Page 191 - Simply Abu Dhabi Magazine VI

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S I M P LY A B U DH A B I
mouth-wateringly tempting menus. Lasagne al Ragout di Chianina – Babbo’s
mouth-watering signature dish – is prepared to a secret recipe which is over 100
years old and was inherited by Chef Doulas Santi from his grandmother, yet
this popular platter is just one of many awe-inspiring creative dishes on offer,
that give a taste of Italy in the heart of Mayfair.
Gastronomic Delights Inspired by Journeys across the Globe
With dishes that have been strongly influenced by the kitchen’s experiences of
cooking across the globe, a fine regional menu has been created, using the best
fresh Italian produce and served to perfection: feeding the eye before satisfying
the stomach. Revelling in our truly elegant yet invitingly intimate surroundings,
we had high expectations of the gastronomic journey ahead of us as we excitedly
perused the array of dishes on offer. With incredible dishes inspired from all
regions of Italy, the key ingredients have been sourced fresh directly from Italy,
with divinely delicious home-made bread, pasta and other traditional treats
taking pride of place on the menu.
Starters, starters, enticing starters – oh what to choose? The authentic taste of
regional Italy comprises sensational starters such as Beef Carpaccio and Babbo
Stone Crab salad with tomato chutney. As we practically drooled over the menu,
we quickly pulled our etiquette back into check and made our selection from
the extensive and beguiling list. The Babbo antipasti was a scrumptious start to
my meal, while Jordana’s tartar di salmone con crema acida e cetrioli (salmon
tartar with sour cream and cucumber) looked heavenly, and her obvious
enjoyment constituted a glowing review for this sensational dish.
Having polished off our starters, we had high hopes for our mains. With somuch
choice, our eyes darted between the many and varied pasta and risotto dishes,
the deliciously described meat and game dishes and the inviting pesce & frutti
di mare creations – all produced using freshly sourced ingredients and inspired
by different parts of Italy. Sometimes in life there is simply too much choice,
but what a pleasurable decision to have to make.
We immediately agreed there was only one solution to this dilemma – we would
of course have to return on many more occasions to sample the other delights
on offer! With this reassurance Jordana and I then settled on an extravagant
choice from the Condividere sharing menu - well, after all, life is for living! -
and what a choice it was. Our Carre di vitello arrosto (veal rack roasted with
fresh sage and franciacorta) was well worth every penny. So much more than a
meal, this tremendous dish was a blissful taste sensation from start to finish.
You may find it hard to believe we could find room for a desert after such a
delectable feast, but believe us when we say if you were presented with the
fabulous array of luscious, beautifully prepared deserts, you too would have a
renewed appetite! I was simply powerless to resist the Torta di mela – an
immaculately presented dessert of fresh apple tart with the delicious contrast of
pine nuts and finished with a rich smooth caramel sauce. Now that’s what I call
a desert. Jordana was eventually tempted by the classic lemon pie made with
home-made marshmallow - the perfect finale to a gloriously tasty meal.
An Ideal Setting for Intimate Meals and Big Celebrations
‘Babbo’ means ‘Daddy’ in Italian and for us, this was certainly the Daddy of all
Italian restaurants. Throughout the evening we were able to kick back and soak
up the vibrant, family-orientated atmosphere enjoying fine food and delicious
drinks. The unique private dining area upstairs provides the ideal setting for
friends and family to come together to experience both Italian cuisine and
culture. Up to 14 guests can enjoy a meal prepared from the restaurant menu
or a specially cooked dish from a bespoke menu designed in close consultation
with the diners. If you were celebrating a special occasion, it would be great to
choose from a menu specially designed to fit the moment. Douglas Santi is a
highly accomplished Executive Chef with impressive experience of setting up
and running kitchens around the world, but his philosophy is simple – to adopt
what he refers to as ‘a healthy respect for the concept, whether you are producing
fine gastronomic fare or real comfort food’.
At Babbo, his respect for the concept
is certainly hitting the mark and
Jordana and I can vouch for his
creativity, true passion and innate
knowledge in this uniquely exciting
restaurant, where Santi’s respect for
his art is showcased in both the menu
and the environment. As the Italians
would say; “Delizioso”.
Thank You to All at Babbo
Jordana and I would like to extend a huge ‘Grazie’ to Douglas Santi and all his
chefs and restaurant staff for a divine meal and a most relaxing evening. Highly
recommended. We’ll be booking a table again soon!