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Showing posts from July, 2017

New menu experience at Rangoli - Yas Island Rotana, Abu Dhabi

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If you have not been to Rangoli, the north and south Indian restaurant at Yas Island Rotana in Abu Dhabi, you are losing out. The restaurant gives you two distinctive experiences, with the largest part of the restaurant giving direct views of the pool area through the floor to ceiling windows. Then, there is a  section that is more intimate and has an element of romance about it - it is marginally darker and with fewer people accommodated. It is here where my daughter and I sit to try a couple of dishes created by Rangoli Specialty Laxmi Kanth Kadiri.


As always, I start with a  glass of prosecco, one of about 27 by the glass options - equalled by only one other Indian restaurant in the city. I have a glass of Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco, incidentally, one of two Proseccos offered by the glass. There is something about the mild sweetness that comes through in a  Prosecco that favours it as a pairing with Indian dishes. Great value too. 


The evolution of something special


Having been to R…

Gin & Tea at Lemon & Lime - The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa, Abu Dhabi

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Two years ago Abu Dhabi had what I thought to be one of the best brunch concepts in the Martini Brunch. It was sophisticated, unique and held on a  Saturday at Lemon & Lime Lounge at The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa. There was simply nothing like it. Sadly it was stopped a few months ago - I think there were just not enough people who understood what this brunch was about. We have too many people stuck in the more is more mind set, who think every brunch is about feeding at the triugh.  A few months on, it was no hesitation that I tried the next concept at Lemon & Lime Lounge, The Gin & Tea experience. 
1. Concept

It is a 7 course Gin and Tapas pairing menu every Saturday from 5-8pm. Again, nothing like it in the city, so when I saw this, I was really intrigued. The Westin and two other hotels are known for their willingness to take risks and innovate - this is certainly one of those concepts. I am optimistic this time about it because the pricing is perhaps more p…

Toro Toro for Pan-Latin cuisine in Dubai - Grosvenor House, Dubai.

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There is a rather dramatic feel to Toro Toro as I walk in. lighting is used to maximum effect to create that sense of the dramatic, as are the ceilings. Well spoken hostesses who carry themselves a la Audrey Hepburn guide guests to their tables. The music, unmistakenly Latino sets the tone, as the cliché goes. Rather than go to my table immediately, I ask for my guest and me to be taken to the upstairs bar - the restaurant, bar and lounge span two floors. 


As we make our way up the stairs, I feel vindicated in starting off with a drink at the bar. It is a sumptuous bar, also gorgeously lit. Toro Toro is all about cocktails at the bar, although its impressive rum collection will make any connoisseur ecstatic. There are times though that I am so predictable, so I opt for a glass of house bubbly, NV Laurent Perrier Brut, while my guest enjoys a specially crafted cocktail. 


Just before moving downstairs for dinner, I walk around the bar and lounge area. I am told that in total, Toro Toro ac…

Aperitivo at Olives by Todd English - Venetian Village, Abu Dhabi

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Olives by Todd English, the Mediterranean restaurant at Venetian Village, adjacent to the grounds of the Ritz-Carlton in Abu Dhabi, has been having an Aperitvo evening for the last few months, and I recently tried it out. The concept is easy enough. For 85AED++, you can enjoy a free flow of selected drinks as well as one serving of bar bites. At a time when everyone is saving dirhams, I thought it a good idea to see how it translates to value for money. 


To avail of the offer, I had to sit in the bar area. It is a cosy, luxurious place to have a drink and is one of the nicer albeit lesser known bars around. You can never go wrong with plush leather seats. However, I would have liked the option to sit anywhere since it is served at the table. However, I can see why it is served in the bar - it is about creating life in the bar too. 

I get to try all the bar bites this evening. The Truffle risotto tartar tots are delicious, alliteration notwithstanding - I love the name! They are crispy o…