Frankie’s @ Fairmont, Bab Al Bahr

Perhaps the name is a bit too casual?

If you’re looking to experience a succulent Italian dinner, gourmet style and in a posh ambience you must head to the beautiful hotel of Fairmont, located between the bridges. The opulent works at the grand entrance will surely engage you into exploring the premises, especially at day when the pristine waters of the pool and sea will behest you to stay.

Beyond the lobby, a descending staircase will lead you to several doorways – restaurants, cafes, nightclubs and hangouts, from which Frankie’s was one of them in the corridor to the right. The name, is a collaboration between the horse jockey – Frankie Dettori and Marco Pierre, the latter of which is well known and respected in the culinary world. The entrance is plush, and well-mannered attendees present you with their assiduous service. I do not know how they manage to boast of an open pizza kitchen while maintaining a well air conditioned restaurant. The pizza premise is an open invitation for all those who would swap their pastas for a mouth-full of pizza I suppose. Either way, it was fun to watch, with the chef meticulously rolling out his dough, glazing it with sauce and toppings, only to put it in the oven for few minutes and pronto! you have a steaming aroma of goodness among bubbling hot mozarella. Hungry yet?

Organ music promptly followed midway through our meal. Clearly, as we surveyed the customers, this was a quiet place for lovers, young and old romantic couples alike. Our order was Fried Calamari for appetizers, followed by Seafood Platter for the main course – the special for the day.

Fresh bread was served along with our starters with three of our favorite dips – olive, pesto and tomato. Calamari Fritti was served with tartar sauce and salad cream.

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Our main course was a generous spread of Grilled Calamari, Jumbo Shrimps, a cube of Grilled Salmon and some Scallops, along with steamed asparagus and some fried potato wedges. The taste was as excellent as the service.

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As I always say, never exit an Italian place without tasting the true essence of Italy – Tiramisu. I have heard much about its famed preparation: The Tiramisu Trio as it is known, and has three glassed servings of awesomeness – Amaretti, Classic (for chocolate lovers) and Amarena (rum lovers). The experience was ever fulfilling.

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It is recommended to reserve a table in day in advance, as the place can get crowded on weekends, and definitely you do not wish to miss this dessert. The Seafood platter is AED 225 excluding service tax and tourism fee (16%). Wine and spirits are also served at the restaurant.

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The Village: One to One Hotel

Entertaining Spread…that’s about the best two words I could think of as soon as I saw the restaurant.

Those who are arriving here for the first time, will have some difficulty finding the location, therefore make sure to ask for the directions in advance and to be on time for the Friday Brunch outlaid between 12 pm – 4 pm. I was not expecting a large crowd, so I could call myself and my brunch companion really fortunate to have found a table. The Village is a large shisha tent, with indoor and outdoor seating arrangements, and we were recommended to sit inside so as to catch some entertainment that was being arranged for the customers.

Being famished, we commenced the buffet line and were welcomed to a wide array of assorted breads, salads and lentil soup. The menu was predominantly Lebanese, with a few continental main courses such as Grilled fish, Spaghetti and Sauteed mushrooms. Remarkably kid friendly, with a whole row of foods dedicated to children, lowered dishes of Chicken Nuggets, hot dogs, pastas, sandwiches and popcorn!

Among the main courses were: Grilled meats, assorted Fatayer, Noodles and the winner item: Lamb Rice. This rice is so flavorful, and with the meat well done, it simply melts in the mouth. There was also a Margarita pizza, Cheese stuffed bread and condiments of hummus, gravies and several sauces.

Noodles

Noodles

Assorted Fatayer

Assorted Fatayer

Lamb Rice

Lamb Rice

The entire while of picking up my main course items, I was distracted by the desserts counter. And from the other side, one cannot make out its expanse or contents, but I was looking forward to it especially after seeing another customer with a heap full of chocolate!

My wait was certainly not disappointing. The extraordinary array of desserts made me guilty for having taken a second round for main course, since many of the ones displayed were my all-time favorites: Chocolate Ganache Cake, Opera Cake, Cheese Cakes, Chocolate Mousse, Parfaits, Black Forest Cake, Crème Caramel, Baklava, Macaroons, Chocolate Brownies and much more. These complimented with steaming tea or coffee (also included in the buffet), made me request to see the Pastry Chef for a personal commendation.

Chocolate Brownies

Chocolate Brownies

Profiteroles & Fruit Cake

Profiteroles & Fruit Cake

Carrot cake

Carrot cake

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Crème Caramel

Crème Caramel

Chocolate Ganache Cake

Chocolate Ganache Cake

Live Entertainment

Live Entertainment

Chef Ziad, as he is well known in One to One Hotel, has a remarkable patisserie experience of over 30 years. His expert knowledge in chocolate and pastries is the secret behind the divine taste of all those desserts on display. He was humble and forthcoming enough to show me pictures of his works in the field of pastry making. I am confident that his expertise and talent will lead him to more successful heights. As for the chocolate cake, I firmly believe this was the one I have been looking for – the ever perfect complement of moist sponge and ganache.