Full disclosure: as a food blogger, there’s a twinge of validation I feel every time I receive an invitation to a tasting. The more acclaimed the restaurant, the more recognized I personally feel. Some external forces always try to bring you down- as is the case in every industry- just as others pick you up. Whether it’s other bloggers buying followers to feed their own insecurities and fake a “celebrity status” by playing dirty; or friends who think they’re trying to help you by telling you to stop being such a diplomatic “yes man” vs. others who try to convince you that there’s no such thing as a free lunch and a rosy review is expected by default in exchange for a tasting; you’d be surprised by the daily struggles a food blogger in the apparently fun and easy business of “eating food and talking about it”.
It was therefore a personal achievement and high point for me to be invited for a tasting at the most luxurious hotel in the world, and most exclusive in Dubai: the Burj Al Arab. I was welcomed to try out the newly revamped Bab Al Yam. My passion for good food and hospitality and the hundreds of hours put into sharing my experiences with my readers had resulted in the ultimate validation so far, and I was over the moon 🙂 I won’t lie to you and act snootier than I am: it was pretty darn exciting to not only be granted access to this off-limits-unless-you-have-a-reservation hotel, but to be invited to it by the hotel itself!
The Burj Al Arab experience is every bit what you’d expect it to be. From the minute you roll in past the barriers, till they bid you farewell, you’re treated like a VVIP. Considering how competitive and generally above par the hospitality sector in Dubai is, it’s only befitting that Burj Al Arab should define the benchmark.
Our tasting was at Bab Al Yam which is their all day diner, for their lunch buffet. The place has been completely revamped, with floor to ceiling windows and a modern, sun-kissed dining area. Another island is being built and shipped from Finland in towards the end of this month, and an infinity pool is underway too! The buffet itself was small and to the point.
I helped myself to come hearty leek and potato soup, with some Arinchini, followed by beef tacos, grilled fish, fresh mini pizzas, and some really delicious savory waffles with cured beef, rocket and some mustard sour cream . We also enjoyed a variety of juicy grills, and custom made pasta. M enjoyed the pasta the most, he was very proud of how cleverly he instructed the chef toward making “the perfect pasta”. The seafood selection, although limited, boasted some really delicious Kelly oysters.
The dessert selection too, although limited in quantity, delivered on quality. The highlight though was the chocolate fountain. It contained pure chocolate from France and contained very little oil, and you could really taste what a huge difference this makes. I kept going back for more chocolate coated berries, and this has never happened before.
After our meal, we headed outside to the patio to enjoy a couple of signature Burj Al Arab 24 carat gold dusted cappuccinos, where our server offered me a pashmina since it was a particularly cool and windy day for Dubai (refer to the VVIP treatment again). With a view of Jumeirah Beach Hotel on one side, Madinat Jumeirah on the other side and an expanse of clear blue sea in between, we had a thoroughly relaxed afternoon that went down in our memory book. Thank you so much for your hospitality, Bab Al Yam.