A journal, inspired by my love for my daughter, that embraces quality food, service and experiences which make life worth living. In the words of Tennyson's Ulysses, " I cannot rest from travel. I will drink life to the lees." Seeking that incredible dining or hotel experience and writing about it. Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
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 much as Japanese ramen. The latter is not just about wheat noodles, broth and other accompaniments. It is about heart and soul - so no, it is a very special dish. But before I indulge, I learn that Chef has just received some beautiful tuna, so I have some Otoro sushi, the imperial part of the tuna, the belly. Delicious. On a side note, a chef de cuisine from another hotel asked me where to get the best sushi - I told him here at Tori No Su. Why? It is all about the rice.
My drink, meanwhile, is a bottle of Kirin beer. I see no other drink other than beer, well draft beer would be ideal, to pair with the sushi and later on my ramen.
The moment arrives. I pause. I stare. I look at the ramen and in my mind I find myself in Osaka - I visited Japan in September last year. Maybe it is the aroma of the beef? Or the broth? It could be the wooden spoon. Be that as it may, it is about an authentic experience so powerful that it transports me to Japan. It is nicely balanced with the beef perfectly sliced and complemented by bean sprouts, shiitake and spring onion, to name some of the ingredients. And the broth - perfect for a cool night in Abu Dhabi.
At a time when people are watching their dirhams, this promotion is priced just right. A quality evening, including a beer and bowl of ramen for around 130AED incl. It is not just about having an affordable night out. It is about quality as well. And what better than the sumptuous Tori No Su? Hot Ramen Promotion January and February 70AED
There are those things we aspire to in life and the luxury of first class travel will be on many mortals’ bucket list. It is an almost hallowed space on the plane, separated by that dreaded curtain, and in today’s changing flying climate, it is even more sought after as airlines cut down on first class routes.For those who love champagne, it might be a fabled label that has attained almost mythical status in your life as one to be enjoyed. Now bring together first class travel and champagne on one of the world’s finest airlines, and you have something pretty special. My recent flight on Qatar Airways’ ultra luxurious A380 in First Class to Bangkok showed that bucket lists are there to be realized. More than that, it allowed me to have some of the best champagnes available in the sky right now.
The cabin is indeed luxurious, but it is understated, calmingand soothing on the eyes. There is none of the bling that is often associated with airlines in the region. Amenities are functional, …
Brunch. We all know what a big part of expat culture it is in Abu Dhabi. Last year I had the opportunity to try a lot of brunches with the aim of honing in on the top brunches in the city. People ask how one judges a brunch because they are so diverse and it is impossible to compare a family brunch to one that is more geared towards adults. That is true to some extent, but not entirely because there are certain criteria which cross all concepts. Nowadays, value for money is a very important factor. This doe snot mean a brunch has to be cheap though! Excellent Service is one of those things that you want at a brunch regardless of the concept. Also, remember that a brunch without atmosphere is just a lunch - a big difference. Quality of ingredients and dishes and drinks are crucial too. Finally, the most important factor for me is the concept. With so many brunches morphing into one another, I looked for a brunch that will be memorable; a brunch where the concept tries to break the mo…
There is something about Q's Bar & Lounge as my guest and I walk in. There is a sophistication about the venue that also has, in the same breath, a decidedly relaxed feel. It is small and intimate, and therein lies the beauty of this place. People are gathered around the bar, while some are seated at small tables. Cool. Chic. Trendy. Chilled. These are my first impressions of Quincy Jones' bar at the luxurious Palazzo Versace Hotel in Dubai. We start off with a glass of the hotel's house champagne, the Ruinart 'R de Ruinart' Brut Champagne. It is, after all, one of those occasions that I feel I will not forget. The anticipation builds as we await the arrival on stage of multi-talented American performer Sheléa.
I remark to my guest that the bar is really a great equaliser. You have the overt opulenece that is the hotel, from the moment we walked in. But now we find ourselves in a space, while still having Versace touches like the signature cushions, just has ex…