FEAST OF QUEENS

Villa 88 - - Contents -

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

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