“There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Milton Friedman
I have made no secret of the fact that I’m a big fan of Market Kitchen located on the ground floor of the Le Royal Méridien hotel here in Abu Dhabi, so I was excited to be invited back again last week to review their latest concept, Lunch In’Box.
Market Kitchen serves flavoursome modern food using the freshest produce in a contemporary setting, it’s a great place to visit and a great place to dine. Without a doubt one of my favourites venues in the capital whether it’s for cocktails, dinner, table brunch or the fantastic Market to Kitchen masterclass, you are always guaranteed consistency both in standard and service.
So what is Lunch In’Box? It’s a delicious two-course lunch box created by new Head Chef Grant Balinger designed to add variation to the Abu Dhabi lunch scene. It can be ordered, cooked and eaten within thirty minutes, a speedy way to eat good, affordable seasonal food at lunchtime without any compromise on taste or quality. Diners can select two courses, an appetiser and a main from the menu that changes on a weekly basis (every Sunday) for a very reasonable AED 75 per person.
Regular Market Kitchen menu favourites appear on the menu, just served in smaller more manageable portions. The changing menu allows the chef to prepare dishes using the freshest seasonal ingredients from the local markets while adhering to the original concept of American cuisine influenced by Asian flavours inspired by founder Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The appetizer and main arrive together to save time but if you are still peckish or have extra time on your hands you can add a yummy dessert too!
Due to my peculiar vegetarian ways, I actually ordered two appetizers, a piping hot creamy and aromatic butternut squash soup with seared oyster mushroom and vegetarian sushi which substitutes the tuna sashimi with avocado served on crispy sushi rice, scallions and chipotle mayonnaise, both were very tasty.
Also on the menu and enjoyed by my fellow diners was an appetizer of chopped lettuce salad with avocado, apples, pecans and blue cheese and a choice of three mains of pasta, seafood and meat. Fettuccine pasta with basil pistachio pesto, cherry tomatoes and haricots verts, Slow cooked salmon with brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes and truffle vinaigrette or Soy glazed tender beef short ribs with apple-jalapeño puree and rosemary crumbs. As every dish is made fresh to order, dietary requirements such as mine can be easily catered for, ingredients can be removed or substituted to satisfy individual orders.
Market Kitchen’s signature non-alcoholic cocktails are also available, at an additional cost to those dining at the restaurant along with a selection of premium wines if so desired. Purely for research purposes of course, we tried a selection of Market’s popular desserts. I abstained from my favourite salted caramel ice cream sundae to try something new, a warm caramelized banana cake served with crunchy praline and salted caramel ice-cream, so good I ate the lot!
Market Kitchen’s desserts are art on a plate, the passion fruit pavlova stole the show and was the most photographed dish at the table, well it was a table of bloggers and media after all! The egg shaped pavlova was cracked open to reveal the yolk-like yellow passion fruit centre, all very creative and extremely photogenic.
So if you are in a hurry, maybe you are just fed up with your regular lunch options or need to organise a business lunch, Market Kitchen’s new Lunch In’Box option is perfect for you. The great news is you can dine in, telephone ahead and collect or have your tasty two-courses delivered to your desk in the future when that option is up and running (available for group orders in the hotel’s local area). Throw away that sandwich, discard that salad as lunchtimes just got exciting again!
Location: Le Royal Méridien Hotel
Telephone: 02 695 0300
Read my previous Market Kitchen posts Review: From Farm To Table, Review: Divine Dining at Market Kitchen, Spice Up Your Life, When Suzanne Cooks At Market Kitchen, Celebrating A Year At Market Kitchen and Market to Kitchen Culinary Masterclass
I was invited to attend this review but all the views are all my own. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2016. All rights reserved.