By Shereen Shabnam
Located at Gate Village DIFC, GAIA offers an intimate dining experience with cuisine inspired by the Greek-Mediterranean culinary culture. We spent an enthralling evening at this bustling contemporary venue sampling authentic and fresh cuisine that is unique, flavorful and translates the elements of the sun, land and sea into every plate.
Food at GAIA takes centre stage, but the dining experience is enhanced by the warm interior design that lends to the welcoming ambience and the exceptional service under the meticulous guidance of Frank Serroul, the General manager of GAIA. From the fresh seafood counter, bread straight from the oven and the theatrical feel, every minute in the restaurant was a unique immersive experience.
The Gaia menu is a traditional fare influenced by core elements of Greece and Greek culture. For starters we tried a signature Greek plate with mountain tomatoes, barrel aged feta and home-picked olives with toasted bread and a fresh watermelon salad with feta cheese.
We also relived our memories in Athens with a classic Greek dish, Tzatziki – we had this nearly every day for two weeks as a staple with meals in Greece. Being seafood lovers, the fried calamari was a delight and on recommendation by our server, we also enjoyed the baked feta cheese dish that came with honey and nuts.
Fresh seafood at GAIA is handpicked and prepared as per the diner’s preference and is hence a driving force within the restaurant’s DNA. We tried a steamed fish that came with three sauces and prawns that melt in your mouth. We also tried a truffle pasta that is creamy and a perfect pick me up for carb craving days.
All the dishes we tried had traditional Greek and Mediterranean flavours but presented with contemporary presentation and flair. We also had an eclectic selection of mocktails prepared to go with the different meal courses.
Greece is known for desserts and a GAIA meal has to end on a sweet note. We wanted to share one dessert but ended up with four different kinds as choosing one was just too difficult. We highly recommend fried Greek doughnuts, a chocolate tart, Fillo Mille Feuille which is essentially an amazing fillo pastry with cream and pistachio nuts but the highlight of our evening was the Greek Frozen yoghurt.
The interior of GAIA has a warm and calming feel but what won our heart is the warm hospitality of the team, the food and the friendly joyful vibe of the place. A perfect place to get together with friends and family any day of the week when your soul and spirits call for a celebration.
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