Lifestyle Fashion

Elements of Taste

A mother and son walk into Erth Restaurant in Al Hosn in Abu Dhabi for lunch. They are just in time to occupy the last available table. While the boy enthusiastically narrates the happenings of school, his mother picks up the ceramic vase placed on the table and scans it for the menu. Emirati spiced hasselback potatoes, Local organic zucchini gratin and a Cauliflower tabbouleh are ordered.

The ethos of Erth is Emirati, not just in terms of the menu but also where the design and vibe are concerned. There is a predominantly earthy theme. The ceramic artisanal plates and vases have been curated from a studio on Saadiyat Island of Abu Dhabi. The stone for the live cooking stations was hewn and shaped from the mountain of Jebel Hafeet. The low lying seating is reminiscent of a majlis with the convenience of not actually sitting on the floor.

Erth Restaurant

By this time, the Hasselback potatoes served with sumac, chives and parsley have been polished off. The Zucchini gratin with butternut is wholesome but not heavy on the stomach. The Tabbouleh with a green loumi dressing, parsley, hazelnut and lime satiates the senses. A couple sitting at the corner table are celebrating their anniversary with the signature dish of Thareed ravioli. This traditional Emirati dish consists of a stew made with lamb or chicken, vegetables and spices. It is layered with pieces of thin bread called Regag. They order a side of Torched locally farmed salmon crudo and Margooga—a flavourful stew made from vegetables and meat.

On another table, there is only dessert, each more tantalising than the other. A plate of Luqaimat is placed centre stage. Crispy-fried dough balls are drizzled with date syrup or honey and sprinkled with sesame seeds. The Emirati cheese cake is served on a bed of berries jam with honey gel. Fresh raspberries, blueberries and blackberries sit alongside the cheese cake. Erth recently became the first Emirati restaurant in the world to win a Michelin star. It boasts the unique Pistachio rahash, a drink made with camel milk, pistachios, vanilla and rahash—a halwa made from tahini.

An array of beverages

The head chef—Chef Debi Prasad—is an Odisha native. His passion for cooking was simmered while observing his mother prepare traditional dishes in their family kitchen. The chef’s culinary ethos revolves around selecting locally sourced ingredients to create dishes that honour traditional influences.

Little wonder that he found his way to Erth, which means legacy in Arabic.

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