Having already set the ultimate standard in luxury designer shopping in Kuwait with Harvey Nichols Kuwait, the recent opening of the upscale dining concept, Véranda, makes the prestigious designer store the most sought-after destination in town. Created by Alshaya exclusively for Harvey Nichols Kuwait, Véranda delivers the promise of bespoke design and ‘haute cuisine’.
With a visionary menu dreamed up by world-class chefs and refined interiors that are sure to impress the most avid design lovers, Véranda’s concept is carefully conceived around distinctive Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine with a twist of Asian fusion. Ingredients are especially imported from exotic worldwide destinations, and the techniques used in preparing the appetizing menu are inimitable at the core.
Located on the first floor of the luxurious Harvey Nichols department store, Véranda occupies a 10,000 square foot space that overlooks the bustling Grand Avenue at The Avenues. Upon arrival, the friendly staff will usher you towards your table, and you can’t help but take a few moments to absorb the alluring design. Envisioned to blend the indoor with the outdoor, Véranda’s interior design echoes with serenity and exclusivity, preparing its clientele for the dining experience yet to come. Conceptualized by the internationally renowned hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany, the space at Véranda is resplendent of a cosmopolitan Kuwait; a fashionable embrace welcomes you in the billowing curves of the magnificent ivory ceiling against light wood beams, which ultimately bend into layered, white walls opposite the beam structures.
Creating that secret Garden of Eden that takes you away from the stresses of your daily routine, landscaping at Véranda is essential to its ambience. With plants, gently draped from the minimalist walls, and shapely trees which convey a sense of closeness, guests are also welcomed to admire the work of artist Bram Tihani upon arrival. The long back corridor towards the entrance of the restaurant comes alive with his monumental, photographic mural depicting playful semblances of fashionable icons, the ultimate Birkin handbag here, and a towering stiletto there—patrons arrive to a majestic ode to fashion. Where seating at Véranda is concerned, guests can choose between two different seating arenas, the upper of which offers a sense of warm seclusion, while the lower one is more open and facing the Grand Avenue, giving diners the best view at The Avenues.
Our starter menu choices at Véranda provided us with the most desired aspects of Middle Eastern cuisine, reviving the sense of convivial gatherings and sharing of one’s meal. Nonetheless, fusion elements were also integral to redefining our dining experience. We began our foray with the Homemade Hummus, immaculately reinterpreted and served in a slow roasted baby bell pepper, with a Pistachio and Tahini light side sauce. Try this with the homemade Pita bread, or better yet, the walnut bread rolls. The flavors are exceptionally fresh, the hummus coming alive against the sweetness of the bell pepper. From there we sampled the King Prawn, artfully presented and given a fusion twist with an aromatic saffron, lime and chive mayonnaise. We finally sampled the delicate Cherry Wood Smoked Salmon; presented in a glass cloche, the Nordic salmon is cured with Aniseed and freshly smoked within the cloche to give the accompanying apple and fennel salad a flavor that tantalizes the senses when revealed.
Upon briefly meeting with the wonderful Executive Chef, Mr. Frederic Robichon, who graciously paid our table a friendly visit, we learned that an attention to seasonality and freshness is the key that makes Véranda’s menu an astounding success. This couldn’t be truer as we tried our selection of main dishes. From our entrée of Canadian Lobster Ravioli with leek fondue and light bisque sauce; personally, we wished to indulge more in the Al Dente ravioli, its texture perfectly accompanying the fresh and succulent lobster filling. However, we knew that more delectable pleasures would ensue in the Lamb Moussaka and Hamour Medallions. Slowly cooked for five hours in Josper oven, the Lamb Moussaka simply melts in the mouth, while the Hamour Medallions proved as an equally special treat. Prepared in an innovative Jallab reduction sauce, which is slightly sweet, this made for a genius accompaniment to the crusted nut, fennel, and apricot salsa that were draped under the succulent Hamour pieces.
Dessert is a sumptuous affair of indulgence at Véranda. Also reinterpreted, the Crème Brulée Trilogy is an exotic and scented journey that starts with a Madagascar Vanilla Pod Crème Brulée, a Rose Crème Brulée and delighting the palate finally with Pistachio Crème Brulée. We were advised to try these delicacies in that written order, building up our palates to experience the contrasting flavors of gentle vanilla, sensuous rose, and invigorating Pistachio. Beyond that, the Tiramisu takes on a Middle Eastern vibe as it is prepared with Arabic coffee and cardamom, offering an exciting diversion away from traditional coffee.
A dining experience at Véranda cannot end without sampling the delicious coffees and teas on offer. Using an in-house roasting preparation technique, the top quality beans are sourced from Guatemala, Nicaragua, Brazil and Ethiopia, offering guests exquisite espressos, sultry house blends and frothy Italian milk styles such as cappuccinos and lattes. Better yet, guests have the option to purchase the coffee grinds for enjoying their strong aroma and flavor at home. For decaf lovers, options are aplenty as beans are also decaffeinated in house. Lastly, where tea is concerned, Véranda proudly offers the largest menu of fine teas in the Middle East, which consists of 21 tea blends, including an addictive Rooibos tea that rivaled our strong affinity for coffee.
Located on the first floor of Harvey Nichols Kuwait, guests can enter Véranda directly off the Grand Avenue and experience haute cuisine of a lifetime for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and all those magnificent moments in between. For reservations please call 2228 3141.