Bord Eau - Shangri-la, Abu Dhabi
When one visits such a restaurant where its reputation precedes itself to the extent that Bord Eau's does, there is a risk that one is either too tough to prove the many who rave about it wrong or to mythologise it too because of what one has heard. It was with this in mind that I went for dinner.
I was greeted at the door by a hostess that personified grace and elegance. The first thing that hits you as you walk in is the tranquility and peace. This has nothing to with the number of diners at the restaurant. It runs deeper than that. The colours are earthy and the bit of colour that is provided by two beautiful Degas- inspired ballerina paintings, is offset by the low key lighting. I could understand why, notwithstanding that I dined alone, this is regarded as one of the most romantic restaurants in the city. Moreover, Bord Eau has only 11/12 tables inside and 5 outside, adding to that air of intimacy and romance.
Out of respect for the Prophet's birthday (PBUH) there was no alcohol served, so I went with sparkling water for the night, but told myself that I would have to try the well regarded wine list on another day.
|Salmon tartar as you've never seen it.|
|Pumpkin amuse bouche.|
|Snails and frog legs.|
On a side note, I was really impressed by the timing between courses. It was a testament to precision!
Finally, the Chocolate Extravaganza. I waited for this with an eagerness shown by early travellers as they waited for the moon to guide them across the desert. I had read about this chocolate feast, but even that did not prepare me for what lay ahead. A chocolate ball on a plate was placed in front of me. I was underwhelmed, but then the waitress poured hot chocolate sauce over it. It started to melt to reveal chocolate ice cream on the inside. What a surprise! One spoonful and I regretted feeling 'underwhelmed'. Dark chocolate, so no issues with calories. The hot and cold combined to dull my senses as I entered a world of pure pleasure and indulgence. I am glad no one was watching me as I put the spoon in my mouth. When I finished, I told my waitress that next time I would order the 4-course Chocolate Extravaganza!
The verdict? Seriously? Is there a need to ask? I can see why so many online travel sites and dining sites praise Bord Eau. In a world where everything is about adding water and stirring... In a world where we choose the easiest, quickest and not scenic route to get to our destination, it is heartwarming to know that such a thing as Time does exist; time to care about the presentation of a starter. Time to meticulously place your cutlery while you wait the arrival of a your next course. Time to enjoy a meal and not worry about tomorrow. Time. Time is Bord Eau, Shangri-la.
The low down
Shangri-la, Abu Dhabi
Meal for two