Page 54 - Simply Abu Dhabi Magazine VII

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pretty dipping bowl, alongside a fresh steamed bun. The meat was
perfectly cooked and full of flavour. It came with a tangy sauce and strip
of peppered glaze – both of which wonderfully enhanced the meat’s
richness. Like mine, Jordana’s main course was also served with tasty
accompaniments of wok fried rice and fresh green vegetables.
Then came the luxurious desserts – and they both showed the
imagination and verve which, by now, we had come to expect. I chose a
stunning fruit dessert: comprised of lychees prepared in an incredible
number of different ways. There was indulgent lychee ice cream,
refreshing lychee sorbet, and sweet lychee jellies, as well fresh lychees
served with a creamy vanilla custard.
Alongside this, we just couldn’t resist ordering the delicious yuzu (a
Japanese citrus fruit) crumble as well. Although by now we were quite
full, we were glad that we did. The dish was a modern reinterpretation
of a traditional Japanese favourite. When you look at it, it seems as if a
whole yuzu has been put on the plate, next to some crumble. But when
you try to cut into it, you find out that the fruit has been hollowed out,
baked in stock syrup, and filled with a tangy citrus-favoured custard sauce.
What a delicious surprise!
What our meals had illustrated to us is that Chef Benjamin is a visionary,
leading guests on a fabulous culinary quest. In his pursuit of excellence
he values tradition highly, yet he is also open to any new advances that
can enhance his craft. He brings together ancient and modern techniques
to draw the full potential from the finest quality ingredients. His goal,
however, remains simple: to bring pleasure and meaning to people
through the medium of food. No wonder Quest is already winning
critical acclaim all over Abu Dhabi and way beyond.
I can see why people say that there is no one signature dish at Quest –
each one already has Chef Benjamin’s signature written all over it. To
that, I can only add that if the team here are on a quest for perfection,
then they certainly aren’t far from their goal!
Intimate, inspirational
In our meal so far, we had found that the surroundings matched the meal
perfectly: intimate and inspirational. But the main courses were still to
come. I wanted something really fresh and light, so chose the halibut –
one of the day’s specials. Fish is hard to do well, but this was as good as I
was hoping for. The halibut was gorgeously tender, and its subtle flavour
was complemented superbly with a blend of garlic, ginger, spring onions
and soy sauce. Sometimes the best meals happen when simple things are
done well. That was certainly the case here, and the result was pure bliss.
Jordana chose the shredded soy braised duck leg. While I had been
delighted by my dish, I have to admit that after tasting hers I wasn’t sure
if I had made the right choice. The duck was presented exquisitely in a