Showing posts from March, 2014

Afternoon Tea - Chocolate Gallery, Fairmont, Abu Dhabi

About a year ago I tried the much vaunted and hyped Chocolate Gallery Afternoon Tea (at that time it was the TOAD Afternoon Tea of the Year), and I was totally underwhelmed. A year on, I thought I would try it again - only fair. From previous posts you know that Afternoon Tea is an indulgent pleasure I simply enjoy. One of an earlier post about an Afternoon Tea I highly rated was at The Sofitel, Abu Dhabi:

Chocolate Gallery at The Fairmont has  a lovely location. While it would have been obvious to locate it on the side of the hotel which overlooks the canal, they have opted for the front end of the hotel, with a lovely lawned area for kids to run. I like this. It is really surprisingly tranquil.

On arrival, I was greeted by name. Always nice when you are expected. It was weird though that we were asked where we wanted to sit - I had made this clear when I made the reservation. After we were seated, we were off…

Indigo - Beach Rotana, Abu Dhabi

Followers of my food journal (I am trying to sound educated by not using the word 'blog' - not working though) will know from my two posts on de Thali, that I believe you do not have to go upmarket to experience great Indian food. This belief was tested when I visited Indigo, an upscale Indian restaurant at Beach Rotana. My visit to Indigo was a real education, as I discovered that this 20 year old property boasts about 10 F&B outlets. That's right. 10! Impressive indeed. However, this post is all about Indigo and my education, or indeed re-education,  as far as Indian cuisine goes.

India, as you know, may not have the most modern rail network in the world, but it has one of the most extensive. I was lucky to experience Indigo's week-long celebration of Railway Cuisine, under the expert hand of visiting Chef, Mohammad Qureshi. The warmth he exudes when you meet him is certainly manifested in his creations.

Indigo is a beautiful restaurant on first impressions. As yo…

An evening of theatre - BISAD, Abu Dhabi

"Grease" - what comes to mind? John Travolta and his killer dancing? Olivia Newton John as a young actress making the role of Sandy her own? The songs? The late 70s and early 80s? Whatever it is, "Grease" is one of the last great musical treats to emerge in the last 30 odd years. So, when my daughter excitedly announced that she had tickets for a production of  "Grease"at her school, I was naturally thrilled. BISAD, or  The British International School of Abu Dhabi (that's a mouthful, now try saying it backwards) was to be the setting for 3 nights of this fantastic musical. Could they deliver a production that captured the joy and angst of youth, rebellion, young love, fun and the spirit of the original "Grease"?

I am very much a process or journey kind of person, and in the two and  a half years my daughter has been at the school, I have seen the school on a journey of progress. For want of a cliche, the school remains a work in progress. A…

North Korean restaurant - Pyongyang Okryu-gwan, Dubai

Have you been to a restaurant where upon walking in, you feel you are entering a place that overwhelms you with a sense of mystery? A place that has an aura about it that leaves you with so many questions, but politeness prevents you from asking them? A colorful place where you would love to take photographs, but the sign prohibiting the taking of photos is right in front of you? (on this occasion I was given permission to take photos of the food) If you visit the North Korean restaurant, Pyongyang Okryu-gwan  in Dubai, these could well be some of the feelings you may have. Even though this was my third to this restaurant, the feelings described above were very much with me.

North Korean cuisine is very similar to South Korean cuisine with a few dishes which are unique to both countries. But yes, the typical dishes you would find in a South Korean restaurant are here too: bibimbap (rice mixed with vegetables and raw egg)BBQ bulgogi wrapped in lettuce leavesjeon ( savory pancake an…

de thali - Abu Dhabi

My daughter managed to twist my arm so we ended up here for lunch, not that I complained. I like the thali concept:  a plate that gives you a taste of about 5 different dishes. For those not sure what I thali is, have a look at my previous post:

From the above post you can see that I really enjoyed my visit. I am not the only one that likes this place. Timeout Abu Dhabi reckons this is one of the best Indian restaurants in the city. Forget that it is probably the best budget dining experience, it is great Indian food period.

There are no maroon waistcoat clad waiters here. That would clash with the modern feel of this eatery. Cool wall posters make you feel you are in a very different Indian restaurant. Seating options include private rooms which can seat up to 16 people.

We ordered the Masahari thali consisting of potato curry, cabbage, dal, curd (yoghurt), mutton curry and something akin to chicken tikk…

c.taste, Centro Capital, Abu Dhabi

The city is awash with high end hotels offering fantastic dining options, and there are more set to open in the next couple of years. But there seems to be a dearth of mid range hotels with dining which offer a nice balance between a great price, food, service and ambience. However, I am pleased to say that the Centro brand is plugging that gap very well.

You may recall I wrote a post a couple of months ago  about Centro Al Manhal's Friday brunch : On this ocassion, I had the chance to visit c.taste at its sister hotel at the Capital Gate Centre. For those who are wondering 'Capital Gate Centre?' It is in the ADNEC  area.

I have always liked the Centro brand: modern, simple, great value and service to match. While they target business travellers and exhibition visitors, a family going out for dinner here will not feel out of place. This is due to the warmth of the lobby when one walks in: the a…

Bord Eau and Chagall, Shangri-la, Abu Dhabi

In a previous post on Bord Eau, Shangri-la's award-winning restaurant, I waxed lyrically about various aspects of the restaurant. Outstanding was one of my superlatives:

Of course with Chef Cyril's departure to The Peninsula, Bangkok, it will be interesting to see the direction that the restaurant takes. The departure of Chef de cuisine and equally multi-award winning Cyril Calmet will present Bord Eau with some interesting challenges. Chef Cyril has certainly left his mark at this fine restaurant and his mantra that " I always bring sunshine to my plates" will hopefully live on. After all, is food not one of life's greatest pleasures, like sunshine? His dishes are like a Chagall painting for me: Imbued with a colour that resonates hope and envisions a time beyond the present where pressures of work, daily life and  society all try to exact their toll on the spirit. In his creations furtherm…

Sky Brunch again - Hyatt Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi.

There is a buzz at Hyatt Capital Gate. It might be connected to the fact that the unassuming Alena Chaika recently won the award as Gourmet Abu Dhabi's Restaurant Manager of the year for 18°. Is it because they are embarking on a big marketing and promotional campaign for the Food & Beverage outlets? Is it because the staff here continue to work relentlessly to give this hotel the credit it deserves? Whatever it is, the buzz is growing.

After a recent visit to the launch of Italian nights at Prive, I commented on how the 'less is more' concept seems to be the approach of this property when it comes to its F&B outlets. The same has to be said about 18° which hosts the Sky Brunch every Friday. This was something I touched on in my previous post on this brunch:

I was very excited as we took the lift to the 18th floor for Friday brunch. Come on, who doesn't get excited about Friday brunch? W…