6 1
S I M P LY A B U DH A B I
and complex flavours. The carpaccio was incredibly
thinly sliced so that it was translucent, and this expert cut
contributed to its subtle release of flavour. The avocado
lent some texture to the dish while ginger and soy citrus
penetrated through the gentler flavours and added a bit
of bite.
Before ordering our main meals we shared a fantastic
salad of grilled octopus with ruby red grapefruit and
watermelon that was drizzled with a spicy vinaigrette. It
was another success and it continued the balancing act of
marrying gentle, delicate flavours with piercing bursts of
taste.
The service was immaculate and our waitress was
incredibly knowledgeable about the ingredients and the
species of fish, and she even gave us some advice on what
to order according to our preferences in texture and
strength of flavour. I trusted her suggestion of the baked
local Sultan Ibrahim with truffled orzo and tomato with
a crustacean vinaigrette. This was a delight although the
vinaigrette was very much reminiscent of the sea and had
to be used sparingly to avoid the flavour of the ocean
becoming too overpowering. I also ordered a side dish of
grilled lemon asparagus and this was an ideal
accompaniment.
Arnie was torn between the Arabic spiced grilled salmon
served with a marmalade made from dates, arugula salad,
and lemon confit and the whole roasted sole in a pepper
gumbo sauce with young vegetables and a pomme purée.
Deciding to choose the local option, he wasn’t
disappointed and found the date marmalade utterly
delicious. He also loved the side of citrus green beans and
commented on the creativity of the kitchen in devising
such an interesting concoction of finely balanced flavours.
It was another ideal evening in the Emirates Palace hotel
and although we had no room for dessert, we did enjoy
another sweet mocktail each. I had another Apple Julep
for its lovely cleansing properties and Arnie rounded off
the night with a Coconut Kiss, a brightly coloured
amalgamation of pineapple juice, cream, coconut syrup
and grenadine. For the region’s finest seafood combined
with a stunning view and a stylish ambiance, it has to be
Sayad.