Showing posts from January, 2017

Hot Ramen at Tori No Su - Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi

Tori No Su at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers is in the luxurious position of having a Japanese chef in Chef Ando who wants to take guests beyond sushi. Having made several trips to Japan and having placed its cuisine among my top 3 favourites, I am thrilled to see that there are monthly promotions that do indeed take guests beyond the more obvious examples of Japanese food. I have just had the delightful pleasure of trying the Hot Ramen promotion which runs from January through to February. 
There are three options all priced at 70AED. Hokkaido Miso Ramen, consisting of minced chicken, shiitake mushrooms and a few other vegetables. Secondly, Kaisen Shio Ramen is a seafood dish with mussels, cuttlefish, prawns and crabstick. However, I am here to have the Spicy Beef Ramen. 
The thing about ramen is once you have had it in Japan, it is difficult to have it anywhere else. It is a pity that so many people think that adding water to the 2-minute noodles you find in supermarkets can satisfy one as…

Ron Blaauw's Special evening at Sacci - Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa.

The recent HSBC Gold Championship staged at the Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa brought an opportunity for the Westin to showcase its position as one of the top Top 5 Food & Beverage destinations in the city. 

For three nights, diners at Sacci were treated by a special menu created by Michelin starred Chef Ron Blaauw. Having been at the Westin 3 months ago during their UNICEF Charity Gala dinner, he is no stranger to Abu Dhabi. However, the significance of his menu transcended the quality of the dishes - and there were some fabulous dishes on the menu. 
Yes, the Tartar of scallops was a stunning dish, with beautiful balance created by the pecorino cheese and scallops. The Jona Gold Apple, a dish you are unlikely to see often in Abu Dhabi, was clever in its presentation and subtle in its flavour with the langoustine kept true and honest. Finally, while the Pigeon en Croute was my dish of the night for its homeliness, brought home by a home made style gravy, the significance of…

Brittany Week at Le Beaujolais - Mercure Centre Hotel, Abu Dhabi

People forget that French cuisine, one of the world's leading offerings, is diverse and regional. My favourite French restaurant in the city, Le Beaujolais at the Mercure Centre Hotel in the heart of the city, is hosting the cuisine of Britanny for a week from 26 January to 3 February. As I continue to educate myself with regards the diversity of French cuisine, this seemed like a perfect opportunity. 

I start off with the Onion cream soup with pork bacon. It is a soup that has all the Le Beaujolais qualities - homely, hearty and simple. The soup is smooth and creamy and worthy of a starter as it is, but the bacon bits in a pastry cup float in the soup - I love it immediately. Rather than have the whole bowl with a bacon flavour, the bacon taste is contained in the pastry. The bacon has a biting texture, a perfect counter to the texture of the soup. Finally,  a few coriander leaves add some freshness to the palate. I have honestly never had onion soup served this way. Exciting stuf…

Qatar Airways Premium Lounge, Dubai International Airport

Qatar Airways' dedicated Premium Lounge opened a short while ago in Dubai International Airport, providing Qatar Airways and Oneworld First and Business Class customers access. I recently used the lounge for a short hop from Dubai to Doha. 

Arabia. That is the overwhelming influence in the lounge. Mosaics and Arabic calligraphy are noticeable and they are all put together very eleganty and tastefully. Lighting contributes to a warmth in the lounge. The bar area, based on a martini concept, sensitively located at the end of the lounge. 

While my daughter found a space in the lounge to watch something on youtube, I have a glass of Billecart-Salmon Brut NV, simply an outstanding choice for a lounge and indeed onboard Qatar Airways' premium cabins. I choose a selection of cold mezze and a small portion of Taglitelle in mushroom sauce pasta while taking in the feel of the bar. It really has that bar feeling and I can imagine during peak times, there must quite a vibe around the bar.


Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge Hamad International Airport - Doha, Qatar

An oasis of calm after the often rushed experience of boarding or getting off a plane. A wave of tranquillity that washes over me as I  sip on a fine glass of 2006 Taittinger Comtes Blanc de blanc Brut. A restoration of inner peace as I sit and stare. That is the Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge at Hamad International Aiport in Doha. I experience all of these in my first 5 minutes after arriving at the lounge after an 8-hour flight from Johannesburg. It is also where I will be for the next few hours before my onward flight. 

The lounge is spacious, with pockets of open space littered around the lounge. If you have been to the iconic Islamic Museum of Modern Art in Doha, you will see the aesthetic inspiration and feel the spiritual connection between the two. Beautiful sandy earth tones are the cornerstone of the tranquil nature of the lounge. There is very little visual noise or discordance. To drive home that parallel between this and the Islamic Museum, there are some artefacts fr…