Caviar. A margin more intimidating than wine, but less terrifying than figuring out what's behind foie gras' buttery flavour (it's fattened duck or goose liver), I had indulged in caviar only once or twice before - completely ignorant of the fine art of tasting the delicacy. In fact, I only have a vague recollection that I didn't not like it.
Upon invitation to Emirates Palace for a caviar masterclass, my immediate inclination was to relish the opportunity to learn something new. I popped over to the hotel Palace in Abu Dhabi for lunch under bluebird skies and between dancing fountains to descend to the ground floor where, just off the sea, is Sayad Restaurant. Sayad, meaning fisherman in Arabic, is, quite appropriately, a seafood restaurant and the perfect venue for a taste of caviar. Greeted with a bit of bubbly before I had even dropped the few stairs into the restaurant's aquamarine sanctuary, I immediately felt effervescent, like I was underwater with fish tanks flanking the walls and blue-green tiles illuminating elegantly from the floor. Our fascinated group of caviar students took part in nibbling on a number of lunchtime bites - perfectly accented with the roe before our caviar connoisseur, Nicholas Narsavidze, a partner at Amstur, educated us with his expertise - and love for caviar. I was most happy to find out that the best caviar should never taste fishy - and the finest fish eggs carry a rich and buttery flavour. I was also interested to hear that true caviar only comes from sturgeon. The best part of our lunchtime class was sampling the Empress caviar in the traditional way - eaten off the hand. The Amstur Caviar Masterclass is currently an extraordinary October event this year (2016) at Emirates Palace to introduce caviar in a way that everyone can approach with confidence (contact the Palace to find out more about their caviar menu and this event). The excellent education and the opportunity to taste the flavours of the finest sturgeon caviar from Amstur, is served alongside a four-course menu from Sayad Restaurant. The chefs will certainly use their menu to inspire the entire evening as much as their flavors compliment the caviar.
*Andrea frequently enjoys visiting Emirates Palace as a media guest and on her own leisure time. This Caviar Masterclass experience was hosted by Emirates Palace and Amstur. The event was sponsored, but this story is true to her experience.
© 2016 Andrea Rip | The Earth Ink. All Rights Reserved Unless Specified.
*Originally posted on 02 October 2016 at theearthink.blogspot.com.