Usually we wince at the thought of adding sweetness to savoury dishes, but a limited-edition menu at Soul Restaurant & Bar has us revisiting our stance on such matters.
Until Tuesday March 21, Mövenpick hotels around the world will be offering the Vanille Salée promotion, which includes six one-of-a-kind dishes that contain Bourbon vanilla. The menu was first rolled out in Europe and its success has seen it spread globally.
Vanilla originates form Veracruz in the Gulf of Mexico – regarded as the global home of vanilla-growing. As long ago as the 14th century, the Aztecs enjoyed fermented orchid pods. In the 19th century, cuttings arrived in Paris. From there, they were transported to Madagascar and Réunion, then known as Île Bourbon – hence Bourbon vanilla.
Adding vanilla to savoury dishes is not as incongruous as it sounds. The subtle flavour works with white meat and fish and enhances the sweetness in roasted vegetables.
Starters include white onion velouté, tuna and salmon sashimi and this goat’s cheese and fig salad, which includes radish, garden leaves, edible flowers, roasted tomatoes and hazelnuts. The vanilla flavour doesn’t overpower the tart cheese or sweet figs, but is present in the background of each bite, adding an intriguing flavour.
Main courses include pike perch fillet and endive, veal tenderloin and garden vegetables, and guinea fowl breast melba.
We’re convinced Soul has that sweet-savoury blend just right with this menu.
Dhs70. Soul Restaurant & Bar, Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach, The Walk, JBR (04 449 8836).