The house of Versace, renowned for its riveting impact in the couture world, takes on the culinary realm in full Versace glamour. Mind you, the term Versace no longer resonates as a noun, yet takes on a descriptive adjective instead. I’ve personally described a design, print, or style, as ‘Versace’ countless of times, for this house of fashion has influenced various facets of our modern lifestyle. Thus, creating a gastronomic venture doesn’t stand short of being portrayed as Italian design for the avid gourmand.
Recently opening at Al-Hamra Luxury Center, Versus by Versace Caffé boldly stands as the first of its kind in the Middle East, and is inspired by the swanky Shanghai branch. I say boldly, as it is an immaculate ode to the designer’s attitude. Exciting, rich and stylishly ahead of its time. Personally, I would have loved to be an observer while this atelier’s creative team whipped up the design concept for Versus by Versace Caffé. The final concept is a visually uplifting and exhilarating presentation in fiery reds. Elements of the signature geometric patterns are evident throughout in shades of muted silver, and rouge is seen via the supple leather seats, patent lacquered walls, the ceiling and floors, captivating passersby to embrace its fashionable charms.
As we sat down, we were welcomed by impeccable hospitality. The staff, professionally trained through a program too rigorous here to get into, rests firmly on the concept of the anticipation of a guests needs. With this innate sense of hospitality in mind, we dive in, where proof is in the details. The complimentary bread brought soon after you sit down, is offered with deliciously aged Parmesan cheese and olive oil dip, prepared right in front of you—just the perfect beginning to the fine dining experience to come ahead.
Before we embark on sampling all of this Caffé’s Italian delicacies, a worthy point of note is the presentation in which these dishes arrived. Fashioned to please the eye, your taste buds are already enthused simply by observing the tasteful presentation of the dishes. For starters we were served, three different choices of various light and airy salads. The Gamberi di Avocado salad with rocca, goat cheese and balsamic vinegar was superb.
We were also spoiled with colorful Mocktails that are without doubt some of the best Kuwait has to offer. The Rock-chick made my day. It offers mint, berries, lemon juice and peach syrup, which sends your senses to the beach. The tropical vibes infused with fresh fruits that cleanse the palette before you dive in to the delicacies, are just what the doctor ordered for a hot Kuwaiti day.
Given that the sumptuous dishes at Versus by Versace Caffé are all made from scratch and freshly prepared, we were quite eager to try their star plate of seafood risotto with king prawns, mussels, and shaved Parmesan. If you have ever had prawns so plump as to almost burst, than you will understand the decadence of this dish. If you would rather opt for other types of pasta, we highly recommend the fettuccini with light cream sauce and mushrooms. The stuffed chicken with Parmesan cheese and bread filling served with potato cake and grilled baby zucchini was also a strong standout that is as filling as it is delicious. A short while into our meal, Mr. Jad Dib, the manager, joined us and recommended some of his favorite dishes from the menu, to which we whole-heartedly agreed. Starting with the ‘killer’ (as he put it), which consisted of shrimp, cream sauce, asparagus and broccoli that tasted exquisite, we loved the tenderness of the shrimp, along with that ‘killer’ sauce that expertly complemented the entire dish. Another favorite, that is to die for, is the ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese with cherry tomatoes and topped with mint leaf.
Although the portions are light, the main courses manage to simlutaneouly be surprisingly filling. Still, there’s always room for desserts in our book, especially where the Caffé is concerned. You will be faced with the debatable choice between red fruit or white chocolate fondue served with vanilla ice cream. Or, if you’re steering away from the chocolate, the Caffé offers versatile desserts ranging from the apple crumble that is sweet yet light and refreshing, to a deliciously dreamy cheesecake.
If a huge selection of tea and coffees to accompany your dessert is just what you need than you will be happy with the options. First off: Lavazza coffee. If you don’t know about it, go find out-it is worth the effort. Also, for the tea drinkers out there, you may indulge in jasmine, green, or an English breakfast blend. The list is endless, as the waiters will bring out the huge black box filled with various teas.
Although the décor indoors oozes glamour to the N’th degree, the outdoor space is classy, wide open, and placed strategically fountain-side. Suddenly, an otherwise normal Kuwait city street turns into a romantic riverside dining experience almost representative of the Seine or the Thames. Of course this is a bit of a liberty, but the nearby fountain and ambiance is truly that unique at nightfall, when lit up with gleaming lights, making this the “it” spot for those looking for a different ambience than you can get elsewhere in the city.
Versus by Versace Caffé will also soon be launching their breakfast menu items. Based on our dining experience, this scrumptious preview leads one to believe that this will be a known breakfast venture in no time. From waffles with various versions of berry compote, to Nutella topped pancakes and several variations of French Toast, there is a good chance you may soon need reservations even for breakfast! Lastly, the Lavazza coffee that they serve day or night could in of itself, be reason enough to stop by, whether meeting with friends or just out shopping.
For reservations at Versus by Versace Caffé, please call 2227 0330, and find them on Facebook: Versus Versace Caffé Kuwait.