Cafe D'Alsace at the Yas Island Marina - Abu Dhabi
I start off with the French Onion soup. My first spoonful reveals a hearty dish. The brown colour underscores this. Also, big onion pieces make you feel the almost brasserie-style of the soup. I am immediately hit by the sweetness of the onions that have caramelised. The sweetness, though, is balanced by the Gruyere gratinated bread. That sharpness of the cheese is well met by the sweetness of the onion soup. Nice.
I am out to try some French items on a menu that has a surprisingly eclectic mix of dishes. Tonight I am sticking to the French inspired dishes though. I have the Deep fried brie, and when I try it, I like the contrast of the crispy outer part and the soft, melting brie. Dried apricots and figs bring both sweet-sourness and texture to my choice.
My main course, the Chicken cordon bleu is recommended to me by the affable and engaging manager on duty, a Serbian native, Milan. While the idea of chicken and cheese is one I am not used to at all, I am not about to dampen his enthusiasm.
This dish, with its origins down to the French and Swiss, is understandably one of Cafe D'Alsace's signature dishes, owing to Alsace's geographical position. The portion is large, served with a side salad and fries, and offers great value for money. The real success in this dish is the way the breast is cooked. the chef has ensured that it has not lost any moisture.
The wine recommended to me was from Alsace region. Thanks to its climate, it produces dry Rieslings. I really enjoyed my Riesling Hugel - a fairly complex Riesling.
Dessert was an obvious choice - I had a cheese platter with deliciously dried figs; a dessert that offers cheese lovers an option that does not make a dent in the wallet!
In summary, Cafe D'Alsace offers a relaxed and casual experience, with waiteing staff setting the tone. While I would have liked to see more dishes celebrating its name sake, the menu offers enough French dishes to keep you interested. The menu prices ultimately make it a cafe you should try. Incidentally, I looked at their breakfast menu, and that in itself would be reason enough to drive there. Finally, its location on the marina as opposed to a location in a hotel, ensures that you should visit for something different.
Yas Island Marina,