Conservatory restaurant, Southern Sun Al Manzil's favourite all-day dining destination, brings a whole new concept of flexible dining to Dubai with the launch of a new menu that celebrates the basics of great dining – high-quality ingredients, the trained palates of skilled chefs, and most importantly, complete freedom and flexibility for the diner.
While the restaurant's previous menu featured a combination of static buffet and a la carte, the new a la carte menu, available for lunch and dinner, incorporates several classic and original dishes and "recommended" toppings, fillings, and ingredient combinations, but the ultimate choice is left entirely up to the diner.
"The new menu concept focuses on enhancing guest-chef interaction," says Chef Geoff Haviland, Complex Executive Chef, Southern Sun Al Manzil and Qamardeen Hotels. "The menu acts as a guide, and diners looking for something special have the opportunity to interact with the chefs present on the floor, who can work with them to come up with personalised versions of dishes featured on the menu, or something completely new. The new menu concept also features live cooking stations and a live salad bar, where guests can order their meals exactly how they like them."
The restaurant has already tested the concept on a smaller scale with its Gourmet Burger Bar – where a chef prepares a burger made-to-order right before the guest's eyes – which has been met with rave reviews, and has turned the 'burger-king' chef into a bit of a celebrity with regulars.
And while the option of customization is celebrated throughout, with plenty of opportunity to mix-and-match favourite ingredients, guests can still order dishes straight off the menu, safe in the knowledge that they can't go wrong with classics like a traditional Canadian Poutine – comprising hand-cut Yukon Gold potato fries, topped with fresh curd cheese and a choice of toppings, or the "Mr. Cardini's Salad" – the Conservatory's sensational version of a Caesar Salad, which is so good, the restaurant uses its inventor's last name.
The new menu and dining concept will be overseen by Conservatory restaurant's Sous Chef, Antoine Christian, who has a background in French Contemporary New Cuisine, and has trained under one of the most influential and celebrated French master chefs of our time, Pierre Gagnaire.
"The success of the new menu concept rides on our confidence in the trained palates of our chefs and their familiarity with ingredients and flavour combinations, as well as the warm intimacy and trust that comes from open guest-chef interaction," says Chef Geoff. "This menu is designed to highlight the wonderful and passionate personalities of our culinary and service stars through greater verbal interactions with our diners."