Catalan Chef Santi Santamaria died on February 16 2011 in his new restaurant at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. The multi awarded chef passed away at an age of just 53. Santi Santamaria’s first restaurant outside Spain was Ossiano in Dubai located in Atlantis, Palm Jumeirah. The Santamaria family left the management of the restaurant after Santi’s death.
The restaurant is dominated by a huge aquarium wall with an enormous fish tank where the guests can sight all sorts of sea creatures, like sharks. The restaurant’s interior is very stylish with rest rooms that appear like toilette suites, but the restaurant’s lighting should be stronger. It is quite dark in the restaurant.
Ossiano, from the Latin word for ocean, is perfectly named. This ambitiously designed restaurant features contemporary Catalan cuisine enthused by the sea and infused with a modern Mediterranean flavour. Ossiano also has a caviar bar presenting a sophisticated selection of some of the best you can have from the sea. You can choose either to dine at a table or simply treat yourselves at the bar or in the lounge.
Sommelier Guillermo Lucas takes care of the wine selections for you. Most of Ossiano’s staff is Spanish including Chef de Cuisine Angel Zapata who does a terrific job making sea food with perfect texture, presentation and taste. A lot delicious to have, but our favorite is the Fish a-la-plancha all made close to perfection by Angel Zapata.
The location of Dubai does not allow any locally produced ingredients of any volume nor quality and the taste suffers a bit from the fact that everything has to be flown into Dubai. Long transports of ingredients are not in time and should not be encouraged, but what to do when the city of Dubai is built upon sand in a desert environment? The sad absence of Santi Santamaria is something that hopefully will not force down Ossiano because the restaurant serves some of the best seafood in Dubai and is one of the best restaurants in the United Arab Emirates.
Written by Andy