STILLS AT THE CROWNE PLAZA YAS ISLAND IS ONE OF THE CITY’S MOST POPULAR SOCIAL SPOTS AND IT’S NOT HARD TO SEE WHY. WITH ITS LAID BACK VIBE AND LOVELY VIEWS, THE MAIN FOCUS HERE IS THE FABULOUS FOOD WHICH TAKES TRADITIONAL PUB DINING TO THE NEXT LEVEL, THANKS TO CHEF DE CUISINE SHIBOJYOTI BASAK.
Chef Shibojyoti boasts almost 14 years of experience in fine dining restaurants around the world. He began his career at the prestigious Oberoi Group in India, before moving on to work for Michelin-starred chefs Georges Blanc in his restaurant aboard a cruise liner, and Raymond Blanc in the UK, and then moving to the Middle East. In the Gulf, he spent time at the Movenpick Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, before bringing his considerable experience to this amazing venue. Chef Shibojyoti revamped the menu at Stills around eight months ago, taking all the old menu’s favourites and adding his own elements and style to it. “In each dish I create, I try to showcase my passion and creativity and most importantly I feel it should be a culinary experience and not just a meal,” he explains.
“I like to prepare food with limitless boundaries keeping in mind the respect for the produce.” Chef De Cuisine Shibojyoti Basak.
We’re no strangers to trying our body weight in food and this is exactly what awaits. The first dish was the Prawn Vampino, which is prawns prepared tempura style, but stuffed with crabmeat and wrapped in Nori, served with Cholula sauce and salsa verde. Unlike anything we’ve tasted before – you HAVE to order this delicious starter to taste what we mean! Going with traditional pub fare, we also try the huge portion of Nachos; corn chips stacked with guacamole, salsa, beans and cheese. SO good! If you’re a seafood lover another tasty option is the Pacif ic Crab Cakes.
“We have a great kitchen and service team, it’s my second family,” Chef Shibojyoti says. “The guests in here are mostly the regulars who stay in an around the place or in Staybridge Suites next door. It’s really great to meet them, understand them, and serve them. I feel lucky that not only do we have great food and drinks, or probably the longest bar in Abu Dhabi, we have great outdoor sitting with mesmerising views, which creates a great environment,” he adds. For mains we opt for the Stills Wagyu Beef Burger and the Braised Beef Brisket which is a signature dish of the restaurant. It’s not hard to see why the Beef Brisket is a favourite. It comes served with creamed sweetcorn and sweet potato fritters, and a rich, liplicking gravy. “We cook it for around 16 hours, because the brisket is from the front quarter, near the belly,” Chef Shibojyoti explains. “The fibres of the meat are really tough, but there is also a lot of flavour in it, so the best way to cook a brisket is slow, so that it breaks down the fibres and makes it tender, and keeps in all the flavour. It’s marinated overnight, and cooked at 100 degrees for 16 hours.”
The Wagyu Beef Burger is also excellent, beautifully presented with a juicy piece of wagyu accompanied by lettuce, onions, tomato, mushrooms and cheddar cheese, all packed into a homemade parmesan bun. The burger is served with fries and coleslaw and it’s a real hit at the table. Chef Shibojyoti tells us: “When it came to making the menu here, I used a combination of healthy and hearty food and also I didn’t feel shy to add dishes like the Wagyu burger with homemade Parmesan bun. As adults we always crave for food our Mum’s used to make like sundaes or fried chicken. “Those are the flavours I’ve tried to create in Stills with our own twist and style,” he smiles. Judging by the food we tasted and the in-depth knowledge and cooking techniques of Chef Shibojyiti, you’re in for a mouth-watering time at Stills.
GO: VISIT STILLS AT CROWNE PLAZA YAS ISLAND. CALL (0)2 656 3000 FOR RESERVATIONS AND MORE INFORMATION.