EDITION 25 | FEBRUARY 2017
Romantic Restaurants To Visit For The Perfect Valentine’s Day Dinner
A Culinary Journey to Muscat, Oman
Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi’s Big Brunch Announced!
Treat your loved one to an intimate dinner at the recently awarded "Best Romantic Restaurant" in the capital throughout February. Inviting couples for an enchanting rendezvous with a 360Â° panoramic view accompanied by a special 3 course set menu at only AED 360 NET per couple. Entertainment hosted by DJ Lola Nova Take advantage of the exclusive set menu of AED 249 NET per person on Valentines day only. For bookings and more information, Call 800 101 101 or email at email@example.com #StratosAbuDhabi
Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi Published 12 times a year by Smart Communications FZ LLC
Dear Foodies After the great success of Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi’s Restaurant Month we wanted to give you something even better to sink your teeth into. We racked our brains and ta-da we are pleased to announce ‘Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi’s Big Brunch’. Happening from 1st to 31st March 2017 ‘Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi’s Big Brunch’ will let you enjoy Abu Dhabi’s best brunches for a fraction of the cost. All the participating restaurants will be offering their brunches for a ﬁxed price of AED 200 net for soft drinks package, AED 250 net for house beverages package and AED 350 net for sparkling package. On average, you’ll save over AED 150 per person! For more details please visit www.diningandnightlifeabudhabi.ae In this edition, we round up the upcoming food festivals happening over the next few months from Abu Dhabi to Dubai. Seek out the most romantic restaurants and their offerings this Valentine’s Day, experience some of the latest brunches and journey to Oman to explore the beautiful city of Muscat and try some original Omani cuisine.
Leanne Smart Leanne Smart | Editor In Chief
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Valentineâ€™s Day with a View Relax alfresco at Azura Panoramic Lounge with stunning evening views of the glistening Abu Dhabi skyline. Friends, families and couples will enjoy a breathtaking sunset and four-course epicurean menu of Arabic grills and classics.
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Contents Romantic Restaurants To Visit For The Perfect Valentine’s Day Dinner Page 6 Stratos, Possibly The Capitals Most Romantic Restaurant Page 12 A Culinary Journey to Muscat, Oman Page 16 The Latest Food Festivals To Come To Abu Dhabi and Dubai Page 22 Marriott Downtown Abu Dhabi’s Friday Brunch, Reviewed Page 24 Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort’s Flavours Friday Brunch, Reviewed Page 28 Asia de Cuba, Reviewed Page 32 Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi’s Big Brunch Announced! Page 34
Romantic restaur the perfect Valent Yas Viceroy On February 14th treat your Valentines to a romantic candlelit dinner for two, savor a sumptuous dinner at Amici from 7.00pm to 11.00pm and make it a Valentine’s Day to remember. Choose between the a la carte menu with a selection of an authentic cuisine or a set menu for two. Price: AED 450* per person. Those in the mood for Japanese can treat their partner to an exquisite Omakese dinner at Kazu. Situated overlooking the famous Yas Marina Circuit, Kazu offers a specially crafted Valentine’s Day menu for two. Price: AED 350* per person. Yas Viceroy, 02 656 0600 Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi Market Kitchen has created a special sharing menu this Valentine’s Day. Enjoy fresh produce, beautifully presented, sure to offer a feast for your eyes and palate. Price: AED 250* with soft beverage and AED 400* with grape pairing. Raise the bar this Valentines and head to the highest revolving restaurant and lounge in the city, Stratos. As you treat your loved one to an exquisite 3-course menu be sure to take in the romantic 360 degree views of the twinkle lit city, all to the chilled vibes of DJ Lola Nova. Price: 3-course menu AED 360 for 2 people. Want to go all out? Check out Stratos Romantic Package where you and your partner can enjoy a 1 night stay in a deluxe room along with a 3-course dinner for two at Stratos Grill and Lounge, plus a welcome drink on arrival. Price: AED 699. Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, 800 101 101 Four Seasons Abu Dhabi For something different try the ‘Steps to Love, Pathway to Romantic Dinner’ package by Four Seasons Abu Dhabi. Meet in Zsa Zsa for an arrival mixer and receive your invitation to your romantic journey. From here you will be lead to Butcher & Still for dinner, consisting of appetizers and main courses, paired with grape. Following dinner, you will be lead to Al Meylas Lounge for love inspired decadent desserts. Finishing off the evening under the stars, at the rooftop bar, Eclipse Terrace Lounge Price: AED 750* per couple. Four Seasons Abu Dhabi, 02 333 2700
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Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi Set to offer an intimate, yet an exquisite dining experience, the team at Benjarong, Dusit Thani’s signature Thai restaurant, have created a lavish Valentines delight. Begin your experience with a complimentary glass of bubbly before embarking on a tastefully crafted 5-course set menu. The menu includes Thai favourites such as prawn cake, duck rolls and chicken minced ball, seafood wonton consommé, lemongrass sorbet, grilled king prawn, sea bass. Finished with a luxuriously creamy chocolate fondant. Ladies will be presented with a stunning red rose. Price: AED 150* per person. Head for a romantic rendezvous at The Capital Grill, Dusit Thani’s signature steakhouse. Start with a complimentary glass of bubbly and move on to the sumptuous 5-course dinner that awaits you. Begin with foie gras terrine and wash your palate with cinnamon sorbet. The main course includes roasted beef with buttered swiss chard and truffle macaroni. Spice up your evening with iced passion fruit chiboust with a dash of caramelised pineapple. Conclude your evening with a selection of heart-shaped petit fours, coffee and a red rose for ladies. Price: AED 230* per person. Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi, 02 698 8137 The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort and Spa Your journey starts with a personalized gift box, followed by a 4-course set menu at the acclaimed Italian restaurant Sacci. A bottle of bubbly is included to compliment the experience. Enjoy all of this to the soulful tunes of a saxophonist. If you want to add an extra dash of wow, a limousine pick up can be arranged along with a bouquet of flowers for an additional AED 400. Price: AED 720 net per couple. If you don’t want the typical restaurant dining experience than why not try the private cabanas by the pool. Price: 4-course dinner plus a glass of sparkling grape AED 600* per couple, add bubbly AED 750* per couple, tables by the pool AED 500* per couple. The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort and Spa, 02 616 9999
rants to visit for tine’s Day dinner The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort 55&5th, The Grill, will be offering a culinary adventure with its 5-course Valentine’s menu. Each course can be paired with the finest beverages by the resident sommelier. Enjoy al fresco dining on the terrace or in the intimate booths of the restaurant. The Jade Trio Band will enlighten you with an exclusive performance that will heighten the sense of romance in the air. Price: AED 990* per couple, AED 1,395* per couple, inclusive of a bottle of bubbly. Southeast Asian flavors are on offer at Sontaya. Sontaya’s floating pavilions set a relaxing tone as the moon light glistens over the shimmering pools. Loved ones can indulge in a delectable Southeast Asian 4-course set menu, live entertainment and candlelight setup, creating delightful memories. Price: AED 600* per couple. If you are looking to dine under the stars what better than an indulgent seafood dinner at Turquoiz beach restaurant and lounge. Cozy up on the beach lounge or enjoy comfortable seating and a dedicated bar while indulging in the live tunes, 4-course set menu, caviar and a bottle of sparkling grape beverage. For a more exclusive romantic evening the beachfront restaurant offers a limited number of intimate cabanas with alluring packages. Price: AED 700* per couple, AED 1,150* per couple, inclusive of caviar, AED 1,450* per couple, inclusive of caviar and a bottle of sparkling grape beverage, AED 2,500* per couple for limited cabana. The resort’s Drawing Room invites guests to ignite their romance with an enticing ‘Love Afternoon Tea’ that is guaranteed to revive the passion for the sweeter things in life. Price: AED 160* per person, AED 200* per couple. The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, 02 498 8443
Emirates Palace Make the most of the fine weather and book a dreamy Valentine’s dining experience at Emirates Palace’s famous seaside venue BBQ Al Qasr. Every final romantic touch will be set including red roses, candlelight, a menu made for romance, soft music, sea air and the tranquil lull of the Arabian Sea lapping at the shores. Guests can also enjoy complimentary one-way limousine transfer, available only to Abu Dhabi city residents. Price: AED 1,350* per couple for the 3-course menu includes a bottle of bubbly. AED 1,850* per couple for the 5-course menu includes bottle of bubbly. If you’d rather a relaxed dining experience try Emirates Palace, Beach Picnic at BBQ Al Qasr. Enjoy a picnic basket for two as you watch the sun set. Price: AED 520* including high tea stand for two persons. Two glasses of bubbles. Emirates Palace, 02 690 7999 Zaya Nurai Island Hop on a speedboat and be transported to an island of tranquility. This Valentine’s Day talented Chef Marc Abed has created a dedicated his and hers menu. The 4-course menu is themed to match his and her preferences with a glass of bubbly for each and a bottle of grape. Price: AED 1,480* per couple including 2 glasses of bubbly and a bottle of grape. Offer available at AED 1,100* per couple including soft drinks and mocktails. Alternatively book your stay at the award winning Nurai Island and enjoy an intimate candlelight dinner for two on your private beach surrounded by tikki torches, candlelight and your bonfire. Get an exclusive 20% discount on selected spa treatments. Price: AED Rate starting at AED 5,500* per night per beach villa. Advance booking is required. Zaya Nurai Island, 02 506 6212
February | 7
The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal The Forge has created a special 5-course set menu for two which includes a glass of French bubbly. This steakhouse is a favourite amongst residents. Its chic design allows for a relaxed ambience and the attentive staff make for an evening well spent. Price: AED 750* per couple. Dine under the star lit sky as you and your loved one enjoy a Middle Eastern sharing style menu and glass of French bubbly, all while listening to a live Arabic band on the star-lit Mijana terrace. Price: AED 500* per couple. Welcome an exquisite evening at Li Jiang as you indulge in an Oriental sharing set menu and a glass of French bubbly. Price: AED 650* per couple. Experience the epitome of romance with an evening under the stars. Enjoy personalized butler service in your own private cabana as you dine on a delectable 4-course set menu for two. Price: AED 2,000* per couple. The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, 02 818 8282
8 | Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi
Fairmont Bab Al Bahr Marco Pierre White Steakhouse and Grill offers an evening of sophistication. Couples can expect an unforgettable fine dining experience that will impress their palate with a unique 5-course menu and a sommelier on hand to recommend the finest grape pairing. The menu features scallop salad with cauliflower and sturgeon caviar followed by succulent slow roasted Wagyu tenderloin with shiitake mushroom and a poached dover sole with saffron baby new potatoes. Coffee soufflĂŠ with ice cream will keep guests guessing while the team prepares a special surprise for the lady! Price: AED 385* per person. At Frankieâ€™s Restaurant and Bar guests can experience true Italian romance at either the bustling indoor venue or at the outdoor courtyard, all set for an intimate and al fresco dining experience. Guests will indulge in a special 4-course set menu inspired by traditional Italian wedding, the symbol of love and long lasting relationship. Specialties such as open ravioli with lobster and scallop ragout in fennel and ginger sauce will tantalize taste buds whereas the chocolate sphere with a lovely surprise inside is the perfect ending to a delightful dinner. In addition, chocolates and roses will be offered to the ladies and all guests will have the chance to win exciting prizes, including overnight stays and exclusive gifts. Price: AED 285* per person. Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, 02 654 3238
The St Regis Abu Dhabi Created by Chef Stefano Viola, Villa Toscana’s Valentine’s Day menu features a 4-course sharing menu, serving handcrafted, regional Italian specialties from Tuscany, Umbria, and Emilia-Romagna. Enjoy an Italian welcome drink at the Villa Toscana Bar before embracing your 4-course culinary journey. Price: AED 425* per person with soft beverages or AED 600* per person with Italian grape paring. Venture to Azura Panoramic Lounge and take in the views from the intimate rooftop, where evening views of Abu Dhabi Corniche await you. Indulge in a tasteful 4-course Valentine’s Day epicurean menu of Arabic grills and classics. Price: AED 225* per person with soft beverages, AED 450* per person with grape, hops and mixers, AED 550* with bubbly, grape, hops and mixers. The St Regis Abu Dhabi, 02 694 4553 Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort Celebrate Valentine’s Day the Italian way at La Mamma where a beautiful Italian meal has been especially created. Live piano music completes the amorous atmosphere at La Mamma. Price: 4-course dinner with a welcome drink and soft beverages, AED 175* per person, 4-course dinner with a welcome drink and free flow of grape, AED 260* per person. Enjoy Spanish delights while listening to romantic Flamenco guitar tunes at Bravo, Spanish tapas bar and restaurant. Price: Sharing tapas menu with a welcome drink and free flow of Spanish mixer AED 175* per person. Sharing tapas menu with a welcome drink and free flow of Spanish mixer and grape AED 205* per person. Movie night under the stars. Watch a romantic movie on the sandy beach, cozy up under warm blankets and enjoy a sharing platter of canapes and nibbles with your choice of four beverages. Movie of the night: Crazy, Stupid, Love. Price: AED 165* per couple. Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort, 02 677 3333
BOA Steakhouse Located at the scenic Eastern Mangroves Promenade BOA Steakhouse has created a limited edition 4-course menu to be enjoyed on the most romantic night of the year. Be welcomed with a glass of pink bubbles before embarking upon your delightful dining experience. Specially crafted Valentine’s Day mixers will also be available on the evening, as well as a unique couples’ mixer for just AED 85 per person. Price: AED 550 per person. BOA Steakhouse, 02 641 1500 Koi Restaurant & Lounge Enjoy the very best in contemporary Japanese cuisine with a specially tailored 4-course set menu, guaranteed to sweep you off your feet. After a romantic evening meal, be allured into the Koi Lounge and enjoy a delicious beverage or two from the menu. Price: AED 325 per person. Koi Restaurant & Lounge, 02 678 3334 BU! Trinity BU! have created an evening of Latin-filled romance. Book the stunning 5-course menu designed by Head Chef Humberto Canales and enjoy imaginative dishes such as salmon and tuna carpaccio, goats cheese and truffle ravioli and beef tenderloin with foie gras, all served with a bottle of Spanish bubbly. Price: AED 500 per couple. Feeling flush? Book BU!’s VIP Valentine’s Day package, which includes a candlelit private terrace space, live musician, private butler and the use of a limousine for the evening. Price: AED 3,000 per couple. BU! Trinity, 02 666 8066
February | 9
Le Méridien Abu Dhabi Choose to dine in cosy interiors or on the buzzing outdoor terrace, either way Pappagallo, Italian restaurant is a great choice. Enjoy a 4-course Valentine’s menu featuring tantalizing dishes of tuna tartar, white asparagus, grilled veal rack or pan-seared fish and chocolate fondant with homemade vanilla walnut ice-cream. Price: AED 195 per person. Talay, Southeast Asian restaurant has prepared a tasteful 4-course dinner with traditional and western dishes, such as papaya salad, tom yam soup, lobster and chocolate covered strawberries, all to the backdrop of the panoramic waterfront setting of Al Maryah Island. Price: AED 195 per person. Le Méridien Abu Dhabi, 02 644 6666 Venetian Village Not sure what you’re in the mood for this Valentine’s Day? Head over to the Venetian Village and choose from a selection of award winning restaurants all serving a variety of cuisine from across the globe. Enjoy all this whilst indulging in some of the city’s best views. Brasserie Flo Enjoy a 3-course set menu, presenting a French flair of luxurious cuisine. Start with scallops or oysters before moving onto succulent lobster or celestial duck and finish with a small selection of desserts. Price: AED 369*. Brasserie Flo, 02 404 1931 Todd English’s Olives The 4-course menu, with main-course choice features lemongrass poached shrimps, lobster raviolinis, grilled beef tenderloin or lemon sole filet. Included in the price is water, 2 welcome drinks, tea and coffee. Vegetarian option will be available. Finish the night in style, ladies will be presented with a rose and heart shape cookies prepared in-house by the chef. Price: AED 500* per couple. Todd English’s Olives, 02 404 1941
Inakaya This generous 5-course menu is sure to please your palate. Start with edamame or miso soup, select salmon tataki salad with caviar or Wagyu beef tataki salad with black truffle mushroom, indulge in chef special 5 kind sashimi, choose between two amazing main courses of grilled black cod with half lobster or grilled Wagyu rib eye steak with half lobster and conclude with yuzu cheesecake with yuzu sorbet or fruit plate with yuzu sorbet. Price: AED 299* per person, AED 369* per person with half bottle of house grape, AED 399* per person with half bottle of sparkling grape. Inakaya, 02 404 1921 Hakkasan Abu Dhabi Offering a limited-edition menu for one night only, enjoy dinner in intimate surroundings or on the romantic candle-lit terrace. Dishes include steamed roe scallop with glass noodle and the signature chef selection of dim sum platter followed by wok-fry Canadian lobster, steamed Chilean seabass in preserved pickled chilli and seared lamb tenderloin in Mongolian sauce. Finishing with the lychee panna cotta with raspberry and lychee sorbet. Price: The 3-course menu AED 458* per person or AED 498* with a bubbly mixer. Hakkasan Abu Dhabi, Emirates Palace, 02 690 7999 Roberto’s Abu Dhabi The luxurious and decadent dining choices will certainly make your heart grow fonder and your taste buds swoon, leaving you in the mood for love! With seating in the elegant indoor-outdoor dining room panelled in light-coloured wood, guests will be captivated to a feast of senses with the open kitchen and Crudo Bar in full action. Focus extra special attention on your loved one in an intimate environment, while Executive Chef Francesco Guarracino prepares his signature al fresco dishes made with authentic Italian love. Price: AED 700 per couple including a 5-course set menu, AED 900 per couple including a 5-course set menu and two glasses of fine Italian bubbles flowing softs beverages and a bottle of fine bubbles. Roberto’s Abu Dhabi, 02 627 9009 *Subject to 10% service charge, 6% tourism fee and 4% municipality fee. All the information was correct at time of printing.
10 | Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi
VALENTINE’S INDULGENCE Rekindle your romance over an intimate and exquisite dining experience. Dine with your special someone & celebrate the bond of togetherness like never before.
THAI VALENTINE’S DELIGHT AT BENJARONG: Assorted appetizers (Prawn cake, duck rolls & chicken minced ball), Seafood Wonton Consommé , Lemongrass sorbet, Grilled King Prawn, Sea Bass ﬁsh and Chocolate Fondant. Price: AED 150+++ per person (includes a complimentary glass of bubbly and a rose for ladies)
ROMANTIC RENDEZVOUS AT THE CAPITAL GRILL: Foie Gras Terrine, Cinnamon Sorbet, Roasted beef with buttered Swiss chard and Trufﬂe Macaroni, in addition to Iced passion fruit chiboust with caramelised pineapple. Price: AED 230+++ per person (includes a complimentary glass of bubbly and a rose for ladies) For reservations, please dial +971 (2) 698 8137 or email email@example.com or visit www.dusit.com/dtad
Stratos Possibly the Capitals Most Romantic Restaurant
Stratos is Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi’s revolving bar and grill. If you’ve never visited Stratos we highly recommend a visit in the evening, just as the city is coming to life with its twinkling lights. Stratos offers 360 degree views which are second to none. Making you realize that the city is just as pretty from the air as it is the land. Tonight, we are excited to dine at Stratos, it’s been a few months since our last visit and we are curious to see what is on offer. As the elevator doors open the smooth sounds and fine grilled scents welcome us, we walk in and take a seat by the window. The gold, black and cream interior sets a stylish yet almost 1920’s elegance to the restaurant. The views of the city are incredible. What better way to dine, this sophisticated and trendy venue is the real deal in so many ways. For starters, we select the Caesar salad with romaine lettuce, crispy croutons, crisp veal bites with parmesan and the 9 Loch Fyne oysters. Loch Fyne is a beautiful sea loch that cuts 40 miles into the coast of Argyll in the west of Scotland. Founded in 1978, by the Laird of Ardkinglas Estate, these are amongst the finest oysters in the world. With a dash of ginger shitake dressing the oysters are soon devoured. Medium sized but meaty, these divine oysters are a must. The Caesar salad is enjoyable but after we did wish we’d ordered the burrata, we hear Stratos has an amazing burrata. As we wait for our main course to arrive we select a few beverages from the extensive beverage menu. We sit back, relax and take in the view. I can’t emphasize enough how beautiful and tranquil it feels to watch the world go by.
12 | Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi
Our mains arrive and the large plates fill the table. For our main course, we opt for the grilled rock lobster 700g and the John Stone grass fed tenderloin 220g and slow braised carrots with star anise, mandarin oil and ginger bread along with lyonnaise potatoes as side dishes. The rock lobster is enormous, admittedly I’d not looked at the weight, however the steak looks almost as large. At least we can say that Stratos offers value for money. The lobster is grilled to perfection and still has that smoky scent that can be tasted as every bite is enjoyed. The steak is succulent and almost butter like when cut. The sides are nice and alternatively compliment both dishes. For the dessert, we struggle to decide between the strawberry posset and the lemon curd tart eventually the strawberry posset with strawberry granola, meringues, lemon sorbet and 20-year-old balsamic wins us over. If you are looking for a romantic evening this Valentine’s Day with your partner we would highly recommend Stratos and if not grab your friends and make a night of it, after all who doesn’t want to enjoy fine food, spanning views, five-star service all set in one of the Capital’s chicest venues. Treat your beloved to a classy Valentine’s dinner at one of the most romantic restaurants in the city and enjoy a 3-course menu for AED 360 net for 2! Stratos, Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, 800 101 101 February | 13
A Day At Eastern Hotel & Spa By Today we are visiting Eastern Mangroves Hotel and Spa by Anantara to experience lunch at Ingredients and the new Scents of Arabia Signature ritual spa treatment. Eastern Mangroves Hotel and Spa by Anantara is set on the water’s edge of the region’s precious mangroves, a stone’s throw away from the bustling city. The hotel is situated amongst a marina, retail and residential destination, offering guests an exceptional experience. We make our way to Ingredients, Eastern Mangroves Hotel and Spa by Anantara’s all day dining restaurant. Ingredients features culinary specialties from around the world, from freshly baked Arabic bread, a live sushi bar, grills, salads to Asian delights. The restaurant is bright and airy with warm earthy tones. High ceilings add to the sense of luxury and the two spacious al fresco terraces offer spanning views across the mangroves. To start we enjoy a light Thai papaya salad, beetroot with blue cheese salad and potato with air dried beef salad. What we really like is that the salad offerings are generous and creative, perfect for a quick bite to eat whilst on a lunch break. For those interested in something more substantial head to the grill section, here you will find succulent grills from salmon, chicken to steak. Don’t leave without trying the chicken satay, as an Asian brand if Anantara does one cuisine exceptionally well its Asian cuisine. For dessert, the highlight was the mango with coconut rice, again emphasis on the Asian influence, this was beautifully done and the light fluffy rice worked perfectly with the fresh mango. After a fulfilling lunch, we take a minute to take in the majestic views of the mangroves. A peaceful serenity embraces us, putting us in just the right frame of mind for our upcoming spa treatment. As we enter the spa the authentic fragrances of Asia descend upon us, making us feel relaxed and enchanted. To begin our 90-minute Scents of Arabia Signature ritual we start with a 15-minute steam. This allows our skin to prepare for a full body arabesque massage. We have a choice of rose and sandalwood or amber and musk argan oil blends. The essential oils uplift the mind and soothe the skin. The unique three mint herbal compress and heated bamboo stick are then skillfully used to knead out daily tension. At AED 779 * this is worth every dirham. We suffer from stiff back aches and this treatment really helped knead out some of our toughest knots. The bamboo stick was a first for us but it worked out the tension. Overall our day at Eastern Mangroves Hotel and Spa by Anantara was a great experience. The spa experience lived up to the Anantara brand. The lunch served a wide variety of cuisines and all the staff delivered on quality and service. Eastern Mangroves Hotel and Spa by Anantara, 02 656 1000 *All prices are subject to 10% service charge, 6% tourism fee and 4% municipality fee.
14 | Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi
February | 15
A Culinary Journey to Muscat, Oman
For our visit, we are staying at The Chedi, one of Muscat’s most luxurious hotels. Our room, The Chedi Club Suite is partitioned into three sections, a living area, the bedroom and the bathroom. The décor is Omani influenced with a hint of Asian Zen, a theme that is seen throughout the hotel. Soaring ceilings and large windows allow guests to feel a sense of space whilst the well-appointed furnishings add warmth and elegance to the room. The Chedi Club Suite is inclusive of return airport transfers, complimentary mini bar, selected laundry, daily newspapers and access to The Club Lounge. At The Club Lounge guests are invited to enjoy afternoon tea and evening beverages and canapés as well as complimentary Wi-Fi. The Chedi boasts six restaurants and two lounges spanning the great cuisines and grape of the world, from the Mediterranean and the Middle East to Southeast Asia and India. On our first day we decided to try the afternoon tea at The Club Lounge. A delicate buffet of finger food is on offer including scones, sandwiches, macaroons, olives and cheeses. The scones are fantastic and soft to the touch but sadly the cream isn’t traditional clotted cream. The same day we pass by the evening canapés and beverages before heading to dinner. A light buffet of warm rice balls, sandwiches, cheeses and crackers along with house beverages is available. We sample a few small bites before heading to dinner at The Restaurant, The Chedi’s all day dining restaurant. 16 | Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi
Elegantly curved Omani arches make a dramatic first impression in this vaulted, crystal chandelier lit dining room, as do the contemporary cool dark grey terrazzo floors, live piano music and expansive bay windows. Four open show kitchens add entertainment and aromas as talented chefs prepare Western, Asian, Middle Eastern and Indian fare. As well as the elegant dining room, you can also choose to dine on the outdoor patio or among eight equally chic private dining rooms and lounge areas. To start we order the crab salad with crushed avocado, citrus dressing, pink pepper and crispy spelt bread along with the Lebanese mezze platter. The Lebanese mezze platter consists of hummus, moutabel, tabbouleh, stuffed vine leaves, spinach fatayer, falafel and cheese sambousek. The freshness of the ingredients is evident and each mouthful is as splendid as the next. The crab salad however leaves us in awe, perfectly paired with avocado and with a hint of zest this dish goes down a treat. For our mains, we select the snapper fillet pollichathu from the Indian menu and the pad see eew nuea from the Asian menu. The snapper is cooked in banana leaf and marinated in south Indian spices, the dish is served with lemon rice and pickles. Marinated in the spices the fish is full of flavour, the banana leaf has kept the snapper soft and it literally flakes off our fork. The pad see eew nuea consists of beef tenderloin, flat rice noodles, green vegetables and soy sauce. Although enjoyable the pad see nuea is a weak contestant in comparison to the snapper. February | 17
The next day we are up bright and early and head to breakfast. The breakfast buffet is plentiful and spans across the entire restaurant. All the favourites are on offer from, English breakfast, pastries, a variety of made to order eggs, waffles, pancakes and seasonal fruits. That afternoon we head out to the old Mutrah Souq located on the Mutrah Corniche. This is a must see when visiting Muscat. Shops sell traditional Omani and Indian artefacts, traditional textiles, hardware and jewellery. However, our real reason for venturing to the Corniche this afternoon is to find the renowned Omani restaurant, Bait Al Luban. As we make our way along the picturesque Corniche we arrive to a small side alley. We enter the building and make our way up the stairs. A large wooden door stands before us, we enter, the smell of herbs and spices fill our sense. We have found Bait Al Luban. Bait Al Luban has a small terrace overlooking the Corniche, a table seating area and a traditional Majlis area. All the tables on the terrace are taken so we choose to sit in the Majlis. Omani cuisine is a blend of flavours influenced by the path taken by Omani travellers during their years of trading. The menu at Bait Al Luban encompasses all these flavours offering diners a delectable unique dining experience, which pleasantly showcases Omanâ€™s national history. The menu is extensive and we ask our waiter for some assistance when making our selection. For starters, we select the pakora, fresh Omani vegetable dumplings fried and served with a tangy coconut and mint chutney. These are delightful although the dumplings themselves have a mild grainy texture the coconut and mint chutney substitutes it well. For our mains, we select the arsiya, a traditional dish of slow cooked rice and meat served with torsha and a savoury date sauce and the grilled chicken, served with a sweet potatoe and grilled vegetables. The arsiya has to be one of the best dishes Iâ€™ve tasted within the last 12 months. The lamb has been slow cooked and melted into the rice forming a mushy texture. The date sauce surrounding the dish still has a defined sweetness which works perfectly. For dessert we enjoy a platter of seasonal fruits, Omani dates and an Arabic coffee. Overall the food at Bait Al Luban was exceptional, this restaurant really did live up to the hype. We would absolutely recommend you visit Bait Al Luban if you are travelling to Muscat and wanting to experience traditional Omani cuisine. The best part, our entire meal was only AED 160!
18 | Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi
Market Kitchen at Le Ro presents its De’Vi Market Kitchen’s refreshed De’Vine’ Table Brunch is an interactive, farm-totable dining experience featuring the finest ingredients and entertainment by Australian X-Factor star Jayme Deboucherville. Market Kitchen is the first UAE restaurant to feature the inspirational cuisine of Michelin star Chef Jean-George Vongerichten. Having experienced Market Kitchen for dinner we are excited to see what the talented team have created for brunch. The first course consists of oysters, salmon tartare with apple and hazelnut, fishcakes with rocket and mayonnaise and tuna sashimi on top of crispy sushi rice, scallion and chipotle mayonnaise. The tuna sashimi is created before our very eyes adding a touch of culinary theatre to the brunch. Our favourite dish is the salmon tartar, we absolutely love the salmon, apple and hazelnut combination. The apple and hazelnut add a crunchiness to each bite making the entire dish enriching and delightful. As we wait for the second course to arrive we enjoy the smooth sounds of Jayme Deboucherville. It’s refreshing to be able to enjoy the entertainment, so often do we try and avoid loud and intrusive musicians at Friday brunches. However, Jayme plays a great mix of tunes at just the right level, making it enjoyable. The second course of butternut squash soup, black truffle pizza with fontina cheese and rocket salad with parmesan arrives. The butternut squash is served in a small teacup, a nice touch. The black truffle pizza is delicious, extremely rich and yummy, we have to restrain ourselves from eating the whole thing. As we enjoy our second course the team of mixologists perform an enjoyable mocktail mixing performance around the tables.
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oyal Méridien Abu Dhabi ine’ Table Brunch Shortly after we move onto our third course. This is our favourite course, salt baked sea bream with seaweed and soft herbs and masterstock chicken with orange salt are presented before us. Both dishes are sensational the sea bream is so soft it almost melts in your mouth and the chicken, well, that just flakes off the fork. The sharing experience continues for desserts which include warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice-cream and chocolate cornflakes and milk. What we really like about this brunch is that the team at Market Kitchen have sourced the very best local ingredients, so not only is it delicious but also sustainable. For those with dietary requirements don’t worry the team have also taken you into consideration and have gluten-free and vegetarian options available. Overall, we adored the ‘De’Vine’ Table Brunch, the food quality is amazing, the price is on point, especially for the quantity of food served, the entertainment is relaxing and the service is second to none. We will certainly be back again. The ‘De’Vine’ Table Brunch starts from just AED 199* for mocktails and soft drinks, AED 299* mixers, house grapes and hops and AED 399* with bubbles. Every Friday 12.30pm - 4.00pm at Market Kitchen. Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, 800 101 101 *All prices are subject to 10% service charge, 6% tourism fee and 4% municipality fee.
February | 21
Abu Dhabi #TruckersDXB Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort will be welcoming the popular #TruckersDXB on Saturday, 4th February 2017. From 2.00pm to 11.00pm foodies are invited to gather on the hotel’s sandy beach to enjoy this ultimate outdoor experience. On offer will be a selection of cuisine ranging from Arabic, Asian to Caribbean. Guests can enjoy a variety of bites from fusion noodles, Jamaican chicken, Nutella inspired desserts to Indian savoury snacks. A DJ playing Latin and reggae rhythms will set the scene, followed by live performances by aspiring singers and musicians as part of Sheraton Abu Dhabi’s monthly open mic night. A dedicated play area, complete with a bouncy castle, face painting and arts and crafts will keep children entertained. Entrance is free and all ages are welcome. Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort, 02 677 3333 Love Food Festival Love Food Festival 2017 returns to Al Ain from 9th to 11th February and to Umm Al Emarat Park, Abu Dhabi from 16th to 18th February 2017. Love Food Festival will round up the very best food trucks from London and across the UK, USA contemporary street food movement and a selection of Singapore’s finest authentic street food vendors. For the first time foodies in the UAE will get to experience culinary delights from three continents and four regions all in one place. The festival will also feature some local home-grown UAE street food talent. Foodies will be able to enjoy live cookery demonstrations from world renowned chefs, workshops and presentations as well as live music from top emerging talents. Entertainment will also include a dedicated kid play area, traditional Bedouin tent, falconry and a number of food-related films exploring the theme of food in the festival’s very own outdoor cinema. Abu Dhabi Flavors Festival Umm al Emarat Park is set to play host to Abu Dhabi Flavors Festival, from 30th March to 8th April 2017. The 10-day community event will feature a wide range of rich and diverse cuisines as a mix of over 150 food tents, street food trucks, home-grown F&B brands and Emirati food businesses, showcasing their unique culinary offerings. Visitors will be able to sample their way through a wide variety of culinary delights. From juicy burgers, succulent kebabs, shawarma bites, sushi rolls, curries, freshly baked cookies, Japanese Waghshi, to mouth-watering crepes. The diverse selection of food available promises to satisfy even the fussiest foodie. Abu Dhabi Flavors Festival will also feature hilarious live comedy shows, quiz competitions, kids painting, live cooking demonstrations, stilt walkers, art and crafts activities and entertainment workshops, sure to delight children and deliver a festive atmosphere for families to enjoy a fun-filled evening. Participating brands include: Motorburger, Raclette DXB, Shawarma Code, Spheerz, Rock & rolls, Al Derwaza, Crepes & Poffs, Barbocoa, Extreme Burger, Churros Café, Monkey Cookies, Shish Shawerma, KeKe Sweets, Booth Café, Rezz be Halib, Parata Guys, A’abali Burger, Saj2Go and more.
22 | Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi
Mark your social calen to want to miss th
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Dubai Dubai Food Festival Dubai’s annual citywide culinary celebration, will return to the city from 23rd February to 11th March 2017 bigger and better than ever. Highlights of the 17-day programme are the Etisalat Beach Canteen, Miele Dubai Restaurant Week, Dubai Hidden Gems, Dine and Win plus a host of soon-to-be-announced celebrity chefs. Four times bigger than last year, Etisalat Beach Canteen will present exciting home-grown restaurant concepts, delicious food truck dishes and unique high-end beach dining experiences. Activities include celebrity chef masterclasses, beach sports, children’s activities and yoga classes. 15 of Dubai’s high-end restaurants will offer an exclusive, limited edition three-course set menu from 23rd February to 4th March as part of Miele Dubai Restaurant Week, for a tasty price of AED 199 per person. To book please visit www.roundmenu.com/dubai/restaurant-week Alternatively, why not take a tour of Dubai’s best Hidden Gems as voted by residents. www.dubaifoodfestival.com Taste Of Dubai This year Taste of Dubai celebrates its 10-year anniversary with its best ever line up of chefs, 24 of the Dubai’s hottest restaurants and entertainment by music icon Billy Ocean. The list of impressive international and local celebrity chefs includes; Michel Roux Jr, Gary Rhodes, Aldo Zilli, Eric Lanlard, Jean-Christophe Novelli, Mohammad Orfali and Tarek Ibrahim, Tim Anderson, Atul Kochhar and Paolo Pettenuzzo. Legendary soul and motown singer Billy Ocean will be headlining on the opening night and will be performing all of his top hits including Love Really Hurts Without You, Caribbean Queen, When The Going Gets Tough and Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car. Taste of Dubai will allow visitors to taste 24 of Dubai’s hottest restaurants for as little as AED 15 per plate. This year sees the return of some of the festival favorites as well as a number of new eateries including Ramusake, Weslodge, Big Easy Bar and Grill, Aubaine, Burger and Lobster, Carnival by Tresind, Catch, Namu, J&G Steakhouse, Cook Hall, Sonamu, Olea, The Gramercy, Fratelli La Bufala, Abyat, Royal Orchid and Spice&Ice. Taste of Dubai will return to the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre for its milestone 10th edition from Thursday 9th to Saturday 11th March 2017, 4.00pm to 12.00am on Thursday, 12.00pm to 12.00am on Friday and 12.00pm to 11.00pm on Saturday. Standard tickets start from AED 49.50, VIP tickets start from AED 199.50 and kids under 12 can enter for free. Tickets are on sale via www.tasteofdubaifestival.com
February | 23
EAT. PLAY. LAUGH. At Marriott Downtown Abu Dhabi’s Friday Brunch With brunch so competitive across the city how do you stand out? Well, in Marriott Downtown Abu Dhabi’s case you create a brunch just for the grown-ups. The theme EAT. PLAY. LAUGH. aims to highlight the three core elements that enable every good brunch. They have also taken these three elements and used them as the names for their brunch packages, adding a nice little twist to the norm. As we arrive the brunch is already in full swing, the DJ is spinning the beats, groups of friends are playing the adult size jenga and the beverages are flowing. The atmosphere has more of a party vibe than other brunches around the city. EAT. PLAY. LAUGH. offers the very best offerings from the hotels outlets, JW Steakhouse, Velocity, Central Grounds and Kuzbara. In total guests, can enjoy seven food and seven beverage stations. Cuisine ranges from Arabic mezze, sushi, burgers, lobster rolls, freak shakes, chaat, grills and way too much to list in one review. To start we enjoy a mix of sweet potato salad and roasted butternut and pumpkin salad, a great start. Next, we select the whole fish from the ‘you pick it we grill it’ station. This is one of our favorite stations, guests can choose from angus rib eye, whole fish, shrimp and lobster. The fish is grilled to perfection and tastes sensational. Succeeding this delightful dish is the prime rib from JW Steakhouse, this succulent cut almost tempts us for another helping but we manage to resist. As we make our way to the far end of the brunch we find Velocity’s station tucked away in the corner. Note to self, walk around the entire brunch offering before making your choice. Rolls bursting with thick cuts of lobster, wings glazed to finger licking perfection and Velocity’s famous burger stand before us, if only we’d left more space! We do however manage to squeeze in a lobster roll, which may I add was superb. If you are a large group of friends looking for a party atmosphere this is the brunch for you, plus you can continue the party at Velocity which is open for happy hour until midnight. The first month of EAT. PLAY. LAUGH. brunch kicks off with exciting offers, as brunch goers get an overnight stay at the hotel when booking a brunch for two. The brunch takes place from 12:30pm to 4.00pm every Friday in Kuzbara Restaurant. Guests can choose from three different packages: EAT Package: AED 275* including soft drinks PLAY Package: AED 380* including house beverages and a selection of mixers LAUGH Package: AED 450* including sparkling beverages Marriott Downtown Abu Dhabi, 02 304 7777 *All prices are subject to 10% service charge, 6% tourism fee and 4% municipality fee.
24 | Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi
THEME NIGHTS AT OCEANA.
Come and discover the flavors from an array of regions at the Theme Nights of Oceana Restaurant. • Mediterranean Tuesday • Asian Wednesday • Arabic Thursday • Indian Friday • Seafood Saturday
For additional information visit capitalgrandabudhabi.hilton.com or call +971 56 412 1741
HILTON CAPITAL GRAND ABU DHABI
PO Box 2785 | Abu Dhabi | United Arab Emirates +971 2 617 0000 | firstname.lastname@example.org Price is subject to 10% service charge, 6% tourism fee & 4% municipality fee.
Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi’s 2017 F&B Trend Predictions 2017 is going to bring big changes to Abu Dhabi’s dining scene. As the market develops and becomes more competitive here are our predictions of what to expect in 2017. Specialised Cuisine A growth in restaurants serving specialised cuisine will soon start coming into the market. We are already seeing this trend slowly develop with restaurants such as Limo in Bab Al Qasr who specialise in Peruvian cuisine, Madang Korean a Korean restaurant in Masdar City and unique to The Galleria, Sa-Mar, a Spanish seafood joint, soon to open. A narrower focus means better executed dishes and diners are loving it. Rise Of The Independents The shift has already happened in Dubai with some of the most successful restaurants setting up shop in luxury Dubai hotels. This works well for two reasons, 1, restaurateurs only focus is their restaurant ensuring that they can give 100% to making it a success, plus the guaranteed hotel footfall is an advantage. 2, This allows the hotel to rent out the space ensuring a guaranteed income whilst freeing up their time to be hoteliers and focus on their core business, rooms. Over the next year, we will see more independents enter the market and partnering with hotels.
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Healthier Alternatives I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve ordered a side of grilled vegetables, trying to select a healthy alternative to fries and they come out smothered in butter (eye roll). This year we will see more diners selecting healthy alternatives. This doesn’t mean that restaurants should reinvent their offering but perhaps just asking the guests if they’d like butter with their grilled vegetables or not would be a good start. Those who go the extra mile and add healthier alternatives to the menu will see an increase, not only revenue but footfall. Menu Labelling Diners are concerned with what is going into their body, wanting to make healthier life choices, it’s also due to more people having food intolerances. This will result in restaurants becoming more transparent about menu labelling such as if a dish contains, gluten or dairy. Restaurants that don’t move with the time face a gloomy future. Sustainable Food This is very important to me personally. Apart from wanting to support the local economy I like to know that my meal has a lower carbon footprint than I do. This isn’t just about how far the food has had to travel. If the food is organic that makes a difference as I know no chemicals have gone into the earth. This year we will see more restaurants offering organic alternatives, especially fruit and vegetables that can be so easily sourced.
Dining Experiences Diners will seek out dining experiences, guests want something extra than a terrible band screeching in the corner of the restaurant, yes I ‘m speaking from first-hand experience. We’ve seen a few hotels fly in Michelin Star chefs for exclusive events and who can forget the TCA’s initiative when diners could enjoy a meal with Hollywood stars, brilliant. These type of dining experiences will be a huge success with diners in 2017. Value For Money Whilst I’ve heard the tales of woe currently doing the rounds the truth is people are still dining out and spending money, they are just more conscious about where they dine. Value for money is a big factor when selecting a restaurant in 2017. So, if your dish is priced around AED 500 and is as big as the palm of my hand the chances are that your restaurant is looking rather empty. People don’t mind spending money if they feel they have received value for money. We will see a move from small plates to more realistic portions, fine dining doesn’t mean leaving the restaurant hungry. By Leanne Smart, Editor In Chief
28 | Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi
iday Brunch The Sheraton Abu Dhabi, it sits quietly, but proudly, without having to flaunt its laurels for those already in the know. While each of their eateries have a following, on this occasion I was there for the Friday Brunch held in Flavours. My expectations were set high for good service, having been specifically asked about my food preferences at the time of my reservation... A personal touch that is signature of Flavours. The restaurant is airy and open, letting in the natural light from the large wall of windows, while providing diners with a relaxing aerial view of the pool and lush gardens. The feel is contemporary with no tablecloths, exposing marble or wooden tables topped with crisp white napkins and modern sleek silverware. Patrons quickly fill the restaurant early, including the arrival of three large birthday parties (which is the usual). The live band strikes up and the crowd makes the atmosphere welcoming and vibrant. The staff are helpful and friendly, really wanting everyone to enjoy themselves. Glasses are filled before they are ever empty and dirty plates never sit on your table long. The Head Chef makes his rounds to personally check on his diners and chat with those that already know him well. Obviously, this is a place that people return to and bring their friends. The buffet covers its bases with everything from made to order, Asian noodles, to hot fluffy Yorkshire Pudding. Although I was utterly tempted by the extensive dessert station, I managed to keep on track and start light...seafood. The selection makes you wonder how many countless hours the staff must have spent shucking, cracking and cleaning. Oysters, lobster, crab, sashimi, sushi…a five-star offering at a fraction of the price. Hot dishes like roast lamb and ratatouille are each managed by a stationed chef who will offer to cook diners something special if they prefer. See grilled cod, but want salmon? No problem. And be sure to ask for the made to order fries, which will be served right to your table, hot and crispy. The bread and cheese sections are above par, with earthy favourites like the crusty wheat rolls and chewy focaccia (wafting of olive oil) as a difficult choice against the flaky croissants and braided French rolls. The sharp blue cheeses and rich bries balance out the mild and creamy raclette and goat cheeses, while it was a welcomed surprise to find the rarer French Brillat Savarin. It is a cheese table curated to compete with the best of the best. For those that fancy a delicious beverage, Flavours places serious focus on their designated beverage tables, serving everything from freshly squeezed juices to sparkling mocktails and signature mixers. But, even more so than usual, at Flavours, one must remember to save room for dessert. It could easily be an entire meal of its own. The pastry team exceptionally showcases a variety of delicacies from made to order crepes and creme brûlée, to apple crisp and lemon layer cake. The decadent chocolate mousse cake is just one of their standouts and all of it is perfectly portioned for tasting...and then of course returning to taste some more. Flavours, Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort, 02 677 3333
February | 29
Red Velvet Ingredients • ½ cup butter, at room temperature, plus 2 tablespoons to prepare pans • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, divided • 1 teaspoon baking soda • 2 ½ cups flour, sifted • 2 tablespoons red food colouring • 1 teaspoon salt • 1 ½ cups sugar • 2 eggs • 2 teaspoons vanilla • 1 cup whole buttermilk • 1 tablespoon vinegar Ingredients Ermine Icing • 5 tablespoons flour • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1 cup whole milk • 1 cup granulated sugar • Pinch of salt • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
30 | Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi
Cake Recipe Preparation Red Velvet Cake 1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees/176 celsius. Whilst the oven is heating prepare three cake pans. Butter each pan with a thin layer of butter and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sifted cocoa powder. This recipe has been designed for three, 9-inch cake pans. 2. Next mix the butter and sugar together until creamy. Beat the 2 eggs and gradually add to the butter and sugar, mixing throughout, finally add the vanilla. 3. Take a clean bowl make a paste of the remaining 2 tablespoons cocoa and the food colouring. 4. Then blend this into the butter, sugar and egg mixture. 5. Sift together remaining dry ingredients. Firstly, add all the dry ingredients and Â˝ cup buttermilk to the butter mixture. Then add the vinegar to the final Â˝ cup of buttermilk and adding to the batter. Mixing until fully blended. 6. Divide batter amongst the 3 pans and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. 7. Once ready leave to fully cool. Whilst cooling prepare the Ermine icing. 8. To assemble the cake, take all 3 cake parts out of the pans. Lay down the first cake covering the top with icing, then on top of the icing add another cake layer and then place more icing, repeat this process until all 3 layers are complete. Then to finish use the rest of the icing to coat the entire cake. Preparation Ermine Icing 1. Over medium heat, whisk flour and milk in a small saucepan. Be sure to stir frequently until it becomes thick. 2. Remove from heat, whisk in vanilla and salt. Pour into a bowl to allow it to cool completely. To ensure a skin does not form whilst cooling put plastic wrap on the surface. 3. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cooled flour mixture a little bit at a time. Continue to beat until the mixture becomes light and fluffy.
February | 31
32 | Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi
Located at Nation Riviera Beach Club, opposite the St Regis Abu Dhabi, guests will find a sprinkle of Cuban culture in Asia de Cuba. Serving a variety of Asian and Latin infused flavours the menu is the creation of Cuban-born Executive Chef, Luis Pous. The menu features a selection of ceviche, small plates, salads, signature wok fried dishes, entrées, side dishes and handcrafted beverages. Asia de Cuba is renowned for its ceviche so we opt to try the red snapper with Thai chilli, red onion, cilantro and plantain along with the tuna with seared foie gras, orange, Asian pear and Malanga chips. I love the red snapper ceviche. I’m a big fan of red snapper in general but I just adore the way chef and the team have created this simple, yet fresh and uplifting dish. The tuna with foie gras is equally as delicious but much heavier. The foie gras adds a lot of weight to the dish but also brings about a variation in texture and is a nice comparison to the tuna, perfectly paired with the crunchy Asian pear and the zesty orange. Next are the casabe cakes, guava bbq veal generously placed on top of the casabe cakes, crispy flat bread made from cassava (yuca) flour and finished with onion mojo and a thin slice of fresno pepper. Another brilliant dish, the bbq veal is the most prominent flavour, the veal itself is finely chopped and melts in our mouth. From the salad section, we select the fire and ice shrimp which comprises of Napa cabbage, cucumber, watermelon, sesame and crispy wonton. Sadly, this dish doesn’t live up to the previous dishes and overall whilst the dish offers a lot of texture the flavour was slightly bland. Shortly after our mains arrive, the rocoto miso glazed black cod is presented on top of an avocado poblano puree and orange mojo and the three large prawns are beautifully grilled with the chili herb salad and citrus vinaigrette accompanying them. Firstly, the grilled prawns, these must be the largest prawns I’ve ever seen served in Abu Dhabi. Cooked to perfection, the subtle flavours allow you to enjoy that rustic grilled taste. The star of the show is the black cod, the avocado poblano puree with orange mojo is pure genius and we can’t help but clean our plate. The side dishes of steamed coconut rice with lime zest and grilled vegetables are also enjoyable, although we hardly eat them as we are so full from tackling our yummy gigantic prawns. Our only critique is that our waiter is slightly over attentive, whilst we never want to fault anyone for trying to offer a good service there is a fine balance between attentive and intrusive, this sadly was bordering on the latter. If you are visiting Asia de Cuba I would recommend sitting outside, inside the restaurant is beautiful but it’s slightly more reserved in nature. The outdoor terrace fully embraces the Cuban vibe, full of life, colour and atmosphere. Overall Asia de Cuba serves a variety of unusual dishes that you would struggle to find anywhere else in Abu Dhabi. It does infused Asian and Latin cuisine well, finely balancing ingredients with a sense of creativity. Red Snapper Ceviche AED 70* Tuna Ceviche AED 95* Casabe Cakes AED 65* Fire and Ice Shrimp AED 85* Black Cod AED 145* Grilled Prawns AED 185* Steamed Coconut Rice AED 35* Grilled Vegetables AED 35* Asia de Cuba, Nation Riviera Beach Club, 02 699 3333
*All prices are subject to 10% service charge, 6% tourism fee and 4% municipality fee.
February | 33
Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi’s Big Brunch Because we love the foodies of Abu Dhabi so much we thought we’d bring you another great initiative. We know you all enjoyed Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi’s Restaurant Month but who wants to wait until September…. Yeah, we thought not, so, we are pleased to announce Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi’s Big Brunch! Get ready to brunch like never before! From the 1st to the 31st March 2017 Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi’s Big Brunch will let you enjoy Abu Dhabi’s best brunches for a fraction of the cost. All the participating restaurants will be offering their brunches for a fixed price of AED 200 net for soft drinks package, AED 250 net for house beverages package and AED 350 net for sparkling package. Saving you on average over AED 150 per person! And you know what that means, the next weekend you can go out and do it all over again! Just for your extra enjoyment we have 5 Fridays in March, you’re welcome! Tickets and passes aren’t required but reservations are recommended. Zomato, our official booking partner will be launching a special section on their website, allowing you to easily book the brunch of your choice. Visit www.diningandnightlifeabudhabi.ae to keep up to date with participating brunches. Mark your calendar, it’s going to be epic! FAQs What is Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi’s Big Brunch? A first of its kind, Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi’s Big Brunch is a great opportunity to visit the award-winning brunches you’ve always wanted to try and to rediscover old favourites at unbeatable prices. As a guest, what do I need to do to experience Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi’s Big Brunch? Simply select and visit your favourite participating restaurants and enjoy a special fixed price brunch. We do recommend making a booking via Zomato, for the price we’re expecting quiet a crowd! When will the full list of participating brunches be announced? By the 20th February 2017 a full list of participating brunches will be confirmed. We suggestion you visit our website or our social media channels for the latest information. Where can I find more information? Visit our website, www.diningandnightlifeabudhabi.ae Find us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/DiningandNightlifeAD Tweet us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/DNAbuDhabi Connect with us on Instagram, www.instagram.com/diningandnightlifead 34 | Dining and Nightlife Abu Dhabi
19 D E A T A FUN ALL THE S! T
DEN I S E R E R UA
ENJOY FAMILY FUN WITH OUR RESIDENTS OFFER FROM JAN 8TH - FEB 11TH The UAE Residents Offer is back! You can now enjoy all our spectacular rides and unforgettable family attractions for just AED 195 along with the chance to win exclusive invites to experience our upcoming rollercoaster launch. OFFER VALID FOR BRONZE TICKETS ONLY. PRESENT VALID EMIRATES ID AT THE FRONT GATE TO AVAIL OFFER. Visit ferrariworldabudhabi.com for more information RECORD-BREAKING RIDES | INCREDIBLE DINING | EXCLUSIVE RETAIL OUTLETS