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Michelin-Starred Dining with Chef Kirk at Fairmont

Who doesn’t love food? Let me re-phrase that, who doesn’t love Michelin quality food? Hailing from Devon in southwest England, Chef Kirk Westaway brings a unique experience to diners in Abu Dhabi. Fancy a beautiful meal while overlooking the picturesque views of Abu Dhabi?, diners now surely have a reason to head to Fairmont!

The Chef who leads the Singaporean-based Modern French restaurant JAAN (which was awarded one Michelin Star) will take diners on an epic culinary journey from 19th – 23rd of January 2017. Yes we all know that Michelin quality food has to be amazing. But there’s a significant reason (or set of reasons) to support that statement.

The Quayside at Fairmont Bab al Bahr
The Quayside at Fairmont Bab al Bahr
The Quayside at Fairmont Bab al Bahr
The Quayside at Fairmont Bab al Bahr
Let's get on with this beautiful dinner, shall we?
Let’s get on with this beautiful dinner, shall we?

The Concept

The Quayside is, well, an experience. An experience where diners get to relax by the sea side and enjoy Michelin quality food. With beautiful jazz music to set the mood, I honestly thought it was quite the perfect place for a, date, shall we? Of course now, it has much more to do than just sitting outdoors and having a meal. The idea (that I think) everyone should appreciate behind this concept is try and visualize the story each Chef tries to plate up. Well I would suggest refraining from holding the plate in the air and swirling it round, but I do strongly suggest taking at least 3 or 4 minutes per dish to try and understand what each ingredient represents.

Our Night

With many many thanks to the lovely people at Fairmont Bab al Bahr, we were given an invitation to check out this concept for ourselves. In summary, I personally think it is amazing! And definitely worthy of a booking for one night at least.

Cocktails and Canapés first
Cocktails and Canapés first

Heading to The Quayside (located exactly next to Puesta del Sol), we were warmly greeted by cocktails and canapés. Served with Truffle Macaroons, Tuna Tartar, Tapioca Cumin Hummus and Truffle Egg Balls put our expectations to shame and raised the bar immensely. Unfortunately since it was a bit dark, I do apologise that I couldn’t take pictures of these items. However, in the 7-course menu that is on offer, you will receive Foie Gras instead of the Egg Balls. And by all honesty, these small canapés do highlight the Chef’s description of his cuisine as “Simple, yet Complex”. A snippet of what you can expect is…

Truffle Macaroon (left) and Tuna Tartar (right) (credits to https://farm2.staticflickr.com)
Truffle Macaroon (left) and Tuna Tartar (right) (credits to https://farm2.staticflickr.com)

A bit of chitter and chatter, we were then greeted into The Quayside. Not to forget Frankie’s Pianist, Mr. Nathan who kept us entertained throughout the night with beautiful jazz notes on the keys.

Entering The Quayside
Entering The Quayside

Seating ourselves down (right next to the pass), we were given a small snippet of the menu. Of course, the real menu of offer is 7 courses long with an option for pairings.

Chef Kirk Westaway's Menu for the night
Chef Kirk Westaway’s Menu for the night

Sitting right next to the pass was definitely exciting. Well for two major reasons. One, we always knew when the next plate was going to be served. And two (and probably the most important), we could see Chef Kirk and his wonderful team in action!

Chef Kirk in action
Chef Kirk in action

Starters

In preparation of the first course on our menu, we couldn’t wait to see what the plate would feature. Much similar to an Insalata Caprese, this Heirloom Tomato with Basil and Burratta was a much more complex version of the classic Italian salad. Dressed with a Basil Sorbet and at least 3 or 4 different preparations of different types of tomato on the plate, yeah I’m hungry again (`nuff said?). Oh and don’t forget about the simple, but interesting addition of Black Olive powder and Basil foam. That creamy Burratta Cheese! Oh my!

Heirloom Tomato with Basil and Burratta
Heirloom Tomato with Basil and Burratta

A much more “palatable” image is below…

Heirloom Tomato with Basil and Burratta (Credits to https://farm2.staticflickr.com)
Heirloom Tomato with Basil and Burratta (Credits to https://farm2.staticflickr.com)

Moving on to something that was supposed to eaten like soup, we were greeted by something very interesting indeed. An Organic Soft Poached Hen’s Egg (poach for 55 minutes), with Celeriac and Winter Truffle. The magic of the dish was to break the egg, so that the yolk spills out and blends with the other ingredients to form a sort of…soup. Truffle added to anything turns out beautiful, but the right balance of flavors…that’s spectacular. Amazing dish indeed!

Plating the Organic Soft Poached Egg
Plating the Organic Soft Poached Egg
I broke the yolk...cause, well, it's part of the magic!
I broke the yolk…cause, well, it’s part of the magic!

Mains

The mains took an interesting curve of events. Something that may seem quite simple, but in reality was absolutely fantastic. We were served a Wagyu Striploin (cooked Rare), with a Pearl Barley and Buckwheat Risotto. I guess the most beautiful part of this was that gorgeous piece of steak in the center. Also, with some addition of some pearl onions and a brown sauce (I think it was Bordelaise) was phenomenal. Just the flavors of everything blending together was so much more fanicer than a steakhouse dinner. (Not that I’m saying steakhouse dinners are bad, but I’d definitely pick this any day).

Plating up the Wagyu Steak
Plating up the Wagyu Steak

Isn’t that beautiful steak just a smack in your face? Like boom!

Wagyu Striploin with Pearl Barley and Buckwheat Risotto
Wagyu Striploin with Pearl Barley and Buckwheat Risotto

Coming to the end of this beautiful meal, we were given a really refreshing pallet cleanser. Cucumber Sorbet with Cucumber, (a Citrus fruit), Mint and Spearmint.

The Cucumber Pallet Cleanser
The Cucumber Pallet Cleanser

Dessert

Dessert was definitely interesting. For all the chocolate-lovers out there (I’m not saying I’m not, but I prefer Tiramisu more…hehe) this dish is surely going to get your taste buds rolling. Plating up this White Ivory Chocolate looked quite intense, and even more intense were the flavors on the plate. Featuring a complex range of texture of Chocolate, the dish itself has a Caramelized Ivory Ice Cream, 72% Dark Chocolate Espuma and Sous Vide Aero Chocolate! Along with a few surprises of (caramelized?) Hazlenuts to add that interesting texture of crunch, one plate of this may not be enough. Diners can also get a taste of this at JAAN!

White Ivory Chocolate
White Ivory Chocolate

Here’s a small snippet on the assembling…

To wash it all down..we did a bit of Green Tea (the English Way) and some Petit Fours!

Petit Fours
Petit Fours

What came to be a very beautiful night at Fairmont, dining with Chef Kirk’s food was absolutely inspirational. Better yet, every dish was amazing! And to top it off, sitting at The Quayside to overlook the calm and serene water of the Khor was just splendid.

Since Chef Kirk will be leading this Gourmet Evening till 23rd of January, Diners can make bookings for the same by contacting the Fairmont Bab al Bahr. If not every other night, I strongly suggest doing at least one evening there! Of course, you will be served a 7-course menu, as the one above was only a preview.

More information about Chef Kirk’s JAAN Restaurant in Singapore can be found here –> http://www.jaan.com.sg/

You can also follow Chef Kirk on Instagram at –>. https://www.instagram.com/chefkirk_w

For Dining Reservations, please call +971 2 654 3238 or you can even email dining.bab@fairmont.com or visit http://www.fairmont.com/abu-dhabi/special-offers/dining-offers/celebrity-chefs/

 

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