FEAST OF QUEENS
Indulge in the QE2’S signature 9-course tasting menu
Journey back to 1969 at the QE2’S signature restaurant, and indulge in an unforgettable 9-course tasting menu
ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS about the Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2), which is docked as a floating hotel in Port Rashid, is how much of its oldworld charm she has maintained. Every moment spent on board feels nostalgic and very special, and now, her majesty has taken it up a notch…
The Queen’s Grill, QE2’S signature restaurant, was officially opened recently and, to mark the occasion, it has introduced a delectable 9-course tasting menu, a dish-for-dish ode to what was served at the restaurant during QE2’S maiden voyage in 1969.
Ingredients for this special tasting menu are almost exclusively sourced and flown in from the United Kingdom, in order to elevate the authenticity of the experience. The menu has been designed by Chef de Cuisine Rama Samy – a former member of the QE2’S culinary team. His traditional approach to gastronomy is complemented by the modern cooking style of British Sous Chef Murry Lane; the duo collectively combine classic ingredients with modern cooking techniques for an unforgettable feast.
It begins with pan-seared scallops, cauliflower puree and parmesan bubbles. The scallops are perfectly moist and the combination offers a creamy, rich, balanced flavor. The second course, foie gras parfait, is an amalgamation of sweet jelly, pickled rhubarb, rhubarb gel and hazelnut crumble – not for everyone, but certainly worth tasting.
Up next is perhaps my favorite dish, warm salad of sous vide Dover sole, coleslaw, sautéed girolle mushrooms and dill cress, a dance both tangy and crunchy, with a surprising dash of sour, thanks to the mushrooms. This is followed by roast baby chicken, wilted buttered samphire and morels jus – this fourth course had a charmingly, zesty appeal.
By this point, you are definitely stuffed, yet you’re not even halfway through. Thankfully, the kitchen offers you a strategic break between each plate, and the jaunty waiters are ever ready to regale you with stories they’ve heard about the QE2’S glorious past.
On to course five – butter-roasted halibut, Swiss chard and salsify velouté. A delightfully buttery combination, the halibut is perfectly crisp on the outside and delicately flavored within. The sixth course is heavy and rich; make sure you eat slowly and enjoy the milk-fed lamb loin with lots of peas, smoked rosemary potatoes and lamb jus. Welsh rarebit comes next, with strong-tasting cheddar, caramelized fig, Worcestershire sauce, and fruit bread.
The sweet end is now in sight: milk sorbet, English cherries and white chocolate compose dish number eight, a milky, crunchy and fruity palate cleanser. At long last you are greeted with the big finish to a larger-than-life dining experience. The final course: malt chocolate tart, superbly complemented by salted caramel ice cream. You’ll leave more content and satisfied than you’d ever expect after setting sail on a 9-course culinary journey, once exclusive to kings and queens. The nine-course 1969 menu is priced at AED875 per person @qe2