EXCLUSIVE: SAYING GOODBYE TO RIVINGTON GRILL WITH HEAD CHEF SCOTT STOKES…

DUBAI BIDS FAREWELL TO A FOOD FAVOURITE

Rivington Grill, Dubai’s most popular dining destination has remained a hotspot for all things British since the very beginning. Now, after seven and a half years of success, happy customers, mesmerising views and unforgettable food — it serves its last month of its much-loved menu before closing its doors for good.

The Digital Dose spoke exclusively with the man behind the menu, Head Chef Scott Stokes to talk its success story, the ‘Rivi family’, and what you can expect from its last few weeks of service…

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Firstly, we’re so sad to see Rivington Grill go. How are you feeling?

It’s a very sad time – for myself, our team and all of our loyal guests. Seven and half years since we opened, nearly 2,737 days of hard work, sweat and some tears have gone into running the Rivi. We are a real family here and sorely going to miss it.

The restaurant scene in Dubai is continuously growing. Yet, Rivington Grill has remained such a popular dining destination. Why do you think this is?

I believe for the simple reason being that when guests come to the Rivi, they know what they are in for. Simple back to basic traditional British food served to the best standards. We pride ourselves on having built up a strong following, of many who are now regular faces at the Rivi…

“We are truly grateful for the amazing support we have received over the years.”

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How would you describe your time as Head Chef at Rivington Grill?

I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. It has been a great learning curve for myself. When I was first given the opportunity to be the head chef of one of Dubai’s most iconic restaurants, I felt a little under ready – a bit like a rare steak! However, I took it upon my shoulders and leapt into the challenge headfirst – something I have not regretted and will cherish forever.

What’s been your favourite dish to cook and create?

My favourite dish to cook without fail would have to be the slow roasted on the bone rib of beef, served with Dubai’s biggest Yorkshire pudding and all the trimmings. We receive the beef four days prior to cooking; it is seasoned, marinated then tied and left for 3 days, before cooking over night ready for Saturday. The meat is so tender it is edible to eat with a spoon. As for creating dishes, we have created many over the years. Our back catalogue of blackboards specials goes into the thousands. I love to work with as many seasonal products we can get our hands on, coming straight from the UK.

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What do you think have been the 3 most popular dishes on the menu?

The three most popular dishes on the menu would have to be without fail, the traditional fish ‘n’ chips, crushed peas, hand cut chips and tartar sauce. The Saturday ‘Rivi’ roast, and from the desserts it would always be our renowned sticky toffee pudding.

It’s been 7 and a half years of success. Do you have a favourite moment?

It’s very hard to define a favourite moment in ‘Rivi when we have had so many great times. Working with the ‘Rivi family’ as we are known has to be one of the most honourable moments of my life.

Rivington Grill officially closes on June 4. What can we expect from its last month in Dubai?

More of what we do best and you should book now to avoid missing out! Throughout May, a countdown of Rivi classics will feature on the specials blackboard, with throwback all-time favourite tastes being announced daily throughout the month. The month of May will also see cameo shifts from ex-colleagues and key contributors to the success of the Rivington Grill step into the kitchen and restaurant, taking the reigns for one night only.

Furthermore, we are inviting the ‘Rivi regulars’ to join the party and ‘drink the last drops’ with 50% off all premium grapes and beverages from the May 29 – June 4. For those that dine in within this period, all will receive a voucher for 30% off at fellow iconic Brit favourite, The Ivy Dubai (excluding brunch and special offers/promotions). Also, if diners would like to join us for the last supper on June 4 at 6pm, any three courses can be enjoyed for just 250 AED.

Good British food is hard to find. What’s been your secret?

“Good things are hard to find. Perseverance is key. Consistency with the food and a lot of love.”

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Where else in Dubai are your favourite places to eat?

There are so many good restaurants in Dubai. The restaurant scene over the past few years, I believe has become too much. There is so much choice out there now. My favourite places to eat would all depend on upon mine and my family’s mood. Sometimes simple quick pleasures are needed. For more special occasions then we go a little more high end. I love Pai Thai.

Lastly, what’s next for you?

Well, that’s something I’m keeping a little close to my heart for now. Dubai has been great to me over the past 13 years. But the world is bigger than Dubai. When the time is right for a change you know deep down. Watch this space!

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Diners can also win a chance to experience a memorable terrace dinner for two on the official closing night. To enter the draw, The Rivington Grill are inviting diners to hashtag #RememberRivi and tag the handler @RivingtonGrill, posting a picture of their favourite memories and moments of times spent at the Rivington Grill over the years.

Rivington Grill is located at Souk Al Bahar, Downtown, Dubai.

Book now: +971 4 423 0903

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