It’s all been happening down at Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi recently – they’ve spent a long time, a lot of money and a lot of thought on creating the new Market Kitchen restaurant and revamping their revolving restaurant which reopened earlier this year and is now known as ‘Stratos’.
I was lucky enough to be invited to a special ‘carnivorous dinner’ at Stratos, prepared by the hotels’ Executive Head Chef, Justin Galea and with special guest Allan Morris, MD of John Stone Beef, meat supplier to the restaurant.
Stratos is certainly an impressive place as soon as you walk in, with stunning 360 degree views all over the island – by day or by night this remains impressive.
As well as a casual lounge area there are also bar tables, seats right at the bar and a dedicated section for diners too, so whether it’s a quiet drink, afternoon tea or a full meal you’re after you can be sure you’ll find somewhere comfortable.
I hadn’t really known what to expect – other than a lovely evening with good food of course, but little did I know that we were to be treated to a full five courses!
The meal started with Steak American, though due to the fact that I’m carrying Baby Notes currently I was offered a cooked replacement instead, of Braised veal cheek (which was to die for!).
Of course all of the beef is from John Stone Beef who use only the best quality grass-fed beef, all bred in Ireland with great importance and emphasis placed on sustainable farming and the highest standards of animal welfare. Well, of course – happy cows equals tasty beef after all!
What you can see in the picture above is the chef using a Cona coffee pot and a blow torch to heat the liquid in an unusual technique to create a consommé. Very interesting to see and of course most importantly – the result, aside from impressive was delicious!
In the picture above is the second course on the menu, Slow cooked John Stone sirloin, complete with the consommé that Chef rather spectacularly prepared in front of our very eyes.
Course after course kept coming, and just as we thought we couldn’t possibly have room left for any more, we somehow managed to fit it in. The food was absolutely delicious and really, just some of the most incredible beef I have ever had the pleasure to taste.
For me, the stars of the night were my starter, the braised beef which was just so delicate, flavoursome and tender, and also the Rossini (above) – the meat was cooked beautifully and the potato and gravy also had such incredible flavours I just can’t find the words to describe them!
The main course was John Stone rib of beef – and it is there in the photo above hiding underneath the accompaniments! Hand cooked game chips and interestingly, the greenery is a local Al Ain rucola. Chef mentioned that this dish is often best served with watercress, but since watercress is so hard to find in this region, the rucola offers a good alternative but with a similar taste experience. That’s a good point to note if you’re ever searching for watercress (as I have often found myself fruitlessly doing here!).
Last but not least, and no more meat in sight was a Strawberry posset with strawberry granola, mini meringues, topped with a lemon sorbet and 20 year old balsamic vinegar. Yum.
Stratos is a great place to go to check out the views over the city with the full revolve taking one and a half hours, it’d also be a great place for visitors to the city. With the decor inspired by the 1920s prohibition era, it’s great to see such a sleek and welcoming design for a revolving restaurant, away from the bog standard tourist trap of yesteryear. Tourist trap this is absolutely not – you’re sure to be impressed with the whole feel of the place. It’s also worth noting that they have a house DJ that starts up later in the evening, so drop in for some post work cocktails and stay to enjoy the ambient party atmosphere. All in all, if you’re going along to dine – and you really must – make sure you take your appetite with you. I can heartily recommend the beef – it’d be a ‘missed-steak’ not to try it! 🙂