If you’ve been to The Capital Grill at Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi, you’ll know that it’s a sophisticated dining affair. FACT went to meet Chef de Cuisine, Riane Stubbs, to get a behind the scenes look at this stunning venue and its menu…
Having never tried the food at The Capital Grill, Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi, we were excited to meet Chef de Cuisine, Riane Stubbs and try a special tasting menu. He joined Dusit Abu Dhabi in 2013 as Sous Chef at The Capital Grill and was recently promoted to Chef de Cuisine of both The Capital Grill and Urban Kitchen.
“I was lured into the culinary world at a late age of 19, developing my unique style and flare during a Pastry Apprenticeship at Star City Hotel Casino in Australia while learning the basics at the Northern Sydney Institute of TAFE,” Chef Riane recalls.
“At the same time, I was given an opportunity to get behind the hotline during an apprenticeship at Al Porto’s Italian restaurant and I have not looked back ever since.”
Our culinary adventure begins with two wonderful starters: a bright and refreshing heirloom tomato salad, and house smoked lamb loin. From the get go we see that presentation is key to Chef Riane’s dishes. The salad pops off the plate with different coloured tomatoes, and the tender house smoked lamb loin was delicious. We loved the addition of figs to this dish which complemented the meat very well.
We ask Chef Riane what makes The Capital Grill stand out from other venues in the capital. “It’s a contemporary grill with Mediterranean influenced cuisine,” he says. “It features a range of specialties such as Spanish pinchos, veal ossobucu milano, North African rump of lamb, venetian seafood stew, baked gnocchi with truffled lobster, and French côte de boeuf which are not found in any other steakhouse in Abu Dhabi. We wanted to offer a wider variety to our guests and suit every palate,” he adds.
For mains, we’re treated to roasted cod, and 72-hour bbq brisket. With a member of the fact team being born and raised in England – where cod is pretty much a national dish – this main course was a pleasant surprise. It tasted exquisite. Cooked to perfection, the cod sat on a bed of green peas and a deepred puree. The bbq brisket, though a little dry, had us licking our fingers because of the yummy sauce it was topped with.
“Keep it simple. Just by mixing fresh ingredients, seasonal vegetable and fruits in olive oil you can bring out the best of flavours.”
The ingredients at The Capital Grill are sourced from all around the world. Meat and seafood comes from France, Italy, Ireland, Australia and the US. Most of the vegetables on the menu are sourced from a local organic farm in the UAE.
Chef Riane’s food philosophy is: “Keep it simple. Just by mixing fresh ingredients, seasonal vegetable and fruits in olive oil you can bring out the best of flavours,” he says
We finish the meal with two beautifullypresented desserts: the green tea tiramisu and the olive oil temptation. The latter of the desserts was definitely interesting. Olive oil in dessert, you ask? Yes, that’s correct. It’s an acquired taste, and the team were left divided, with some embracing the creativity of flavours, and others not quite being able to adjust their taste buds.
For Chef Riane taste is important over presentation (though he nails both well!). “If you take example of the forest mushroom platter and 72-hour BBQ brisket that are served on our menu, they are not necessarily camera-friendly but can evoke a memory on your palate,” he admits.
With a varied menu and regal setting, Chef Riane is well on his way to making The Capital Grill one of the most recognisable grills and steakhouses in Abu Dhabi.
GO: Visit The Capital Grill at Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi. Open for lunch from 12.30pm to 3pm and dinner from 7pm to 11pm. Call (0)2 698 8888 for reservations and more information.