When someone like Zomato email you inviting you to a foodie meet up at one of the swankiest DIFC restaurants you don’t really say no. So when I received my invite to Clè for a mixology and dinner from a menu created by chef Greg Malouf I immediately said yes.
We started off with a mixology class with Sam, a fantastic mixologist who has a great knowledge of the history of cocktails, he’s developed countless of his own cocktail blends and he certainly does it all with flare. He mixed up some beautiful cocktails for us starting with a mandarin margharita, and while I am not normally a fan of citrus cocktails this one was delicious, made with Sam’s own home infused mandarin liquor and like biting into a freshly picked mandarin. It was so fresh and delicious. Next we had a Middle Eastern mule, an interesting, sweet and fruity take on the famous Moscow mule – vodka, blackberries, ginger beer and mint muddled together. It was delicious, dangerously so, you can barely taste the vodka, just a sweet and delicious ginger beer. Finally we had a spiced pear cocktail which was made with the most delicious poached pear syrup – and we were allowed to have a taste of the actual pears used to make it, they were one of the most amazing things I have ever eaten. After the demonstration we got to have a go at making our own cocktails (I didn’t try it as I am way too clumsy to be allowed behind a professional bar) and it was such a laugh, the comparison between Sam’s skills and all the amateur foodies was worlds apart!
After our time at the bar we took our seats and began browsing the menu chef Greg Malouf had prepared for us, we also briefly met the man himself before he disappeared into the kitchen to begin prepping our meals. We started off with some cold mezze, I have to say that my favorite was the Balilla, a creamy and refreshing dip that was absolutely delisious with the homemade bread! The hummus was also wonderful, though maybe a little too much olive oil on top for my liking but that’s not to say it wasn’t really tasty.
We also enjoyed a tomato and ricotta salad Which was full of contrasting flavours and the ricotta was easily the best that I have tried to date. The lamb stuffed courgettes were pretty good – I don’t normally eat lamb but in fairness you could barely taste it which I suppose should be a bad thing.
There was also a prawn dish on offer which I didn’t try – allergies – but I did, quite stupidly, decide to try some of the pasta it was served with which left my mouth sore the next day but that’s my own fault because I knew it had been with the shellfish but it just looked so good and it tasted amazing, so worth it. After the plates were cleared the mains arrived starting with the rabbit skewers served in a very light and delicious bread. I had never tried rabbit before but I figured this was as good a time as any to give it a go. I must admit I was a little underwhelmed, I don’t know what I was expecting but this wasn’t it, the texture was odd and a little chewy and the taste was a little…meh is the only way I can think to describe it. The other components of the sandwhich were great though, the fresh labneh and herbs were great. The sea bass was okay, the fish was perfectly cooked but severely lacking in seasoning, the crust was probably the most flavoursome part and there isnt much more to say about it.
Along with the main course we enjoyed a refreshing and delicious fatoush salad and the most amazing chips I have ever had, super crispy on the outside and so fluffy and light on the inside, they were mind blowing.
After the mains was of course dessert, there were two options a chocolate tart with orange Turkish delight and sesame cream or a pavlova with lemon caramel and red fruits. The table was divided, one end loved the tarts, while the rest of us could not get over the pavlova, it was amazing. It was the perfect balance of sweet and tart with the most perfectly made meringues! The strawberries were beautiful some fresh and some thinly sliced and dehydrated. The lemon caramel was something else, there are no words to describe how amazing this was, the only complaint was that we weren’t just given a bowl of it with a spoon to dive into.
Once we had finished our meal chef Greg Malouf came out and spoke to us about the food, the restaurant and why he chooses the produce he does. He was a really lovely made, so easy to talk to and clearly very passionate about what he does and food as a whole. He spoke round for about half an hour discussing the design of the restaurant – something that does not reflect him at all, it was obvious, this was because he had nothing to do with designing anything beyond the kitchen.
Overall it was a truly wonderful night, I met some wonderful fellow foodies and I really looking forward to another great foodie meet up.
This is a sponsored post. I was compensated, but all opinions are my own.