Page 44 - Simply Abu Dhabi Magazine VI

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T
he ancient Romans were renowned for their sumptuous banquets,
so bringing the spirit of their sophisticated cuisine to Abu Dhabi -
a modern centre for those with luxury tastes - makes perfect sense.
And that’s exactly what the new restaurant APi CAE Gourmet – which
opened here on 8 April – is doing.
APi CAE Gourmet is located in the busy Khalidiya district, just off the Abu
Dhabi Corniche behind the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. We’ve eaten out
before at a lot of places in Abu Dhabi but as we turned the corner and saw
the sleek glass-panelled front of the restaurant, and then walked into its
crisp, minimalist, but welcoming interior, we could tell it was going to be
something special.
There’s been a lot of buzz around the city about this place already and after
arriving we could understand why: it’s as if the timeless spirit of Italian
hospitality, with its roots in the country’s stunningly beautiful rustic
landscapes, had been transported into a modern twenty-first century
metropolis. We were greeted by charming Italian staff and when we saw
the food on offer, there were so many mouthwatering options that our only
difficulty was deciding which ones to go for.
Sheer elegance
Italian food is renowned worldwide for its elegant simplicity, which stems
from the unsurpassable freshness and quality of its ingredients. The team
at APi CAE – led by Executive Sous Chef Mario Storti - are gastronomes
who are completely devoted to continuing their country’s tradition of
excellence in food. Combining a commitment to these Italian traditions
with a desire to be at the cutting edge of modern global cuisine, the
restaurant sources its basic ingredients from local producers, while
importing specialist ingredients - like sundried tomatoes and capers - from
rural Italy, blending the finest organic ingredients into an inventive and
constantly evolving menu.
The name APi CAE derives from an ancient collection of cooking
manuscripts, which are believed to have been compiled in Italy during the
late 4th or early 5th century. Marcus Gavius Apicius, a Roman gourmet
and lover of refined luxury, is even rumoured to be their author, and I’m
sure that if Apicius was there in the restaurant with us, the food – which is
laid out at the bar in a fabulously enticing display - would have tempted him
too. I have to admit, though, that we were pleased to see no sign of the
Roman delicacy of dormouse!
Ancient recipes, modern luxury
The new APi CAE restaurant takes its inspiration from an ancient
Italian cooking manuscript, but incorporates a contemporary luxury twist
into dishes that demonstrate a commitment to quality fresh ingredients
APi CAE executive Sous chef Mario Storti
Staff at APi CAE GOURMET arrange food on the counter
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