5 5
S I M P LY A B U DH A B I
Jordana ordered the slow-poached Canadian lobster, which
came accompanied by open-laced ravioli, a Basque piperade,
and a Bouillabaisse reduction. Again, it was a really interesting
mixture of flavours, and one that worked incredibly well.
When I tasted a mouthful, I loved the way that the richness of
the Bouillabaisse helped to bring out and define the exquisite
juiciness of the lobster. Alongside these dishes, we decided to
share some hand-dived Loch Fyne scallops – which wowed
us with their softness and subtle flavour. For desserts, we both
ordered a fresh and tangy lemon sorbet. It was the ideal way
to round off the meal.
There’s a good reason why the menu is bursting with the kind
of exuberance and vitality that I have been describing to you.
The restaurant recently took on Cyril Calmet from France as
chef. Calmet has brought his formidable culinary expertise to
bear on Pearls and Caviar, bringing in exciting new dishes as
well as traditional favourites. Tsarskaya oysters and red mullet
are just two of the fabulous meals available to diners here.
On Fridays the restaurant serves up a brunch that includes
grilled steaks and piping hot seafood. The brunch is called
Brunner’ and it also features a live sushi station; we weren’t
around to experience it, but it sounds absolutely amazing. We
were disappointed not to sample this sublime-sounding
brunch, but our own meal had demonstrated to us how Pearls
and Caviar serves cuisine right out of the top drawer.
But wonderful though it is, the food certainly isn’t all that
Pearls and Caviar has to offer. Upstairs, Pearls Bar is a
terrifically atmospheric open-air venue. Live DJs play funky
and chilled out music, and knowledgeable bartenders serve up
superb drinks. There’s a particularly good selection of non-
alcoholic drinks here, and a delicious tapas menu.
After our meal we headed up to Pearls Bar and soaked up the
glorious atmosphere. We chatted to other guests. Everyone we
spoke to told us how incredible they thought the hotel was –
and how amazing the food at Pearls and Caviar was. We spent
hours here, talking to elegant, charming and intelligent people
beneath the starry skies of Abu Dhabi that we love so much.
This was the perfect end to our meal. It had been an evening
of absolute sophistication and relaxation. Quality defined our
experience from start to finish. If our meal at Hoi An (see page
56)
the next evening was even half as good as this, it would
certainly be one to remember.