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The taste of Yas Abu Dhabi


The very first YAS Flavors Festival, running throughout November on YAS Island, has delivered on its promise to boldly offer visitors a diverse range of world cuisines. From casual dining to gourmet, diners get to enjoy three-course set menus at a selection of prices.

Words by David Young

Black Tap, craft burger and crazy shake specialist, has three carefully curated Tastemakers options waiting for you. First out the gate is the spicy Atomic Shrimp, followed by Korean BBQ wings, with a hint of lime and kimchi, and finished with an all-American burger. This is a whopping 200g succulent meat sandwich, perfectly cooked to Black Tap’s standard ‘medium’. If you want to go ‘rare’ or any other temperature, just say so.

You can opt for the Fried ‘Mozz’(arella), which comes with a super creamy marinara sauce, and is more than a little spicy, thanks to the chipotle. The accompanying golden orange Mexican hot wings is not for the novice! To close, the crispy, battered chicken breast sandwich arrives, amped up with Korean sauce and spicy mayo.

The final option kicks off with Queso and Chips, which are made in-house, and accompanied by golden Carolina BBQ wings, neatly served with buttermilk on the side, for dipping. It’s rounded off with the Old-Fashioned Burger, served with mushroom, caramelized onion, and Swiss cheese (if you can fit it in).

Filini Garden, the sophisticated traditional Italian restaurant, housed in the Radisson Blu hotel, and renowned for its authentic cuisine, makes for a wonderful Gourmet Goals stop.

And to start, the bruschetta more than lives up to its menu profile. The hearty half a dozen toasted slices of home-made bread, is generously topped with the usual suspects: plum tomatoes, basil, roasted and smoked bell peppers, veal prosciutto, and mozzarella.

Fortified for the main course, the Salmone Al Forne is a delightful baked dish that weighs just right; perched atop a bed of fennel salad, it’s delicately adorned with a memorable red bell pepper and orange reduction coulis, and green beans.

Deliberations over whether or not to indulge in the dessert menu are cut short when Head Chef, Marco Gattone, greets the table. Trained at a Michelin-starred premises in Rome, Chef Marco’s insights into the Filini’s signature Tiramisu seal the deal for the dolce course.

The combination of mascarpone cream, Savoiardi biscuits, espresso and cocoa powder is both indulgent and brilliant, and more than enough for a duo to share.

For Foodie Vibes, the Scene is a perfect venue if you have a lazy Saturday lunch in mind. The Simon Rimmer-inspired gastro-pub is in such a plum spot on the Marina, you can easily while away a couple of carefree, ultra-laid-back hours.

The starter choices of Salmon Rilette and Onion Bhaji work really well together. The contrast of ‘fresh’ meets ‘deep fried’ compliments both dishes – the fish almost providing forgiveness for the bhaji indulgence.

With a menu full of British faves, the Scene’s signature dish is naturally fish and chips (above all else except the Rimmer’s Roast Dinner). The battered cod comes with ‘proper’ chips, as the menu boasts, and the quintessential mushy peas. And it does exactly what you expect – it leaves you perilously close to being unable to make it through to the dessert round. The sticky toffee pudding and chocolate fondant are heavy duty and demand you take your time, but you’ve got that.

Another coffee, please.

To find out more, visit Yas Flavors

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