to showcase it’s menu and design. The restaurant is situated in the West End of the mall next to the Kempinski Hotel entrance. It is easily accessed from a dedicated valet parking stand and nearby escalator, making it ideal for dining whether you have plans to shop or not.

The launch was very chic with fun entertainment, bubbles, delicious food and lots of lovely St Tropez Christmas cheer. There was a huge Christmas tree in the entrance and over flowing festive food and drink. As I entered the dimly lit restaurant, my eyes fell upon black and white portraits of Marylin Monroe, Angelina Jolie and an assortment of rock stars. The portraits hung on brick exposed walls and framed the space in a modern but nostalgic way. I would describe the ambiance as “sexy chic”. There was ample space and a seating configuration for every occasion. Whether dining as a pair, a group or a family, there’s an area in the restaurant where you would feel comfortable. The bistro area is filled with tables and leather bench seats that line the perimeter walls. The bar area has bistro-styled, high table and chair combos with leather chairs and couches for lounging. I found the design to be aesthetically pleasing and I appreciated how segmented the smoking and non-smoking sections were. They are truly separate rooms; divided by walls that contain smoke to a single area of the restaurant.

I found my seat next to the chocolate fondue station. There was a table flanked with ripe, red strawberries, pineapple and marshmallow skewers for dipping into a fountain of white chocolate. There’s no way to accurately describe the decadence of this food station so I won’t try. Let’s just say, I never moved my seat. Lite bites from the festive menu were served. I tried everything once or twice…or maybe three times. Check out notes from the taste test after the break.

Beef Burger Sliders – served hot with a little cheese, onion and house sauce; The beef was flavorful.

Shrimp Bites – served at room temperature inside a cucumber roll with herbs and salsa; refreshing and absolutely delicious; This was my favorite of the evening.

Chicken Pinwheel – served warm with chopped tomato, olive and cilantro salsa with drizzled olive oil on an appetizer spoon; ingredients were fresh and the chicken was moist; I would order an entree of this dish.

Salmon – served chilled; minced salmon mixture served bite sized on Bruschetta; This was my least favorite of the evening but a good option for sushi lovers.

I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and have plans to return for dinner. For more information, please visit the St Tropez website.