Showing posts from April, 2014

Two waiters and a waitress at Bord Eau - Shangri-la, Abu Dhabi

My third visit to Bord Eau promised to be another evening of beautifully presented dishes which would titillate the taste buds and make one feel privileged to be alive. I imagined that it would be a fairly uneventful evening because it is, as everyone knows, a fine restaurant. After all, it has been Timeout Abu Dhabi Restaurant of the Year three years in a row. So, no surprises. Or so I thought...

The evening started out as predicted: the now familiar little stool was offered for me to put my bag on. Still a lovely touch. The Champagne, consome´, amuse bouche, bread - all effortlessly delivered. There is something familiar about all of this. And then it happens. My evening takes a different turn. PJ, one of the waiters on duty for the night starts to engage me. I sit back. Listen. My fabulous and visually stunning beetroot, salad, comte, walnut cream and pumpernickel remains untouched as I listen to him. A warm glow washes over my face. I wonder if he has noticed. Finally, I think to …

Benjarong - Dusit Thani, Abu Dhabi

There are moments when you walk into a restaurant and need to stop, breathe, breathe again, and then continue your walk. Those moments sometimes arise when you you step into a restaurant and feel an overwhelming sense of peace and tranquility. That moment was Benjarong at the Dust Thani in Abu Dhabi.

"Sawadee ka": You are greeted warmly in Thai fashion at the door and shown to your table. Typical Thai traditional music in the background threatens immediately to arrest your thoughts and carry you back to your previous visits to Thailand. For such is the power of those steps to my table that I feel I am in as authentic a Thai restaurant as I could hope to be. I am given the menu, and I vacantly take it. The host goes through the formalities, but my mind is not there. I am taken in by the beauty of the restaurant. However, I am brought back to Abu Dhabi when I am offered a warm damp hand towel to freshen up - I wipe my hands and face and think how therapeutic it is. Lemongrass …

Rhodes 44 Brunch - St Regis, Abu Dhabi

In the week that Britain celebrated the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth, it seemed rather appropriate that I should experience another thing that implicitly celebrates Britain, Rhodes 44. The latter is unashamedly British, from Oasis playing loudly as we walked in, to the Wedgewood china and the Arthur Price cutlery to the menu. In the buildup to my second visit to Rhodes 44 ( I enjoyed my Christmas with them, see ), I was genuinely captivated by the 'brunch at your table' concept. From those of you who have bee following my culinary exploration of Abu Dhabi you will know that I was looking for  a brunch that allowed me to spend more time at my table than moving from station to station to get food. So, the question then is, if Rhodes 44 provides this experience, can we still call it a brunch, in the Abu Dhabi sense of the word?

As we are guided to our table, we are welcomed by one of the staff, Tim,  who immediately recognizes me from my last…

Breakfast @ La Brasserie - Le Meridien, Abu Dhabi

I like hotel breakfast buffets. Am I allowed to admit that, or is it up there, no pun intended, with saying you like airplane food? But I do. I think one of the reasons I like is that is hard to mess up breakfast, surely, so you are bound to have a satisfying experience. Recently, as part of an overnight stay, I had breakfast at Le Meridien's La Brasserie, their all day dining restaurant.

The hostess was very friendly and efficient in welcoming us. It is quite a lively affair, and when we arrived, there were only a few tables free. The assistant manager was very quick to find us a table near the window. We were offered coffee, and I expected a cup of coffee poured at the table from a pot, but was pleasantly surprised when I saw a French bodum press with coffee. Fresh. Nice touch, I thought!

The buffet spread is huge, but the layout is such that long lines are easily avoided, with the exception of the omelet and crepe station, but that is more about the popularity of the eggs and c…

Hotel stay - Le Meridien, Abu Dhabi

A hotel that recently celebrated its 35th anniversary leaves one with questions, mainly surrounding the nature of its ability to have remained relevant and competitive after all these years. Abu Dhabi has seen a phenomenal boom in high end hotels the last 10 years, and yet Le Meridien was pulling out all the proverbial stops to celebrate. I recently had an opportunity to see just what it was that kept guests coming back.

As you step into the lobby you have no doubt you are in an old property. It is small, with three modest check-in counters. But your attention is caught by the centerpiece of the lobby lounge area, a water feature flanked by magnificent palm trees. It dawns on me - there is old and then there is classical. Classical, is the overwhelming thought here as you stand in the lobby of this 5 floor property.

After checking in, we take the lift up to the 5th floor. We are booked into a club room. On entering the room, I notice that the approximately 33 SQM room is well appointe…

Capital Grill - Dusit Thani, Abu Dhabi

The mangosteen is an interesting fruit. It sits in the fruit section of the supermarket close to the well known mango, the eye-catching banana, the visually arresting dragon fruit and the yellow lemon. Everyone passes it, except those who ventured out of their safety zone in Thailand or Malaysia and tried it. Otherwise, with  its purple colour and hard surface it just sits there. But what passers-by do not realise is that the Queen of Thai fruits, is one of the most sweet and joyful fruit experiences you could have.

This was an analogy floating in my head as I walked in to The Dusit Thani's stunning property - a fitting metaphor I thought. As you drive past, you see just another nondescript skyscraper, but if you are bold enough to walk in, you will soon be taken in by something very special It is not the magnificent atrium that stretches 37 floors. It is neither the glass elevators that can whisk you to the top in no time, affording you a stunning perspective of the hotel. Nor is…