az*u*r – Harbour Hotel & Residence
Dubai’s first ‘farm-to-fork’ restaurant – az*u*r – is inspired by the cooking styles from The Med countries. Meaning preparing food from scratch with fresh seasonal and authentic ingredients. So fresh that some desserts are made at the table! The best part – just drive down to Dubai Marina for this culinary ride.
T he Harbour Hotel & Residence, the Emirates’ city-based hotel located in the Dubai Marina, opens the doors of its new restaurant az*u*r, Dubai’s first ‘farm-to-fork’ restaurant, delivering the kind of food that has made Mediterranean cooking the world’s most popular dining choice.
az*u*r (read ‘as you are’) is inspired by the cooking styles from countries around ‘The Med’, from Spain and Morocco in the West to Lebanon in the East. In addition, it serves many of those great traditional dishes for which French and Italian cooking have become famous. The common tradition with all cooking from the Mediterranean is the use of fresh, seasonal and authentic ingredients – the basis of all dishes on az*u*r’s menus.
Executive Chef, Christopher Baker, who put together the culinary team at The Harbour, continued: “There are several key aspects to Mediterranean cooking and each one has been tackled with equal passion. The first challenge was to trace authentic, family-tradition homemade recipes. We then met personally with many of the fresh-produce suppliers to small, regional restaurants in the Mediterranean.
In doing so, we have uncovered some of the world’s best organic food producers and certainly some of the highest quality produce I have seen in years. ‘Farm-to-fork’ became our motto – we travelled extensively, visiting fruit and vegetable farms, local bread mills and bakeries and even fish-markets.
“The effort was time-consuming, but certainly worth it. For example, we even source our own wheat and wholegrain flour for the bakery, baking all our own bread every day using fresh eggs and quality butter. Preparing food from scratch makes a huge difference. We never use the pre-mix flours or pre-mixed frozen dough commonly used in Dubai’s restaurants. Our bread is now so popular that we bake extra so that local residents can come and collect their bread at Counter Culture, our deli-style restaurant on the ground level.”
az*u*r is on the pool-deck of The Harbour Hotel & Residence, and aligned with the Timeless Spa on the same level. To complement the Spa, the restaurant offers a range of healthy menus, from cheeses to wholesome salads, which predominantly use organic products.
az*u*r is also fairly unique in that it has an open kitchen, giving guests easy access to the chefs and the experience of a cosy, informal atmosphere.
Fresh and Organic Cuisine
The dining menu presents a refreshing selection. Among the Chef’s top recommendations are az*u*r’s own seafood Paella, a veal Tagine, an organic beef skewer and the Red Snapper with Sicilian olive-oil. Tabouleh and the flambé dessert are freshly made at the guests’ table.
Daily pasta options are also offered and are made to a diner’s preferences.More than 70 per cent of the produce served at az*u*r has been organically sourced. The staff has been trained by organic expert Dave Friend, who also assisted in the selection of food, sourced according to the seasons. Produce comes from as far a field as Spain, Italy, Lebanon and France.
An extensive choice of beverages will accompany the culinary options. The mineral water selection is a highlight. This ranges from still, to effervescent and slightly carbonated, to classic, bold water from various regions. az*u*r selects waters with zero nitrates, low in sodium and only natural carbonisation, all from springs surrounded by organic farmland.
az*u*r has a relaxed and casual atmosphere, integral to the restaurant’s dining offering. An easy place to meet for an aperitif, the venue is comfortable and provides a veranda with direct views of the Marina and access to a spacious terrace, where guests can feel immersed in the ultimate Dubai experience. Al-fresco dining options are available. The Harbour’s Mediterranean restaurant is open for lunch through to dinner.
Harbour Hotel & Residence
The 52-storey luxurious Harbour Hotel & Residence, a USD141 million investment for Emirates, opened its doors in November 2007. Located at the gateway entrance to the Dubai Marina, the hotel is set within Dubai’s most sought-after lifestyle and fashionable districts.
The Harbour Hotel & Residence is part of Emirates Hotels & Resorts, the premier hospitality division of Emirates Airline. The division manages a portfolio of award-winning luxury conservation resorts and spas, as well as a Dubai-based fully-serviced luxury apartment complex.
For reservations please call The Harbour Hotel & Residence, Dubai, on +971 (0) 4 319 4000. ❦