It was Jack’s birthday yesterday and since it falls in that mid-week bracket we decided to tag on a little extra celebration and go away to Abu Dhabi for the weekend to Emirates Palace.
Fun fact: It’s the second most expensive hotel in the world to have been built costing a whopping 3 billion dollars. There’s one in Singapore called Resorts World Sentosa which tops the charts but they have both racked up quite an impressive (or rather extortionate) amount. I’m not sure how much gold leaf ceilings rock my world but the service was second to none!
Always a bonus when your outfit matches the decor…
I didn’t book the hotel for it’s gold, I booked it for one reason and one reason only – the pool. There are two wings; one for the adults with hammocks and a bar emerged in the cooled pool and one for the kids with a lazy river, doughnuts, slides and fun galore!
We went to both, naturally.
Just me … or are these the cutest bread rolls ever?
All hot and soft, yummy and delicious.
Birthday boy getting stuck into one mega bowl of calamari with wasabi mayo…a combination I’m taking home with me.
We went back to the room (which for a 3 billion dollar hotel is a little outdated, in my opinion) and had some celebratory surprise birthday cake before heading out to dinner down the road.
Not before a little work…
And me too … on my freshly squeezed orange juice.
We decided on going out of the hotel for dinner, to Asia de Cuba. I’ve been in London before and it was a world-class evening so I put my faith in consistency across continents!
They have a slightly different vibe to the one in the UK, the outdoor area is more relaxed but really inviting with a Latin American theme.
We propped ourselves up in the outdoor bar for some smokey tequila cocktails, and hacked the heat for as long as we could before going indoors to the more fine-dining style restaurant.
I’m still on my meat-free May (and going very strong I must say!) so I ordered goats cheese fritters, Red Snapper Ceviche and J had the ginger and papaya marinated wagyu palomilla, which I’m told were exceptional!
Goats cheese is always a winner for me but the Red Snapper Ceviche was quite something! It’s served with plantain chips which you’re meant to use to ‘scoop’ up the raw fish.
Like super fancy, healthy nachos – but better.
It’s the perfect combination of textures and a very classic cuban style way of eating – they usually pair something sweet with their savoury dishes and it works really well!
I didn’t have any beef but the salad served with them was the best thing to hit a salad plate since … well … forever. I’m currently trying to track down the recipe!
Onto main courses and since I have a real craving for mushrooms at the moment, the ‘seared mushrooms with edamame fufu’ sounded ideal.
I didn’t know what ‘fufu’ was when I ordered and I don’t think I’ll be having it again, but the mushrooms by themselves were excellent and full of flavour!
Rocoto Miso Glazed Black Cod … what else. DI-vine.
Finally the ‘Arroz con Mariscoc’ which was similar to a seafood paella. Not the show stopper of the night but a good dish to enjoy with the cod.
And dessert, because what better way to finish the night with sorbet and meringue.
It was a wonderful birthday evening at Asia de Cuba, a perfect mix of fine dining with unique tastes and dishes. Details at the bottom.
With full stomachs (and a little bit of a heavy head) we made our way to kid central for our last day of pure relaxation. That might sound like a oxymoron but with lilos in the pool to fill your boots with … sunbathing couldn’t be better!
Not before a cheeky selfie.
No guys. Here I am…
Alas. Until we meet again.
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For details on Emirates Palace, see here.
For Asia de Cuba enquiries, visit their website here. Even if dinner isn’t on the cards, the outside bar area is great for drinks and right on the beach so very pretty!
Hello and welcome! I'm Carly, originally from London but currently enjoying a little adventure in Dubai. A travel and wellness blogger exploring the world one step at a time. Think fabulous food at undiscovered gems, unique destinations, skin care obsessions and so much more. This is my life, I hope you enjoy the ride!