Making an all-day dining restaurant stand out from a crowd is always a challenge. Having recently joined Hilton Al Ain to open the refurbished Flavours restaurant, Chef Inan Dogru has spiced things up with a Turkish twist and a number of interesting theme nights
Please describe the menu concept of Flavours?
Our menu concept is ‘east meets west’. We combine local Arabic items with Mediterranean Flavours.
What are your bestsellers?
Our bestsellers are the kebab tasting platter; whole seabass cooked in rock salt; and grilled Turkish kofta.
Please tell me about your Seafood Night?
On Monday we have Seafood Night with fresh products selected personally at the local fish market. We use a wide variety of fresh fish, lobsters and other seafood products that guests can have prepared to their liking – chargrilled, pan fried, oven roasted or a whole fish cooked in salt. Additionally, we serve classic recipes like bouillabaisse soup, shrimp saganaki, fish & chips, shrimps sui mai and mussel dolmas.
Do you have any other theme nights?
Yes, the aim of our special theme nights is to create an exceptional experience for our guests and to offer them the opportunity to discover different parts of the world through our culinary journey. On Tuesday at Italian Night our guests are able to find all the Italian classics at the buffet and live cooking stations. On Wednesday at Asian Night, we present freshly stir-fried noodles, stir-fried calamari and, of course, the specialty of the night ̶ sushi, prepared by our own sushi chef. During Arabic Night on a Thursday, our Arabic chefs use traditional recipes passed down from their mothers, with their own secret ingredients and styles. And on Turkish Night on a Friday, I create recipes according to our old Turkish traditions ̶ the majority of our guests say the food is even better than what they have tasted in Turkey.
What are your plans for evolving the menu in 2016?
I always try to keep it as simple as possible when I’m creating my menus; I don’t like complicated flavours on my plates. We are working on healthier and more organic dishes that will be introduced later this year.
What key challenge have you faced in your role at Flavours Al Ain?
Sometimes when I’m coming up with a new creation the only thing that stops me is some specific kitchen equipment that needs to be ordered from abroad. I’m not very patient, especially when it comes to implementing new recipes, so the waiting game becomes my worst enemy. However, as long as I’m surrounded by my great team my work is much easier.