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Showing posts from November, 2014

Aqua for Italian - Rosewood Hotel, Abu Dhabi

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Truffles. They have come and gone, and while you may still have the pleasure of them in some restaurants, the season has left us, and with a bittersweet heart, I recall the words of French novelist, Alexandre Dumas:The most learned of men have been questioned as to the nature of this tuber, and after two thousand years of argument and discussion their answer is the same as it was on the first day: we do not know. The truffles themselves have been interrogated, and have answered simply: eat us and praise the Lord. I arrive at Aqua, one of the most under appreciated restaurants that transforms its menu from an all day dining buffet concept to Italian at night. With a  few days left of their truffles promotion, I walk in and this time I am offered a  seat on the terrace.  


The city boy in me comes to life - the Abu Dhabi skyline, flashing lights and the music from Glo, the ultra cool terrace lounge at Rosewood,  all make an impression on me. As sentimental as I am with my mind drifting ba…

Beef and Champagne at The Forge - Ritz Carlton, Abu Dhabi

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About 3 months ago, I visited The Forge and while I enjoyed my dinner, one of the outstanding aspects was the staff. I went on to quote the inimitable Wolfgang Puck in relation to the staff: 
It's very important in a restaurant to really do the right hiring because there's no restaurant that you have one cook and one chef and nobody else in the kitchen. Generally you have five, ten, 15 people with you. So what's really important is to train them right, but first you have to hire the right people.



But one of the staff that stood out that night was the barman, Deepesh, who simply mesmerised with his creations at the bar. (http://bit.ly/1rZLq7Y ). On this occasion,  I join him and the assistant sommelier, Jonathan, at the bar to see what they could come up with using their house Champagne, Henry AbelĂ© Brut. I am in the mood for some serious cocktails, and my hosts for the first part of the evening waste no time in serving the first cocktail. 



The first cocktail for the evening …

Dom Perignon Brunch at Safina - Saadiyat Beach Club, Abu Dhabi

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You may recall the old Monte Carlo Beach Club that used to serve tapas at its brunch. It was one of a few restaurants that went the a la carte route and kept it going for a sustained period of time. With the advent of Saadiyat Beach Club, I was curious to see how the concept would be reworked, if at all.  The question was always: if the old beach club was such a trendsetter, what would the new beach club do to the brunch scene in Abu Dhabi? Would it innovate? Would it go the safe route?



Five talking points from brunch

Location
There are not many brunches that can claim to offer the location that Saadiyat Beach Club has. The island is known for having the most natural of beaches - in Abu Dhabi this is a premium attraction; a natural beach. From our table I had views of the  sea, but it is more than just the sea. The Club is absolutely gorgeous the moment you walk in. The brunch was at half capacity this time, and everyone was seated outside. The weather was simply ideal.



Dom Perignon 2004
O…

Dinner with a revolving view at Stratos - Le Royal Meridien, Abu Dhabi

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Having been to Stratos a couple weeks ago to experience the John Stone Dinner ( read here http://bit.ly/1xbgCr1 ) in which the virtues of Irish dry aged and grass fed beef were rightfully expounded, I decided to try Stratos again, this time to sample the rest of the menu. 

The moment I take the elevator up to Stratos on the 26th floor, there is already a feeling of exclusivity - there is one elevator dedicated  to taking you up all the way. As I exit the elevator, I see stylish lockers displaying some high end single malt whiskies and cognacs. Briefly, if you and some friends do not manage to finish one of those bottles, Stratos will keep it for on your next and subsequent visits. Sensible and practical, but also making you feel a sense of homeliness. 




 I am offered a pre-dinner drink after being seated in the lounging area, with Abu Dhabi's skyline in front of me. A lot has been said about Abu Dhabi's ever changing skyline, well this is a place that gives me that from another p…

My favoured Brunch concept at Market Kitchen - Le Royal Merdien, Abu Dhabi

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Chocolate fountains. A kids area with balloons as well as a clown. A loud and boisterous crowd. More than 350 guests around you trying more than 130 dishes. Crowded. Did I mention that? The lines for the roast beef are not too long fortunately...This is not Market Kitchen. The latter is a brunch that goes against the brunch culture created in the city. Here, less is more. It is classy, elegant but relaxed. There is no buffet area. This is Market Kitchen at Le Royal Meridien. 'The concept is inspired by celebrity chef Jean Georges Vongerichten, whose menus are an integral part of the restaurant. The restaurant is designed to evoke New York, with a lofted level, ideal but not exclusively for drinks and the lower level for dining. The warehouse feel adds to the New York vibe ' (from my previous visit. You can read the full review herehttp://bit.ly/T032o5)




Five talking points

The Kitchen Concept

On arriving for the brunch, the first feeling evoked is one of tranquility. It is more …