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Experience paradise on earth; welcome to Zaya Nurai island! Located in Abu Dhabi, the natural island hosts one of the most luxurious hotels on earth welcoming you in one of their fifty individual villas hosting between one and six rooms. Relax and enjoy luxury in your own stand-alone house with your private pool and beachfront... it’s called Zaya Nurai!
I was happy to know that Marc Abed, my friend since 2014 is the chef at Zaya Nurai. I’ve recorded one of my first videos with Marc in Byblos and still laugh every time I watch it. Five years passed... Marc has toured the world, studied in several countries and never stopped learning; he has a baggage of ideas and knowhow. Sushi in Japan, pizza in Italy, Brazilian food in Brazil and much more. I was not expecting to be amazed...
Allow me to introduce you to one of the best food creations I’ve ever experienced; believe me when I say that I’ve had one of the best manakish ever! The tastiest Mexican to date. A superb hummus and some eggs Benedict part of my “best ten” of the year.
My culinary experience started with a Lebanese dinner where hummus, raw fish, lobster among other creations made my heart skip a beat. On my first morning, the man’ousheh made me cry! So fluffy, airy, light, and spread with a super duper tasty zaatar. I’ve had manakish... many call me the “Man2oushe guy” and this one made me want to scream! So freaking good that I urged the chef to bake one for me every morning.
Breakfast is served at Frangipani every morning until 11 am. The buffet has everything you desire from cold to hot with two live stations. More than 50 choices of cheese from around the world, fruits, cookies, seven choices of homemade bread, chocolate and Nutella croissants, yogurt, Lebanese cheeses, cold cuts, tomato varieties from around the world and much more. Order a fresh Saj Manouche or eggs with Awarma prepared in clay pots. Everything I had was delicious but wait until you try their eggs Benedict.
A fluffy muffin topped with tender poached egg with flowing yolk covered with a robe of zesty hollandaise sauce. It’s just perfect! Texture and taste are perfect. But wait... the surprise was the “Lebanese style eggs Benedict,” a signature by chef Marc Abed. Imagine the unimaginable: English muffins spread with Labneh, drizzled with meat Awarma, topped with poached eggs, sprinkled with sumac and covered fresh zaatar. It’s an OMG kind of creations I never imagined could ever exist. Chef, you deserve an award!
At lunchtime, Marc was waiting for me at “Smokin Pineapple.” After learning the art of Italian pizza in Napoli, Marc has become a master in the field, creating pizzas like no other. Airy and fluffy, the pizza has crunchy borders but a feeling of emptiness in the inside melting under your teeth like butter. It’s so light, rich, fresh, fluffy and tasty. The pizza many Italians didn’t manage to create. No-cream and no-tomato sauce pizza: it rocks!!!
On my last night, chef Marc outdid himself preparing back truffle risotto, spaghetti pomodoro, baked sea bass, smoked salmon with yuzu sauce and gunkan sushi. I heard that the hotel is planning a fine dining restaurant soon; I’m sure it will rock!
Adib Moukhaiber proudly manages Zaya Nurai, Lebanese and proud to be, he studied and worked in Switzerland, toured around some countries before landing on the island. Because one picture says a thousand words, watch the video and live with me the experience at Zaya Nurai island. Three nights of fun, enjoyment, culinary discoveries and happiness. I will visit again with my kids one day.