The palate of Pakistan through a rich culture filled with familial food and the burgeoning fine dining restaurants of its cities.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The LivEy Blog Series: A taste of things to come

LivEy is a portmanteau of Live and Etihad - a venture that brings together journalists, bloggers, Tweeters and photographers. It is about experiencing the city of Abu Dhabi through Etihad and the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, live!

That’s the literal definition. . . 

For me LivEy has become more than that, it’s the first social media experiment which brought together people with different views on life and united them on a journey of discovery.

My journey through the winding and, sometimes, bumpy road of life is made pleasurable through food. A hot dinner when you come home from a long day at work is the warm embrace that gives strength to your body and soul. Arriving at a destination and experiencing their food is that loving welcome that we all wish to have when we arrive at a new place, brimming with excitement of the adventures ahead. Enjoying the cuisine of a country is at par with sharing in their heritage and understanding their way of life. 

Image Courtesy: Ali Khurshid

LivEy took off for Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, in the wee hours of the morning. The perfect way to begin the culinary part of LivEy. . . with breakfast! Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, when I have time. Eggs, butter, toast, pancakes, jams, jellies, croissants and more. Whisking golden eggs, the aroma of coffee, the spring of a toaster announcing crisp bread, it’s a lovely way to start the morning.

As our airplane rose the sun was rising with it. I stretched out in my Pearl Business Class cabin and snuggled deeper into my seat (with my in-seat massager humming along my shoulders). The delights were just beginning.

The Etihad Pearl Business Class Menu
Image Courtesy: Ali Khurshid

The in-flight crew brought out crisp menus for us to peruse.

I didn’t have to look at the menu for too long before spotting one of my favorite dishes, Smoked Salmon and Eggs. The salty salmon folded in creamy scrambled eggs encased in a feather light herb pancake was the gem on my plate.  The eggs were accompanied by a buttery croissant; and you know you’re eating a proper croissant when it melts in your mouth and you’re covered with bits of the flaky pastry. But this croissant was not alone, it had brought along a seductive friend, a sweet treat to be had with strong bitter coffee, the chocolate croissant.

Sacré bleu! Two rich croissants and perfectly prepared eggs! And we hadn’t even landed yet.

An aerial view from my window seat.

And so LivEy began…

We had to land and I had to turn off my in-seat massager (yes, I kept my massager running for the whole flight and you know you would have too).  We met with the remaining members of our first ever LivEy group at the Abu Dhabi International Airport: Samra Muslim, Tazeen Javed, Ali Khurshid, Wajiha Ahmed, Samina Khan and Saadia Qamar.

Luckily, the hospitality never ceases even after you are ushered out of business class. Etihad’s First and Business Class Lounges at Abu Dhabi International Airport offer everything you could think of. Yes, everything! An international buffet, a full service restaurant, cushy sofas, TV lounges but it doesn’t have to stop there. As I said, they have thought of everything: a cigar lounge, a kid’s room with a nanny, spa services with shower facilities, ‘quiet rooms’ for long layover flights or for when you’re taking the red eye – the type of 'everything' that a traveller needs when globe trotting whether for work or for leisure.

Arabian Kahva and dates are used to greet travelers as they arrive in Abu Dhabi, a staple sight at most hotels.

Abu Dhabi is a culturally rich Emirate and their heritage reflects in their generosity. Every hotel, including ours for the duration of LivEy, Traders Hotel, Qariyat Al-Beri, welcomes their guests with Kahva and dates. The Kahva or Arabian coffee is as light in color as tea and just as easy on the palate. After you sip it down is really when it starts to take hold of your senses; the taste is exactly that of dates. This is why the two are served together and the pairing is a balance of sweet fruit, almost of brown sugar, and a smooth fragrant coffee. It might seem like the last thing you would want after a trek in the desert heat is hot coffee and dates, but the offering will rejuvenate you and tease you with a taste of the things to come in Abu Dhabi.

Images Courtesy of Ali Khurshid (where credited)

The Official Facebook Page of LivEy


  1. Absolutely brilliant blog :)

  2. Dear i know leaving UAE is hard because of its charm and fantasy but no one stay out from his home land...
    Abu Dhabi Tourism