I was invited to try the soon to be opened Véranda restaurant in Harvey Nichols yesterday. The invitation was set for 7 P.M. and on 7 P.M. on the dot I was standing outside of Harvey Nichols in the Grand Avenues. Véranda’s entrance is through an elevator/staircase at the rightmost section of Harvey from the outside.
We chose to go up the the mirror walled staircase to the waiting area where we were greeted warmly, served juice cocktails, and led to a table.
We chose a table overlooking the Grand Avenues walkway through the balcony or veranda. We could see people but we were hidden from view. The location and view are excellent.
The restaurant’s interior is gorgeous: all white, beige, and very modern with protruding waves on the ceiling and walls. Elegant but modern and not at all stuffy.
The restaurant is also very big with lots of different seating areas but the best ones in my opinion are the ones overlooking the Grand Avenues walkway.
After a quick tour to photograph the restaurant, we settled down on our table with our juices waiting for dinner. The juices were good, fresh, and unsweetened.
Next came the bread basket with the butter. Véranda serves freshly baked bread made in their kitchen on daily basis.
The manager of the restaurant arrived at the table and explained to us that Véranda will provide an upscale dining experience for both breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus they use organic ingredients in their dishes. The first of which came right afterwards: mini crostini with mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and pesto sauce.
I loved the crostini, I also heard people raving about the shrimp.
The duck rolls, also highly recommended by my fellow diners.
Hummus served on top of a grilled yellow capsicum. This I can tell is is very delicious. You have to take a bite of both the Hummus and the capsicum together, I could have dined on this alone all night.
The moutabbal on top of a grilled aubergine was excellent! It is really really good and I love the presentation.
Next came the main dishes. First, a hammour fish medallion my fellow diners enjoyed very much.
And a plate covered with a bell-shaped glass dome served that way at the table.
When that plate is served, the waiter will take off the glass cover and lots of steam/fumes will be let loose, revealing a plate of smoked salmon. The salmon is actually cured salmon that is smoked in the fumes beneath the glass dome in the time it takes to make the journey from the kitchen to your table. Very Heston Blumenthal!
However, the star of my fellow diner’s evening was this dish. Meat cooked slowly for seven hours and served in a gravy like sauce. I don’t know its name but I know they kept raving about it with every bite.
Vegetarian me didn’t touch the meat/fish dishes, which I’m usually used to by the way I don’t mind really. But Véranda’s chef prepared a vegetarian goats cheese tart just for me. I was touched really. Creamy goat cheese with pesto on a bed of cooked skinned tomatoes and olive tapenade all enclosed inside a flakey crunchy square of puff pastry. It was lip-smacking! I love goat’s cheese <3 Thank you Chef!
By the time we finished our main courses we were full but of course we had to try the desserts. I ordered Earl Grey White tea which is provided by Tevana in the Avenues by the way and the tea was brewed on my table for a few minutes before being poured for me to enjoy. It was very good, light, and didn’t keep me from falling asleep two hours later.
The desserts? Raspberry mille-feuille served with a side of pineapple and passion fruit compote. I adore mille-feuilles and didn’t waste any time polishing off my plate. It was fresh, creamy, and gone in a blink.
The second dessert was a thick dark chocolate mousse. The texture of the mousse was thick and as smooth as velvet. If you make it to the centre of the mousse, you will be surprised with a cherry sauce surprise. If you are a black forest cake fan, that this is the dessert for you.
By the time we were finished we didn’t want to leave, we were having too much fun people watching while enjoying the contemporary decor and the food was really good. Thank you Veranda’s team for showing us an excellent time and for your warm hospitality throughout the night. We can’t wait for Véranda to open so we can come back again. Thank you Al-Shayaa and Rawan Farhat for extending the generous invitation.
Véranda will be opening its doors to the diners tomorrow Tuesday 12 March 2013. No reservation is necessary but it is adviasable. For more information and pictures you can follow Harvey Nichols Kuwait on instagram (@HarveyNicholsKuwait).