Food Watch: Unique yet straightforward is folly’s USP

Rupkatha Bhowmick

Home-grown brand folly by Nick & Scott is a stunning restaurant situated in Souk Madinat Jumeirah. The co-founders, Nick Alvis and Scott Price, envisioned and created a space – in partnership with Gates Hospitality – that’s unique and comfortable.   


A unique space


A tunnel-like wooden staircase leads guests to the restaurant exuding an English pub look-and-feel. But the moment you step out of the indoor space to the outdoor garden and the rooftop, the ambience completely changes – more open and greener, offering breath-taking views of the Arabian Gulf and the iconic Burj Al Arab. It took almost 18 months to put every aspect of the restaurant in place – centred around the ambience being clean and classy, relaxed yet timeless – before folly opened its doors in March 2017. Today, the restaurant can accommodate around 200 people daily. 


Restaurant interiors – folly by Nick & Scott


A unique take on gastronomy               


folly by Nick & Scoot has a unique take on food – the menu consisting of around 38 dishes. “Every dish has its own identity, its own flavour. We don’t try to replace or add any ingredient in the dishes forcibly. All 38 dishes on the menu are completely different from each other,” Alvis emphasised. 


“In doing so, we try and stick to three key flavours in every dish,” Price pointed out. “The main ingredient in the dish is complemented by maximum two more flavours. We strongly believe in the ‘less is better’ philosophy when it comes to flavours in our dishes.”


Yet another distinctive feature at folly is the ‘Kitchen Bar’ interactive dining experience, wherein guests can sit in a group of eight and interact with chefs as their eight-course meal is prepared and served. “Along with the gastronomic elements, the Kitchen Bar experience is rendered exclusive also through the use of completely separate crockery and cutlery,” Alvis added. 


A combination of factors driving success 


Constant innovation and consistently high service are strong forces driving the success of folly by Nick & Scott, therein driving people through the doors of the restaurant every single day, despite the overall subdued climate and stiff competition. 


The restaurant sees a full house every day. In this context, Price said, “Since we opened the doors of folly, we have focused on what’s most important – looking after our guests, by offering them consistently high-quality food and service, while delivering value for money.” 


Almost 80% of folly’s audience happens to be UAE residents. The brand has gained resonance among people living here, and the percentage of repeat clientele is significant. “However, in the last three months of 2019, we have seen the tourist numbers grow, like it usually is towards winter,” Price shared. “The tourist footfall at folly is also driven by word-of-mouth and our high ranking on Google, TripAdvisor and the like.” 


A look ahead 


Evolution will always be a key aspect at folly. “We have always been sharply focused on being relevant,” Price stated. “We have to give people reasons to come back to folly; that’s why, we have slowly but surely expanded our experiences at folly every year. Soon after starting the restaurant with indoor seating, we expanded to the outdoor garden area followed by the picturesque rooftop with live music and a DJ. A couple of months ago, we launched The Wine Bar.” 


“Currently, we are working hard to make our Kitchen Bar experience known across the world,” added Alvis. 


When asked if they foresee a second folly in the UAE or anywhere else, pat came the response, “Not really! We never built it to be copied. At best, we might do some spin-off, if we wake up with a great idea and find the right location,” concluded Alvis and Price.  


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