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  • Liz Totton

A Moveable Takeaway

It’s been a long, hard lockdown. If you can, why not treat yourself to a feast delivered right to your doorstep from Emirates Palace. I’m not saying it’s not pricey, but you’re worth it.

Though this moveable feast is a far cry from what I imagine inspired American author Ernest Hemingway's memoir by the same name about the struggling young expat journalist and writer's adventures in Paris in the 1920s, it was a feast all the same. If you're in need of something special to brighten your spirits. this is a tried and tested takeaway from a palace that you can order any time and for any reason you want. Here’s the story of my epic takeaway adventure. Warning, do not read this hungry, furloughed, or broke—trust me, I became all three subsequently upon writing this.

Ordering in can be challenging for modern families. Yours might be normal, but mine’s not. We’ve got one very committed carnivore who loves his steak and suffers the home-cooked vegetarian meals he eats every night—mostly because he knows they’re better for him, but also because he honestly likes them. Don’t tell the menfolk. Shhh!

I also have a displaced college freshman committed to a new vegan lifestyle, but she does make exceptions from time to time for yummy stuff. Then, I have a devout vegetarian who will not allow an animal to be harmed for her eating pleasure but will submit to the temptation of its animal byproducts like milk and eggs because she’s sensible, and they taste good. Having said this, she’s picky. We joke that she only eats foods that start with ‘P,” such as pancakes, pizza, pasta, potatoes, paneer—don’t ask, but she eats it.

So, you may get that it’s hard to feed us. Well, there’s a solution. Emirates Palace, the iconic Abu Dhabi 5-star hotel, has started a delivery service during the #Covid-19 pandemic that’s noteworthy. Sure, everyone’s doing it, but there’s something to be said for ordering in from a palace, right?!

You can order from almost any restaurant that you like there. There are 13, so take your pick. The menu’s more limited than in the actual restaurants, but there are all the favorites and just about every cuisine you can imagine on the menu. Think room service menu, and then multiply that exponentially for Palace room service.

It couldn’t be easier! We just placed our order over the phone because we have all the time in the world and are eager for human interaction, but you can also place it on the internet or by email. We did it a few hours in advance because we were eager. So, we scheduled it for 6:30 pm on a Thursday.

Now, of course, Lizzy doesn’t just order from the Palace whenever she wants—she can’t afford to eat like a queen. She’s just a humble blogger, not a high paid editor anymore. Just kidding—is that an oxymoron? This was a special occasion. It was my birthday. I had one of those Monday birthdays, which are gruesome even in good times. I was also at the beginning of an acrimonious professional split, and celebration was the last thing on my mind, so I made the birthday executive decision to delay my birthday to Thursday, and it was good.

With my order placed for my delayed Thursday dinner, I got back to business and counted down the days until I’d receive my palatial birthday feast.

The order arrived promptly at 6:30 pm. I rushed downstairs to get it, and the lady before me picking up her Pizza Hut taken away looked shocked when the Palace delivery man asked if this was for her, pointing at the three massive boxes and one golden box at the top. She turned back saw me and said, “Nope. Not so lucky! Must be for her,” and she pointed in my direction.

Why yes! This palatial delivery is for me. My takeaway came in boxes so fancy a box hoarder, such as myself, might have had to tuck the cleanest ones away for some wannabe craft. There was a golden box at the top so small, it was nothing I could have ordered. The delivery was made by a young man named Glenfedesh, and you could see his big smile almost through the mask, but I broke rules and asked if I could take his pic with the mask down. My bad, healthcare worker friends—he did resist.

I swiftly took my beautiful keepsake boxes upstairs taking care not to damage my palace keepsakes. The family rushed to the door to take them off my hands.

They tore into them a bit less dainty than I would have liked, but one made it through the melée. We put all the lovely well-packed dishes on the table to take it all. It was survived the transport perfectly and still resembled a meal you might be served at a palace, though it was obviously not the same.

From the Angus tenderloin and Gulf prawns to the curry, linguine, and Caesar salad (my favorite), everything was delicious. The palace even managed to work in their nice little touches like the seed-proofing lemon cloth coverings.

The desserts, like everything at Emirates Palace, were next level. Emirates Palace is famed for its little flourishes, from 24K gold sprinkled cappuccinos to their delicate logo-embossed homemade chocolate coins that grace many of their decadent desserts.

We ordered a “So Fresh” cheesecake and “100% Noisette"—the latter is a delight for fans of hazelnut. It’s described as layers of hazelnut mousse, hazelnut parfait, hazelnut salted caramel, hazelnut sponge, and hazelnut praline, but it was more akin to pillows of nutty, crispy, and dreamy hazelnut-inspired confection.

The cheesecake was also a lovely little confection, encased in a vibrant yellow-colored white chocolate and drizzled with tropical fruity syrup and gorgeous chunks of zesty kiwi, lime, and mango. It was almost like a little tropical vacation in every bite. The husband stole the white chocolate wrapper before anyone could sample, but I take it that means it was hubby/dad-stealing goodness. Sometimes, they're picky. ;)

So, the verdict is if you need a little pick me up and happen to have some extra cash—you will need it, order a takeaway from Emirates Palace if for bragging rights alone. Trust me your neighbors will swoon when they get this look into how the other half eats. You don’t have to tell them that it wasn’t that much more than their Pizza Hut, but it was worlds away in flavors, fun, and escapism.

The delivery service is available 24 hours a day and delivers to anywhere in the city of Abu Dhabi. A minimum spend of AED300 is required, but it’s not too hard to get there. If you've got an extra 300 burning a hole in your pocket, Here's the menu. To order, check Emirates Palace's website or phone 02 690 7999.

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