Last Updated on May 31, 2016 by hungryoungwoman
I have to say, I know quite little about the Movenpick hotels. The fact that I only got to know one existed as Ibn Battuta Gate when an invite popped into my inbox, bears testament to it.
Out of the offers present, I chose to visit Sicilia for its Chef’s Table on Fridays. The concept is a set menu comprising of interesting flavors. Some of them even new to my palate.
The ambiance is very relaxing and calm, and we were seated almost immediately upon entering. The restaurant is quite small, which was a bit surprising considering the size of Movenpick Ibn Battuta Gate, which is huge by the way.
Anyway, all that was forgotten as we got the best table in the restaurant, from where we could see the Chef plate our dishes before they were served.
After we were settled, Chef Stefano personally explained us about the set menu and our preferences. The first course was Cured Spanish Cod Fish (AED 85) marinated in lemon juice and a burrata neatly wrapped in green apple slices on the side. I like seafood but I always steer clear of anything that smells fishy or is raw. This one was a bit of both so it wasn’t a hit with me. The burrata though was thoroughly enjoyed, as usual, this time with green apple.
The next course comprised of some Cured Beef Carpaccio (AED 79), Eggplant Parmigiana and a Buffalo Caprese Pizza (AED 70). While my guest loved the carpaccio for its soft and sharp taste (provided by balsamic vinegar), I preferred the mild and cheesy flavours of the Eggplant Parmigiana. Although the portion is small, it definitely fills you up.
We were later served Roasted Octopus (AED 110)! Yes, this was a first for me. Is it the tentacles or the strange pictures I’ve seen of them before, but since I was feeling a little adventurous that day, I decided to give it a go. A rather smart decision I must say. A bite in, and I was welcomed with a smoky crunch which later led to the soft meat on the inside. When you’re served such interesting dishes, it isn’t wrong to higher your expectations. Sadly, the next course was a letdown. This course comprised of Roasted Veal Ravioli (AED 75), Ravioli with Truffle and Raschera Cheese (AED 130), and Fregola with Shrimps (AED 125).
Both the ravioli dishes were quite simple and of mediocre quality we felt. The Fregola again had a very fishy taste. Most of you wouldn’t mind this, but it’s just something I’m picky about.
The final course was the Signature Risotto (AED 95) by Chef Stefano. Honey glazed braised veal cheeks so soft that they literally melt. However, the special ingredient here was a cappuccino foam, something that I found extraordinary. Unfortunately, as good as this sounds, the dish failed to please us. The taste of cappuccino was lost somewhere in the bland risotto. Another disappointment.
The five-course meal was a rather hearty one! But dessert always has a special place in my heart which makes it a mandatory affair whenever I head out. Lo and behold! An apple based sweet dish was presented to us. So many variations with the fruit that left me spellbound! The Apple Renette (AED 40) consisted of Apple Gateaux, Apple Renette Fritters, Apple Pie Icecream and Doughy Crumble with a dollop of Pastry Cream. The best way to have this is to combine the hot and cold flavours of the fritters and ice cream and combine apple gateaux with the smooth pastry cream and crumble.
Some hits and some misses, Chef Stefano sure took us for a ride with our palates.
If I’m coming back: I noticed some nice selection of meat and fish options on the menu that definitely seem worth a try. The Eggplant Parmigiana and Roasted Octopus were my absolute favourites! Add an Apple Renette to the list too. This is something you do not want to miss. 😀
You can book your table or contact the restaurant here.