Marco Pierre White’s restaurant in the Fairmont Hotel in Abu Dhabi is a firm favourite celebrity destination in the Middle East. Opened by HRH The Duke of York in 2009, it is the three Michelin starred chef Marco Pierre White’s first restaurant outside the UK, which offers a modern take on traditional English dishes. Speaking of his style of cooking, Marco says: “we are in an age of refinement, not invention; all the greatest dishes have been done, Mother Nature is the true artist and our job as cooks is to allow her to shine.”
We visited on a dry night, part of the religious calendar in the UAE, meaning that it was not possible to consume alcohol for 24 hours. Although Marco Pierre White’s offers a fantastic selection of carefully chosen wines to match the food, we actually didn’t find that the lack of wine detracted from the meal. In fact, we kicked things off with a delicious glass of Gold Emotion, which is a luxurious lightly sparkling apple juice containing 24 carat gold flecks and packaged in a champagne-style bottle that’s very popular in this part of the world. To whet our appetite, we nibbled on some particularly excellent gluten free bread with a selection of butters, including a sweet butter with dates, a sea salted butter and one flavoured with Pommery mustard.
To start out meal, we both tried the prawn carpaccio with a bloody mary sorbet, which was a particularly delicious combination temperatures and textures, with tiny quenelles of cold bloody mary sorbet placed on delicate slithers of prawn, topped with creamy avocado, crunchy prawn crisps and some teeny tiny sundried tomatoes.
We also tried a very tasty pan-fried scallop topped with a parmesan crisp on smoked haddock and cauliflower purée morel with bacon confit and sous vide egg yolk. Despite the lengthy description, it was a very delicately presented but deeply flavourful dish.
For the main course, we shared a board of steak. Marco Pierre White’s offers a fantastic selection of the most premium steaks money can buy served in small but perfectly-formed portions. There is a really interesting variety of top-of-the-range Wagyu beef steaks on offer on the menu – really the best of the best from Japan. Our absolute favourite was unanimously the rib-eye steak. Guests have a huge range of sides to try, too, with our top favourites being the cauliflower and broccoli cheese and the triple fried chips with truffle aioli – outrageous, but really delicious.
Marco Pierre White’s is famous in the UAE for its desserts, with the sticky toffee pudding and Banoffee pie being particularly popular. A delicious Cambridge cream was made for us as a gluten free option.
The service at Marco Pierre White’s is particularly friendly and efficient and a real effort is made to look after guests with food allergies.
If you’re after a delicious taste of home in sumptuous surroundings in Abu Dhabi, then a visit is a must.