Page 65 - Simply Abu Dhabi Magazine VI

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Seamless transitions
In a lot of other places, our evening – sumptuous as it was
– would have ended there. But here, it was only just
beginning. Even as we were making our way here, we
were discussing how intrigued we were by the concept of
this place: combining a club with a restaurant and lounge.
It’s a deceptively simple idea but one that can really have
a big impact on your experience. Forget traipsing across
town to find a place to party. Here you can sit down to a
meal, and then whenever you fancy, either head to the
dance floor or opt to chill out in exquisite surroundings.
And the great thing is that the three parts are still all part
of the same unit: the venue has been designed to ensure
that one experience flows into another as the
surroundings are subtly transformed.
We went through to the lounge area, where we had
dessert: slices of exotic fruit and a selection of ice creams
and sorbet. The lounge actually has its own menu,
including sushi, platters and light dishes, as well as a
fabulous selection of non-alcoholic cocktails. Jordana
ordered a Cinderella – fresh pineapple and passion fruit
balanced with apple juice and cinnamon sugar – which
looked absolutely fantastic. I was really tempted to go for
the Camellino: fresh locally sourced camel’s milk,
pineapple and wild honey. But eventually I chose a Yellow
Star. The combination of fresh mango and passion fruit
– blended together with milk, orange and banana purée –
was incredibly refreshing, and just the thing to get me in
the mood for a dance.
An ambitious and talented team
I’m glad to say that Pragma Group, which owns the
Cavalli Club, Restaurant and Lounge, has plans to expand
its concept. It will be launching a cafe in Beirut later this
year, and another club, restaurant and lounge combination
in Istanbul, and is known to be in talks to open an outlet
in Abu Dhabi. We can’t wait to see what they will do in
future, because this venue has already put on some great
events. There have been parties for the summer andNew
Year’s Eve, a vampire-themedHalloween, and some really
fantastic seasons where they have focused on particular
luxury foods. Recently there was an absolutely sumptuous
caviar and oyster menu where you could sample the
delicacy by the tin (10g, 30g and 50g) along with typical
Russian-style condiments including chopped onion, sour
cream, egg and capers, and blinis.
Highly rated chef Richard Stratton is sure to continue to
take things forward and introduce more exciting special
events. In general, they certainly seem to have got the right
team in place, and we will be on the lookout for what else
the venue has in the pipeline. But as we headed from the
lounge to the dance floor to hear what one of the venue’s
internationally renowned DJs had in store, we were just
content to have had a great evening: molto grazie,
For more information on the Cavalli Restaurant please
Find Cavalli Restaurant on facebook at
In the venue launched in collaboration with world
famous designer Roberto Cavalli, you don’t even
need to leave the staggeringly luxurious premises to
combine top quality food with a vibrant nightlife and
a cool lounge area.
orld-famous Italian designer Roberto Cavalli is
renowned for his extravagant tastes: he is certainly
not a man to do things by halves. So when the
Cavalli Club, Restaurant and Bar launched in collaboration
with the designer a few years ago in Dubai’s Fairmont Hotel,
we knew we could expect something really lavish.
But even though Jordana and I came here with high
expectations, actually seeing the place still took our breath away.
As soon as we entered we were struck by an almost
overwhelming visual spectacle. Taking in the array of twinkling
Swarovski crystal chandeliers and the shiny black quartz
flooring, we couldn’t help but feel that we had entered an arena
of absolute opulence: clearly no expense had been spared at all
in the pursuit of the utmost luxury.
Cavalli is famous for many things – for one thing, he invented
the ‘sand-blasted’ effect for jeans that is now used pretty much
everywhere - but above all, it’s animal prints - like leopard spots
and zebra stripe patterns - that are his signature. And if you’re
a fan of these, you certainly won’t be disappointed: the
distinctive images are everywhere from the chairs at the
restaurant tables to the uniforms of the staff – and they really
help to infuse this establishment with Cavalli’s unique sense of
Mouth-watering choices
It’s also a real delight just to look through the menu and try to
decide on which mouth-watering dishes – there’s a blend of
Italian and international fusion food - to go for. In surroundings
like these, the presence of caviar - surely one of the most
luxurious of all foods - among the starters was certainly very
appealing, so Jordana straight away decided to go for the beef
fillet topped with marinated grilled capsicum and 5g of Asetra
caviar. There was a whole host of other attractive options - the
aged black angus carpaccio with red radicchio, rocket leaves and
white truffle oil was particularly tempting – but as I scanned
the menu, one item stood out: zebra print ravioli, filled with
butternut squash and walnut, in a sage butter. Even the food
bears Cavalli’s imprint! It’s such a cute idea that I simply had
to order it - and after doing so, I’m happy to reveal that it was
pretty tasty too.
When you think about it, it’s not surprising that the food here
is of such a high standard: the restaurant’s Executive Chef,
Francsesco Brocca, has gained a Michelin star for his previous
work at the renowned Caruso restaurant in Amsterdam. He
also worked at the famous “Il Ponte Restaurant” in the Seoul
Hilton, during which time the restaurant achieved numerous
accolades. And with Cavalli Club staff recently nominated to
the exclusive Chaine Des Rottiseurs organisation, the
restaurant's passion and commitment to quality is clear.
We were equally delighted with our main courses: Jordana
chose a linguine vongole – with Italian clams, anchovies, and
Roma tomato – while I just had to go for the opulence of the
lobster thermidor Parmigiana, which came accompanied with
delicately sautéed samphire and pomme gaufrette.