Gourmet Inspiration

10 Jul 2012
By Ahlanlive.com

Check out Rue Kothari's latest lesson in fine dining

It’s not often that I relinquish control in the kitchen and allow my hallowed culinary space to be invaded by strangers. But in the case of an upcoming celebration, I may just be tempted. Firstly, it’s way too hot to be sweating it out putting garnishes on fiddly canapés and, secondly, as a busy working mother, I would simply rather take the time to put on a fabulous dress and get my ‘do done.
The solution? Catering. Gourmet catering of course, because the last thing you want to subject your guests to is a dry, mushroom vol-au-vent and some breaded mozzarella. Instead, I met with Henry Dyer, owner of Dish catering, who is responsible for creating mini-morsels of heaven for some of the city’s most salubrious socialites. The first thing he told me is that buffets are most definitely passé. And I absolutely agree. Instead, their deconstructed classic canapés and delicious ‘bowl and fork’ dishes will allow your guests to graze on a gorgeous mix of contemporary bites while talking, mingling and even dancing. Most importantly, leaving them satiated enough to give the cheesy bread at the Al Reef Bakery a swerve on the way home. Flavours are most definitely à la mode; new Mexican, modern Japanese and Spanish tapas, including a true piece of culinary theatre – cooking a fragrant paella from scratch in your home. Left to slow cook in a traditional giant pan, it’s the perfect informal, sharing dish.
It’s safe to say, that when it comes to choosing between DIY and calling in the experts, I’m converted. 
INFO: Dish, 04 422 1613, www.dish.ae.

This month, I recommend getting your iftar on. With contemporary tents like the Al Majlis in Madinat Jumeirah and more traditional home-style dishes offered by restaurants like Al Hallab in Dubai Mall, you will be spoilt for choice. Go for broke at the Burj Al Arab’s Al Iwan, where you can enjoy breaking fast with your friends over more elaborate versions of the traditional mezze, steamed lobster, a whole roasted lamb and a rich selection of sweet treats. Or, if you’re ambitious, try hosting your own. Basic dishes including hummus, tabouleh and marinated kebabs are very simple to prepare. Remember to ease into your meal with a selection of the very best dates from Armani/Dolce. Invest in ornate Arabian-inspired tableware from Bloomingdale’s Home and don’t delay, for I hear on the grapevine that there is a little sale on.
INFO: Bloomingdale’s Home, Dubai Mall, 04 350 5464.

This month, we zipped across to the Park Hyatt on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, for a quick sun bath and a spot of supper at their aptly named Park Bar & Grill, the latest go-to place for in-the-know locals. It’s no surprise that there was not a spare seat in the house, the urban-styled interiors, low lighting and double-floored chic-ery seduced you into believing you’d taken a right turn at Jebel Ali and ended up in Manhattan. Great for intimate entertaining, we chose close friends to share our vast plate of oysters with before nipping into the mains with gusto. We adored the tuna tartare, steamed seabass with bok choy and soy and of course, a big juicy Wagyu steak that proved a little too mighty to be consumed completely. All in all, it’s the perfect getaway dinner.
INFO: Park Bar & Grill, Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, 02 407 1138, www.abudhabi.park.hyatt.com.

Rue Kothari is the Editor of Harper’s Bazaar Interiors. Follow her on Twitter @RueKothari.

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