We may not have had dinner at any of the Burjs on the 14th of April, but we still celebrated Mama’s birthday with an elegant meal at no less than the Icho Restaurant of Radisson Royal Hotel. It was only a few days before her birthday that I was complaining and worried that we wouldn’t be able to give Mama the classy celebration that she deserves because of the lack of funds, but amazingly, everything worked out...not just fine, but great. Here’s how...
While looking for something in our drawer of documents at home, I found some Yours Sincerely $ Banknotes. That’s when I suggested to Hubby that we have dinner at one of the Carlson Rezidor hotels and use those to pay the bill. So on Sunday morning, I checked the options and finally chose Icho at Radisson Royal where I reserved a table for that same evening and told the lady who answered that we would be using our YS$ banknotes. I sent an SMS to my sister to tell her of our plans and she said she would see us there later.
We arrived at the 49th floor of the hotel a few minutes after 7:30pm and were directed to a table that had a fantastic panoramic view of Sheikh Zayed Road. It was absolutely beautiful!
After oohing and ahhing over the lights and buildings that we could see outside, we finally settled in our chairs and looked over the menu. It took us a while to decide because everything sounded delicious, but finally we ordered Rice, Musou Sushi Platter, Roasted Lamb Chops in Smoked Pot, Sukiyaki with Udon Noodles, and Tori Tatsuta-age. For the drinks, we just ordered mocktails and juices.
Before making the reservation earlier, I checked the internet for reviews of the restaurant; however, there were mostly bad reviews by the public. I finally asked one of our Japanese managers (after all, he’s Japanese so he should know if the food was good) and fortunately, he couldn’t stop gushing about how absolutely delicious and very good the food was. And actually, he was right. It really was delicious! The rice was perfectly white and slightly sticky so it was easy to eat them using chopsticks, the platter had a wide variety of big sushi portions, every single lamb chop was juicy and tender, the sukiyaki with the wagyu sirloin and udon noodles was sweet and delectable, and the tori tatsuta-age (which was chicken) was equally juicy and scrumptious. Everything was soooo yummy!
As for the service, we were taken cared of very well. The waitress was really helpful when we were ordering, assisting us in cooking the sukiyaki and telling us what the raw egg in the bowl was used for (to dip the cooked wagyu sirloin in after getting it from the sukiyaki...for added flavour). After enjoying our meal, we took photos of Mama and the bouquet of flowers my sister had brought for her. Naturally, it took a while to get decent pictures because we kept making jokes and laughing at how Mama looked like she was being interviewed in a showbiz talk show...and she either wouldn’t keep still or would make funny faces.
Finally, we asked for the bill, and to our surprise, there wasn’t any! Apparently, my sister knows one of the managers at the hotel, and when she (my sister) told her (the manager) that I had made a reservation and it was Mama’s birthday, the manager arranged to make our dinner complementary. We thought that we would at least have to pay the bill for the drinks, but the waitress said the complementary dinner included everything. How cool was that?! Since we didn’t have to pay for anything, we made sure that we gave a nice tip instead.
The dim light in the restaurant which made it difficult to take nice pictures was the only negative thing of that night. But all in all, the evening was perfect: the amazing view, the delicious dinner, the excellent service, the elegant restaurant and hotel, dinner with the complete (Dubai-based) family...and of course, the bill that we didn’t have to settle.
|the happy birthday celebrant|