To start, my eye was drawn by the mention of oysters (possibly called 'Guillard'? I'd had a bit of gin by this point...). These, as you can see, were big meaty beasts and were incredibly sweet, full of umami and flavoursome of the sea. I had a good ol' chew on them, as I don't believe in swallowing them whole and only getting a hint of flavour. I do believe these may have been the best oysters I've had so far - perhaps a toss-up between those of Kinsale.
However, I was a touch jealous of Richard's beef cheek galette with wild mushroom risotto. He let me have a taste and it was meaty.
Moving on, I opted for the 'Rack of Veal with Balsamic Glaze'. I tend to suffer from chronic indecisiveness when ordering food, as I have an almost pathological fear of food envy. As soon as I spoke my order, I regretted it. I was expecting piddly little rounds of meat, truth be told.
I couldn't have been further from the truth and I was gobsmacked when they brought me this beast. It was huge, larger than the size of my outstreched hand. My dining companions looked on enviously as I dug in with abandon and it was cooked perfectly to medium rare, as requested. It had a rich and beefy flavour to it, but was also very tender. A strange cube of jellied mushrooms accompanied it and was fine, but the balsamic sauce with a hint of rosemary were perfect companions. Simplicity at it's best.
I was much too full for dessert, but I had a sneaky taste of everyone elses. The Selection of Chocolate was just that - chocolatey. It consisted of a sorbet, a ganache, a truffle and a millefeuile. Very rich indeed. Contrasted with this was a light and delicately sweet upside down apple tart.
The service was inobtrusive and discreet. There was a lady singing with a piano accompaniment which at best provided us with some giggles, and at worst was a bit loud when we swung past, but quite inoffensive overall.
Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi
Sheikh Khalifa Street
PO Box 45505
United Arab Emirates
Tel: (971)(2) 674 2020