Inside, an abundance of marble and stylish place settings lend the main dining area a very traditional feel.
One side of the venue features floor to ceiling windows that give a glimpse of the skyline beyond – and a great terrace area.
With the introduction of Social Dining Thurday, this is a little like introducing a whole different restaurant to the hotel.
On the terrace a lady DJ plays laidback tunes befitting your average Sheikh Zayed Road rooftop bar, although the volume occasionally made cosy conversation a bit of a struggle during our visit.
Tables are well spaced so as to allow couples privacy, and larger parties to assemble without disturbing dining neighbours.
As the name of the night suggests, however, the concept is about socializing – winding down with friends, sharing an experience. And part of this is achieved by countering some of the formality The Cavendish conveys with its interior.
Muted lighting allows the towers around the Bonnington to provide the urban cosmos and a live BBQ cooking station to take centre stage in front of a water feature.
Guests can choose from alcohol and non-alcohol packages and from three “Sharing is Caring” platters as starters. These break down to pork or non-pork selection – aka beef and duck - and vegetarian on request.
The Cavendish kitchen has a reputation for well-presented dishes and this stood true for the first arrival. Set on a dark board came a generous selection of meats and potted treats, including a rich, creamy pate, meaty, well balanced pork and prune rillettes, a serving of mozzarella and pesto and cold roast pork and apple mayonnaise.
Also occupying pots were Green Goddess hummus, lifted by a subtle mint infusion, a tomato and red onion chutney that maybe demanded a little more zest, and a moreish chilled jar of Tuscan button mushrooms.
Centre stage was a pork, beef and chicken charcuterie. Good, thick slices of hand-carved roasted ham were sweet to the taste, so good, in fact, it rendered the rolls of processed pork alongside a little surplus.
That said, the thin slices of spiced chicken provided tasty contrast while perky baby pickled onions, grilled artichoke, carrot and cucumber sticks added colour.
The Open Chicken Shawarma over-ruled that, however. Although not really that open, whatever was lurking in the “secret” 21-ingredient marinade elevated this beyond your typical chicken and Arabic bread bundle.
Either side of the chef lays a choice of vegetables and potatoes, including baked spuds – something this Brit will always equate with nights at a bonfire party and therefore very welcome in this outdoor setting.
On the other side, the kitchen had again shown skill with delicious salad combinations worthy of their own feast. A couple of visits to this section offset the temptation to over-meat.
Coming after two weeks of festive overindulgence, not to mention that platter and salad selection, we could only look at the dessert options with baited eyes.
Provided to order from the kitchen – admirable for cutting down on wastage that buffets incur – you could go for an Orange Frosted Chocolate & Walnut Brownie, traditional Coca Cola Float, Banana & Caramel Split, Eton Mess Sundae and a Chocolate Chip Cookie Stack.
Social Dining Thursday is a relaxed notion - though the Cavendish no sandals and shorts policy still applies - in a terrace that demands to be exploited during these cooler months.
The Cavendish staff are efficient and friendly without being intrusive and the Social Dining evening brunch package an easy-going flipside to the restaurant’s usual offer, which - with the likes of Hanger Steak and Pumpkin Tortellini on the menu – promises a different kind of temptation.
SOCIAL DINING Thursday happens from 7.30 until 11pm.
FOR the alcohol package you pay 299AED per person. Without alcohol, it costs 199AED.
TO check out more about The Cavendish and other Bonnington hotel facilities, call 04 356 0533, email Cavendish@bonningtontower.com or go to http://www.bonningtontower.com
THE Cavendish and the Bonnington Healey’s Bar both feature in the 2016 Entertainer Dubai Fine Dining book/app. For more and updated offers, go to www.theentertainerme.com