Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Dinner Out - The Observatory - Jan 2013

Harare Reps Theatre Homies were visiting in the form of the Bonny's. J & J said "We want to take you out for dinner."  Usually we go to the Creek (they had already done that), or the Dancing Fountains (they had already done that), or we pop down to the Marina or the JBR walk, but it was  too cold and much too windy (I know, weird, cold in Dubai - or maybe I have just been here too long.) to be strolling out doors.  I was at a loss  as to what to suggest as an interesting dinner venue for visitors so I did a quick google on "restaurants with views" and The Observatory came up. Here is The Official Blurb.
I have to go off on a small rant. What is it about this bloody town and hotel chains? Why can't we (we being the public) have one hotel in a chain per city? Why do we have to have ten? The taxi drivers might get confused and you might get lost going in one direction when you should be going in another. Just saying. My all-time favorite for this  is The Address. Which all on its own  could get farcical. Customer to taxi driver "I want to go to the Address."
" Which Address?"
“No, the name of the place is The Address."
“Yes but which Address" You could go on for hours. The Address has five hotels all called The Address some of them in the same bloody neighborhood. IT SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED.

The observatory is a lovely venue high up in the Marriott Harbour Hotel with stunning views of the Marina, the amazing Palm Jumeirah, Sheikh Zayed Road and the rest of the neighborhoods within a squillion mile radius. The restaurant and bar are inviting and warm. Decorated in hues of brown and gold with squiggles of reflective materials all over the place -the floor tiles -the crackled effect mirrors- the lights reflected on the windows - all slightly off kilter and yet somehow elegant. For the first time ever ,and surprisingly, I thought "Yes fur walls would be a good look......." I got a bit confused in the ladies rest room by the quirky mirrors reflecting mirrors and smoked glass cubicle doors! Well I would. There was just the right amount of bling to be arresting but not over the top. But again, maybe I have just been in Dubai a bit too long -see my comment re the cold. The scene was set for oozing comfort.

Now, it was a little bit pricier than I expected it to be and had I known I would not have recommended it to our guests as they had promised to pay for us. But, by the time I got that figured out, it was too late... Note to self - do more research before you invite yourself out to dinner on someone else's tab.

We had a lovely meal. It is a steak place but we opted for fishy things and I think everyone enjoyed what they ordered. I loved my meal. I also only found out afterwards that it has a special way of prepareing steaks in a gourment style vacum packed boil in a bag........ the mind boggles. Will try it next time.

Our dishes were very prettily presented by attentive but not "all over you like rash" serving staff. The meal portions were exactly right. I am not going to go on about what we ate and critique each dish. I will let better qualified people do that for me about their dining experience at The Observatory.

The views were wonderful and I am not just talking about the cityscape and decor. Most of the guests in the bar were jaw droppingly attractive. There should have been a sign over the entrance that said “Beautiful Young Things Here" The food was great. The company was convivial and engaging (which is always important) and a given considering who our dinner companions were. All of this meant that we were set up, without any effort, to have a really great evening out. The evening gently lingered on, well, that is after Bryan arrived an hour late. "Sorry, Sorry my rehearsal ran over time bla, bla, bla drama queen bla, bla, bla". At least the Bonneys were familiar with That Sort Of Thing.

We will definitely put the Observatory on our visitor’s suggestion list with a gentle note that it is not cheap and cheerful but the food and service and views are well worth it.

Once we got home we had a night cap while Bryan strong armed Joan into looking up her ancestor’s on Ancecstory.com or as Bryan puts it "Facebook for Dead People". I eventually said "Enough of this lovely evening! Tomorrow is a Salt Mine Day! I am hitting the sack and bullied Bryan into bed before he thoroughly bored poor Joan about her long dead relations.

Thank you The Bonneys for a delightful and special night out.



frances said...

Sous vide. I will bring you one of those air-extracting seal-in-a-bag doodads from Verimark that are advertised on TV, usually by an over-fleshy cook with a sweaty brow and a nauseating accent, and then you can experiment at home. But I'll be keeping the 'if you buy one today, you'll get a free whatever' for myself. Sorry for that.

Sally - My Custard Pie said...

Loved your comment about 5 x The Address - so true!