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Meet the Best Chef in Abu Dhabi

A man of many titles "Chef Abu-Halab", our Executive Sous Chef at Kamoon Middle Eastern Restaurant

1. Tell us about yourself.

I am a graduate of Abella Al Sham institute. My vision to become a chef started at the age of 9, and my dear father was my idol source of education and inspiration that developed my footsteps towards the cooking career. I take great pride in the ethnicity of my local and regional cuisine, and at the same time, I adapt and develop the flavours with my own unique Ingredients and touches.
I started my cooking career in 1992 in Syria, then went to Lebanon and afterward to the UAE.

2. Name, where are you from, career history, how long have you worked with Rotana?

My full name is Ahmed Daikh, and they also call me Chef Abu Halab as my signatory name, as I am from Syria, originally from Halab. I have been working in the food industry and cooking has been my passion since the age of 12. My previous posts started off with working In my father restaurant in Syria Aleppo. This launched my career forward at several major premises such as working, a commi in Khalij palace hotel in Dubai from 1994 until 1999 after that I join Intercontinental hotel Abu Dhabi until 2004 from 2004 I join beach Rotana as Chef de Partie at Beach Rotana which was the major highlight of my career and finally Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana where I progressed from Oriental Chef to Executive Sous Chef. I have proudly worked with Rotana for 18 years, and hopefully for more years to come. I sincerely consider Rotana as my second family, and second home away from home.

3. What makes Kamoon special? What type of dishes do you serve?

The two reasons that make Kamoon special are the scenery and its modern Middle Eastern dishes.  Firstly, the captivating ambiance with scenic views of the Arabian Gulf is just the beginning of a delightful dining experience. Furthermore, we offer new and innovative dishes such as Rayhaan Tabbouleh with Basil and pineapple, rather than the usual Tabbouleh which consists of ingredients such as parsley and tomato, originally from the Levantine region of the Middle East. It is spread throughout the region as a very popular appetizing starter. We re-created the dish into a unique cold Mezza which is enhanced with an exotic and fresh taste. We serve several other Arabic and contemporary plates, some of which have been awarded gold medals. Furthermore, the plates offered are prepared on the spot and throughout the traditional Middle Eastern way of cooking, similar back to Arabic old cuisine.

4. What is your signature dish?

Our signature dish is Fattoush which consists of purslane, tomato, lettuce, cucumber, onion, pomegranate seeds, walnuts, green capsicum. Sauces included are sumac which gives Fattoush its mildly sour taste, mint, salt, olive oil, lemon juice, zaatar leaves, apple, vinegar, and pomegranate syrup. As an interesting fact, its meaning in English is “Peasant salad”. The reason why Fattoush is considered as a signature dish is because it pertains valuable history. It is called Peasant salad because peasants/farmers in the Kadisha canyon villages of North Lebanon used to prepare this type of salad and just throw in whatever spring/summer harvest they have into the bowl to build up this delicious plate, devouring it with their own hands. Another signature dish we have is the Baba Ghannouj plate, mixed with minced avocado, excluding eggplant. It is considered as a modern and creative dish in which I had created for Kamoon, resulting with a major success. We have received positive and satisfactory feedbacks regarding such plates and all our esteemed guests seem to return back to Kamoon with a desire to re-experience these unique and innovative creations.

5. What dessert would you recommend?

I highly recommend the Kunafa Mastic Ice Cream as it is a combination of Kunafa dough, akkawi cheese, and jasmine water.
This dish is a famous Middle Eastern dessert enhanced and transferred into a healthier version, sugar-free, and homemade in a traditional way. This innovative dessert has struck guests’ taste buds; it is so delicious that you will be tempted to eat your dessert first.

6. What is your favorite restaurant in Abu Dubai?

My favorite restaurant in Benihana JapaneseBeach Rotana. It is the perfect steakhouse restaurant for a nice and tender steak- the best steak in town. Their steaks are mouthwatering, cooked perfectly according to the guests’ requests and taste preferences, right on the spot. Their restaurant has a warm and modern ambiance, which will take you on a gastronomic adventure while devouring succulent gourmet beef steaks with the highest quality of meat. For all steak lovers, I suggest you visit Blue Grill as it will be an unforgettable experience that your taste buds will always remember.

7. Do you cook at home?

I definitely cook at home along with my dear wife. The kitchen is my main source and center of inspiration, as well as my prime joy. I cook all types of dishes, yet at the end of the day, I can sincerely say that it is my wife that contributed to my cooking career and made it a grand success. As they usually say, behind every man is a great and supportive woman.

8. Anything special happening at the restaurant?

Kamoon, as a recent new brand, is already something special taking place. The restaurant was previously known as the Beach restaurant, now re-branded to Kamoon, which means Cumin in Arabic. Kamoon is a special concept updated with new and special items on the menu that have been re-created in innovative and creative ways that no other restaurant offers in Abu Dhabi. New freshly handpicked ingredients have been selected to enhance traditional plates, resulting with modern and contemporary tastes.

Discover Kamoon's restaurant   

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