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Equity Magazine April 2018

GASTRONOMY WEEKEND

GASTRONOMY WEEKEND DINING An experience, nocturnal hotspot, and brunches you can’t miss this month 1 ONI SHANGRI-LA HOTEL The element that draws me into a movie or TV show, apart from the storyline, is the food they consume. After weeks of binge-watching Korean dramas, my cravings for bibimbap heightened, bringing me to the newlylaunched ONI at Shangri-La Dubai. The Japanese-inspired menu comprises street-style Asian dishes, with everything from sushi and sashimi, to ramen, rice bowls, robatta grills, and noodles. Most diners may recognise the venue – they have taken over Junoon – however the décor has undergone a makeover to reveal an intimate, ambient space with the only colours being hues of red and grey, to brighten the black surfaces. We headed for the cocktail lounge – the venue has two bars, the other serving sake specialties – to sip on carefully curated cocktails by the restaurant’s 21-year old mixologist. Try the Sakura for a refreshing strawberry concoction that tastes similar to an antioxidant-packed smoothie. We highly recommend starting the meal with truffle tuna tacos in a citrus dressing. Each crisp bite of the rice taco shell reveals chunky juicy pieces of fresh tuna with avocado. Follow this with the beautifully presented hamachi crudo, comprising yellowtail, wasabi salsa and yuzupon foam. The sliced fish, flown in from Hokkaido complements the lemon ink on the plate, adding in a tart flavour. Don’t miss the pan-fried octopus balls for a hot appetiser packed with flavour. Classic signature rolls such as California and dynamite are available, with fresh salmon and tuna sashimi for a bite in between courses. For mains, I had to tuck into the Bibimbap, a rice bowl presented with egg yok in the centre, minced meat, zucchini, and peppers on the side. The mixture arrives in a sizzling bowl and is mixed by the table with gochujang (chilli pepper paste) to form a beautiful crisp rice mixture. My partner chose the ONI ramen, a generous portion big enough for two, with a flavour-packed broth, bone marrow, meat and noodles. Both were eaten with skewers of tender chicken thighs Asia on a plate with scallion, miso marinated black cod, angus beef tenderloin, and chicken wings, all cooked on a charcoal robata grill. Each piece of protein was succulent, bursting with flavour and spice. To end the meal, we shared a scrumptious matcha green tea fondant with vanilla ice cream, and a side of hazelnut, coconut and mango mochi (bite-sized frozen ice cream with a soft outer coating.) There wasn’t a single dish that disappointed. If you are a fan of Asian food, dumplings or craving sushi, look no further than this new hotspot. Need to know: Contact +971 54 721 3245 54 EQUITY

GASTRONOMY Friday brunch 2 MASTI LA MER Having been down to Masti previously, we headed back for a lazy afternoon of great Indian-flavoured international specialties at The Reserve (upstairs) to try their newly launched energetic brunch. Vibrant dishes liven up the afternoon beginning with selection of three cold appetisers including edamame bhel, cassava chaat (a chopped mixture of cassava mixed with sweet and sour chutney), and tuna bhel tartare featuring small pieces of the fish with avocado cream and chickpea crisp. Diners can choose one hot appetiser each – my dining partner and I opted for the signature Burrata and Truffle pizza with a thin crust and flavoursome tomato sauce, and the masala clams with a light coconut dressing. Keeping with the international theme, my partner tucked into the double beef burger with an Indian-spice twist, while I relished the chicken bharta; a thick tomato gravy with shredded chicken, scooped up with flatbread. Desserts are aplenty, with a corner table featuring everything from halwa to a chocolate fondue fountain. Need to know: Contact 800 62784 55 EQUITY

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