Very rare is the time that I leave a restaurant with a massive foodie grin on my face, but as I sit here the next day reliving every mouthful in my mind, trying to write my thoughts on the meal, I find myself realising that this risks sounding a lot more like a love letter than a food review.
As busy as it is on the weekends, Zoe in Adliya is notably quiet during the week and I have to admit after the meal I had there, I am baffled as to why it’s not fully booked every night of the week.
The service was impeccable, and as for our meals, it’s hard to find a fault.
For myself, a starter of duck rillette; confit of duck leg, Lyonnais potato, organic salad and creamy duck jus. It was melt-in-the-mouth and packed a flavour punch that made me care not one little bit that it was maybe, possibly, a tiny bit on the mushy side. My main course of medium-rare fillet of beef tenderloin with pomme puree (that’s potato puree to you and me), seasonal vegetables and bourguignon jus was even better. In all my years of being a steak lover I have never seen one cooked this well. Steak is notoriously hard to perfect, but this one was one exact shade of pink the whole way through, from perfect 2mm caramelised crust to perfect 2mm caramelised crust. When I cut into it I was a little dismayed to notice it looked oddly dry for such a perfectly (yes I said ‘perfect’ AGAIN) pink piece of meat, but from first to last bite it was mouth-wateringly tender and juicy.
For my dining companion it was a starter of prawn ribbons; a signature dish of deep fried prawns wrapped in potato ‘ribbons’ with sweet chilli sauce. The prawns were cooked perfectly with a beautifully crisp potato coating, and taste-wise they were the ideal balance of sweet, salty and a little bit spicy. The Arabian lamb cutlets served with rice, seasonal vegetables and lamb jus, was cooked to the same mouth-melting perfection as my steak and the pomme frites she had on the side were twice, if not thrice, cooked with a good crunchy crust and soft as butter centre.
By dessert time we were well and truly replete, but the menu was just too tempting to refuse and I settled on the ice cream dome cake, while my dining companion chose the lemon custard. It’s fair to say these names did not do the desserts justice. My dome consisted of a thin layer of chocolate sponge cake topped with a generous layer of beautifully smooth chocolate mousse and an equally generous layer of creamy homemade vanilla ice cream, all coated with a thin layer of chocolate ganache. Honestly sheer perfection (yes...). The same can be said for the lemon custard; smooth, tart and sweet all at once, and nestled in a biscuit crumb pastry case and served with seriously good passion fruit ice cream. Yum.
Could we find fault with our meal? Yes, if we tried really hard we could complain that our main course jus were both lukewarm. But thankfully this failed to derail and otherwise great experience. Overall, this was a fantastic meal from start to finish, and I will not be waiting long before I return for an encore.
The bill for two Duck rillettes BD4.600 Prawn ribbons BD4.700 Angus beef BD15.00 Lamb cutlet BD11.50 Potato fries BD1.400 Lemon custard BD2.600 Dome cake BD2.400 Tea BD2.000 Perrier BD1.200 Total including tax BD45.400
Time Out Bahrain staffhttp://www.timeoutbahrain.com