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Asparagus aspirations.

DUBAI The good thing about dining at Mazina is that there is always something new to look forward to, and this month they are celebrating the classic flavours of asparagus.

The cosmopolitan restaurant at The Address Dubai Marina has created a special menu dedicated to this spring treat, under the theme of White Gold. Chefs there have created a dinner menu that serves up a selection of asparagus appetisers and entrees, including Warm Crab and Botarga with Potato-Quail Egg, Smoked Beetroot and Asparagus.

The special line-up varies from week to week, and there are options available from the regular menu as well.

We went la carte, settling for duck breast and seabass for the main dishes. But first it was a trip to the salad bar - an endless variety of mezze, greens, breads and other tid-bits that kept us busy until our orders arrived. You can make as many visits to the salad bar as your heart desires, but don't get too full ahead of your main meal.

The duck breast comes with confit potatoes, caramelised shallots and, of course, asparagus. There is also a surprise, with juicy portions of duck leg hidden under the sizeable cuts of duck breast.

The breast chunks are a bit on the dry side, as is usually the case with this delicacy, and here is where the lip-smacking shallots come in - saucy and moist, they go perfectly with the breast morsels (which have more of a red-meat flavour to them than, say, chicken).

The potatoes are just right, not too soft or undercooked and they put a damper on the sweet, sugary shallots. And with all that asparagus to have too, you would do well having refreshments on the side to wash it all down, especially since we felt quite thirsty after the duck breast experience.

The pan-fried seabass, meanwhile, is a much lighter meal. It is served with clams, risotto, asparagus and salsa verde.

The fish is incredibly tender and just flakes off the fork, not to mention melts in your mouth. It's all gone before you know it, leaving a pleasant taste lingering. This is to be enjoyed for its delicate flavours, rather than to quell hunger.

But if you feel like ending on a sweet, strong note, there is the extensive desserts bar option, with a dizzying variety of goodies neatly assorted inside a glass chiller.

The asparagus theme does set you in that spring mood, but you can let your appetite wander across other delights at Mazina too.

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Publication:XPRESS (United Arab Emirates)
Date:May 24, 2012
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