Hilton Al Ain, Dinner Amical

The setting for our ‘Eastern Jungle’ themed dinner was the Hilton Hotel, in the oasis town of Al Ain. The hotel has a rich local history, having been opened in 1971 to be the venue of the royal wedding of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nayhan as well as in the same year hosting Queen Elizabeth II.

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Jacques Claudel, General Manager and Chaîne Professional member, gave us an exceptional welcome. The themed dinner allowed Executive Chef Raul Deschu to showcase his skills gleaned from such locations as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Guests first entered a jungle room, fully decorated with appropriate foliage throughout even underfoot. Three beautifully carved ice sculptures illuminated the centre of the room, as canapés were served, along with cocktails in pineapple and coconut ‘glasses’.

Taking our seats we were delighted with the table decorations of elephant baskets surrounded by ‘jungle’ fruit, and our edible menu cards!

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Scallop with blackened cauliflower purée on scallop shell
2012 Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc, South Africa

Black chicken consommé served in a coconut
2013 Peter Lehman Eden Valley Riesling, Australia

Hoki fish with Balinese spices, lotus leaf fried rice
2013 Tommasi Valpolicella Classico DOCG, Italy

Durian fruit sorbet

Beef tartare with deep fried egg and crispy bread
2011 Morgon, Domaine Piron, France

Fillet of Wag-yu beef with Chinese broccoli, fondant potatoes and sweet potato mash
2011 Morgon, Domaine Piron, France

Asian coconut ice
2014 Nivole Moscato d’Asti, Italy

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Our evening was further enlivened when one of our members – fortunately a vet by profession – produced a python from a small bag to add to the theme of the event!
Appreciation was given by Richard Corlett. Members and their guests showed enthusiastic thanks to the kitchen and service brigades. Finally, Angela Scurr, Conseiller Gastronomique, presented Jacques Claudel with a Chaîne plaque.

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We all had a wonderful evening. Nevertheless there was to be final surprise, as they departed, members were presented with a commemorative plate as a gift from the hotel.

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