Showing posts from October, 2013

Hyatt Capital Gate Sky Brunch

A year ago, around this time, I tried the brunch at 18°, the signature restaurant at Hyatt Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi. I remember leaving with a satisfied feeling. My experience this time was the same, and undiminished.

The first thing that strikes you as you enter the hotel is the space. The ground floor entrance, though,  does not actually take you to the lobby of the hotel. The lobby is found on the 18th floor. However, on the ground floor you will find a rather soulless cafe, Profiterole. Now I have been to this Hyatt on about 5-7 occasions and I am yet to find a customer/guest at this cafe. I often wonder how these cafes contribute to a hotel's bottom line. Anyway, I spent about half an hour killing time by reading a book before going up to the 18th floor for brunch.

On the 18th floor, the lift opens to reveal the lobby lounge, reception on the left and 18° on the right. The name 18° ? The angle at which this impressive building leans.

I was welcomed at the entrance to the resta…

de thali - another favourite.

In my very first post I did an entry on mall food and mentioned de thali in Madinat Zayed in downtown Abu Dhabi, as a place more than worth a visit. After my most recent dining experience, I feel it an injustice that this little gem of a restaurant does not have wider appeal.

How would one describe it on first impressions? Imagine a hip and more cool India Palace where you do not feel overwhelmed by heavy maroons and ornate tables and chairs. De Thali is spacious and well lit and has the coolest looking menus with that recycled look about it.

For the uninitiated, a thali  is an Indian plate, typically a steel tray with compartments and will feature several small dishes. Typical dishes include rice, dal, vegetables, a choice of bread, usually roti or naan, yogurt, pickles  and a sweet dish too. Depending on the region you are, a thali will differ accordingly where different Indian regions use different core ingredients in their cooking. On this occasion we went with a North Indian style…

Afya - Traders Hotel, Abu Dabi

In a previous post I looked at Traders Hotel and commented on my visit to Afya for breakfast - it was not enjoyable. What a contrast my dinner experience was. Afya has done a lot to market themselves as a restaurant that offers good food at a price that is affordable but does not compromise the overall experience of higher end casual dining. Afya has introduced theme nights too, and on my visit, it was an Asian Night.

They had a Chinese chef preparing noodles at a live station as well as a station with a selection of Asian delicacies. I chose to go for their Wine and Dinner special which had  a 3 course set menu and unlimited wine. At Dhs145++ this is tremendous. A side note is that there great variety with regards to the main course.  An off-putting thing though, was the cheap and tacky menu which was nothing more than a laminated print out.

The wine on offer is the Wolfblass Eaglehawk Merlot that is, incidentally, also served in Shangri-La as the 'house wine'. It is a very p…

Sofra Seafood Night - Shangri-la, Abu Dhabi.

Do you have that comfortable item of clothing that you just can't get rid of? Is there that jeans, for example, that you keep slipping into because it is just to comfortable despite the fact that you have newer ones in the closet or  that you have to suck in your tummy to wear it? Is there that jeans that you wear because you know you look good in it? It is more than just comfortable. You actually like it. You are happy to wear it. This analogy sums up my relationship with Sofra bld at Shangri-la.

On this occasion I went for their seafood night which is held on a Tuesday. You can expect a lot of the usual favourites here, but this is all about seafood of course. They do a seafood grill that can be brought to your table. Rather than get the entire grill - come on I eat like a bird, I had a variety of smaller dishes.  I started with the caviar which was fresh, but served with rather odd crackers; crackers that seemed out of place next to its more esteemed appetiser partner. Not a go…

Shang Palace, all about the food - Shangri-la, Abu Dhabi.

How do you make something that is already good even better? Well, change the menu and add some fabulous new dishes. That is exactly what Shang Palace has done. Their impressive yam cha offered between 12.30 and 15h00 has become even more impressive with some tasty additions to their menu.

Now I love yam cha. Next to Japanese food, I find it as the meal that allows me to feel satisfied without feeling bloated. The ingredients are light, the tastes are varied but subtle - a nice way to spend an afternoon.

I have enjoyed Shang Palace several times in the past, but was often left with a feeling that something was missing in the service. The service was always professional, but left me feeling it was too mechanical. Not this time. The service on this occasion was everything it usually is, but felt human and less robotic. It was spontaneous and warm!

I started out with the hot and sour soup with soft tofu and seafood. It is a shame I did not have a cold. I reckon this will go a long way to …