Rosewood Abu Dhabi.
Food ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Service ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Value ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I once owned a Burberry umbrella. When I say owned, I mean borrowed. Borrowed and didn’t give back. A friend lent it to me during a particularly rain soaked wedding in Ireland, and I must have stuck it in my suitcase by accident when leaving, ahem. How did I get onto that topic, oh yes, Burberry, Balenciaga, Boss, Bvlgari, familiar names if you venture to The Galleria Mall on Al Maryah Island. Which I don’t do very often. Nothing screams wealth and opulence like this bastion of high end luxury, but on the rare occasion I go, I’m never disappointed with the experience.
On this evening we headed to Dai Pai Dong, the Rosewood’s Chinese restaurant inspired by street food. We had never been before and as Madame was celebrating her birthday, it seemed an opportune time to try it. At this juncture I’ll have to make a confession, I’m a vegetarian, and my wife is a vegan so those readers looking for juicy tales of pork bellies, spare ribs and roast duck will have to stop reading, or otherwise keep reading and laughing heartily at our ignorance of the fine meats on the menu.
The atmosphere is calm at the table, notably different from the busy scenes in the kitchen where chefs and sou-chefs prepared the food. The waiting staff are attentive without being overbearing, which is nice.
To the food; Madame and I decided to share starter plates - Truffle Vegetable Dumpling, Chinese Vegetable Bun and Mushroom Spring Roll. All delightful. The only slight quibble was the apparent scarcity of mushroom in the spring rolls. That’s a minor detail though, as the vegetable bun was the best we’ve ever tasted. If not done properly a bun can be heavy and cloying; these were so light and fluffy, and the vegetables inside were cooked to perfection.
For the mains I chose the Braised Eggplant, Madame took the Claypot Tofu. The eggplant again, cooked to perfection. Suffused in ginger, garlic and chili, but able to hold its own and wasn’t overpowered by the spices. Madame thoroughly enjoyed the claypot tofu; I had a nibble too and the tofu was firm but light at the same time, the mushrooms were succulent. We didn’t have room left for dessert!
In summary, we found Dai Pai Dong a real treat, and will be back. p.s. I've been a BB member for a while now but have been decidedly lazy in getting round to this first review, apologies!