Showing posts from March, 2017

Peruvian Cuisine comes to Abu Dhabi - Coya, Abu Dhabi

It has certainly been an exciting few years in Abu Dhabi that has seen the arrival of some restaurants that have certainly shaken up things. Zuma started it and was followed by Asia de Cuba. Then, we had Bu! and of course, Tamba. Fortunately for us, the restaurants keep coming. The arrival of Coya, a Peruvian restaurant, is challenging a city known for conservatism and looks to wake us up in the way that places like Tamba has done. I had the pleasure of visiting Coya for its set lunch menu.

The first thing that makes an impression on me is the hostesses as I walk in. As the face of Coya, the first people we see, the hostesses have what is essential in that position - style, charisma and the grace of Audrey Hepburn. Next, it is the size of the restaurant that stays with me - it has a capacity of around 120 including the terrace. This is a good number. Finally, a walk around the restaurant takes me to the dining area, a bar, lounge and terrace area. I can only imagine the vibe at brunch …

Munch - the Family Brunch - Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotels and Villas

There is something about Saadiyat Island that makes me feel I am going somewhere. It is an occasion in itself. In a city of 'man-made everything', this island is the real thing. It is also blessed with some exquisite properties. with the Park Hyatt Hotel and Villas ranking as one of the city's most beautiful hotels, with its earthiness and simplicity a wonderful contrast to glass and steel. It is here where I make my way to The CafĂ© for the Munch the Family Brunch. As an all day dining restaurant, this venue ranks as one of my top 3 in the city as far as aesthetics and design go. 

Some talking points from the brunch

1. Manageable brunches are the future

It is a small buffet. I have often said that this allows a hotel to focus a lot more on quality and a personalised experience. As someone who routinely has no more than 4-6 dishes at a  brunch, I find the selection at this brunch more than adequate. I also think brunches really need to become more sustainable, and this is an e…

Breakfast with Dom Perignon 2002 - Hyatt Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi may not be on the level of associated superlatives as its better-known sister emirate Dubai, but there are enough special elements to warrant a head turn. Hyatt Capital Gate Hotel, housed in the truly iconic building that leans 18 degrees to one side, is one. As I stand in my Executive Suite on the 25th floor, I am ensconced in that feeling of luxe and take in the panoramic view as the sun rises on Abu Dhabi.

The room, with its muted and earthy tones, is in many ways a metaphor for the 5 year old property; while its striking design stands out on the Abu Dhabi skyline, its understated style and elegance sets it apart in a city where outlandish, opulent designs and often over-the-top finishing is more the norm than the exception.

I walk over to the ice bucket with its bottle of bubbly. What creates that feeling of luxury more than a bottle of champagne which itself is an icon – Dom Perignon.This morning I greet the sunrise with a glass from the vintage year 2002, while the hot…

Foie Gras week returns in style to Le Beaujolais - Mercure Abu Dhabi Centre Hotel, Abu Dhabi

In the last year, I have been fortunate to visit Le Beaujolais, the little French bistro downtown in the Mercure Centre Hotel on Hamdan street, on a few occasions to try some of their promotions. While I missed out on the Alsace week, memories of the Foie Gras Festival from last October were still fresh in my memory as I made my way downtown for their first Foie Gras Week of 2017. There is something familiar and unassuming about Le Beaujolais - I can understand why 80% of their guests are returning customers. In a city of change and flux, it is comforting that there are certain things which do not change. This is one of those things. 

While a dry champagne is not the perfect choice for foie gras, it is the perfect choice to start off the evening. The Lanson Brut NV, one of two by-the-glass options, is incidentally what I had on my last visit - some things should not change!

I start off with the Country soup with foie gras and potted duck which I can only describe as a classic le Beaujol…