January flew by and left me stunned! It seemed like my days and nights were in a super fast-forward mode. Now that I can finally take a breather, I'm looking back at the very hectic month hoping I have done everything right. It suddenly dawned on me that I'm no superwoman, so I have to confess that there were a couple of hit and miss. As I only managed to blog a little while I dealt with my work-life balance, this awesome dining experience was left unwritten for almost three weeks!
Mid-January, I was able to squeeze a meet-up with my Blogger Friends on my busy work schedule. Since I'm always on the afternoon work shift and our weekends are dedicated to the family, us girls agreed to have a lunch meet-up on a Tuesday at The Gramercy.
The Gramercy: A Posh Lunch Venue
When Kero suggested that we should meet at The Gramercy, I was delighted as I haven't been there before. But the thing is, I couldn't avoid to feel a little intimidated as the restaurant is inside a ritzy business central; a serious and sophisticated hub which I clearly don't fit in. Located in the Precinct 3 of Dubai International Financial Centre, The Gramercy is a quiet lunch venue for the businessmen during the day that transforms into a gastro pub for the posh and hip crowd at night. I somehow got over the awkwardness by reminding myself that I'll be with the best girls; the same girls who kept me at ease in a launching event late last year.
|The Gramercy at DIFC|
Food Talk with Chef Andrew Paderes
I have read and heard a lot of good things about The Gramercy during the past three years; particularly about the restaurant's Executive Chef. I walked in the restaurant hoping I could somehow catch a glimpse of the famous Chef. To my surprise, Chandni and Kero were already having a "Food Talk with Chef Andrew Paderes" when I arrived. I joined them while I was still a little starstruck with the only Filipino Executive Chef in the UAE.
Chef Andrew has culinary skills that were honed in the Philippines, in Europe and in the Middle East. He worked for Nobu in London and Gordon Ramsay's Maze in Qatar. He is an achiever, a top-rank international chef, but what I adore the most is his humility. He chose to talk more about his hardships while he was still on training, his positive outlook in life, his lovely family and about how he developed The Gramercy's new menu instead of his achievements and awards. He makes every Filipino proud!
|having a "Food Talk with Chef Andrew Paderes"|
|Us Girls (Brigitte, Chandni, me, Kero) and Chef Andrew|
The Gramercy's 2014 Menu
It was Chef Andrew Paderes' last week at The Gramercy during our visit. Before he moved on to his new venture, he developed The Gramercy's all-new menu for 2014. It was a great honor to have a taste of the new sumptuous dishes and to listen to him talk about each one.
Served after a basket of warm bread is the Deep Fried Brie with Raspberry Coulis; a starter Chef Andrew created to let his clients "experience harmony of contrasting texture and flavours". Then, there's the Grilled Foie Gras with Caramelized Apple and Chutney; a dish, which according to The Chef, "upscales the menu". A "trendy and healthy option" is the Wild Rice Salad; the starter that I enjoyed the most because of its distinct unique blend. It is a mix of Canadian wild rice, diced mango, pomegranate pearls, toasted pine nuts and tangy lemon dressing!
|Left: Grilled Foei Gras with Caramelized Apple and Chutney / Right: Deep Fried Brie with Raspberry Coulis|
|Wild Rice Salad|
Right after we were done with the starters, three beautifully presented main dishes were brought to our table. The Oriental Braised Short Ribs were perfectly seasoned with Asian herbs and spices; just right for my Asian taste buds. The Sausage and White Bean Cassoulet is a "classic French style comfort food". I think it was me who consumed half of this dish, not only because it was near me, but because I love the warmth and richness of the tomato-based sauce. The Grilled Hamachi Collar Steak is Chef Andrew's "personal bet on the new menu" as it is "very unique and not a common dish". Though I had enough of ribs and sausages, I couldn't resist to have a portion of the fish dish especially when I heard the girls saying that it is the star of our lunch. It sure is!
|Oriental Braised Short Ribs|
|Sausage and White Bean Cassoulet|
|Grilled Hamachi Collar Steak|
Lunch ended with Chef Andrew's take on the classic desserts. We gushed over how lovely each dessert was plated; all too pretty to eat! There's the Mille Feuille; a fancy-looking French dessert with Creme Anglaise and berries in between the layers of puff pastry. I love the crisp and the freshness! The Tarte Chocolat is sinfully good; made of dark chocolate with french cream on top of an oreo cookie base. And lastly, I sunk my sweet tooth into a spoonful of Creme Brulee; rich, creamy and smooth custard with hard caramel topping!
Phone: 04 4377511
Dubai International Financial Centre
Precinct 3 Bldg, Level 2
*Have a Food Talk with Chef Andrew Paderes on Facebook! Follow his recipes, know the latest news on food and drinks, take his healthy eating tips and read his restaurant reviews here.