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Dining in a spot of green at Veranda.

AN oasis in the desert is the best description of Veranda situated next to the Adhari Park, reports Shilpa Chandran.

The venue's entrance is a gardener's glory with all sorts of accessories and plants providing a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere to dine in.

Chef de partie and kitchen supervisor Ivan David Dominic Francis has helped complement the ambience with a menu of Continental, Arabic, Chinese and Italian cuisines.

He has been with Veranda for two years after moving from Yum Yum Tree where he first worked when he arrived on the island in 2004.

Originally from Pakistan, Chef Ivan, 33, said: "A friend who was working at Yum Yum Tree helped me come here.

"I was working in Islamabad at the time and decided to make the move as I wanted to learn more about the various types of cuisines and cooking styles."

Chef Ivan completed his apprenticeship programme with the Best Western Hotel in Islamabad.

He pursued his dream of becoming a chef further by staying on at the hotel as a trainee and eventually earned the post of assistant sous chef.

After eight years at the Best Western, he moved to the Serena Hotel in Islamabad as chef de partie for a year before arriving in Bahrain.

He said: "While in Pakistan I learned the Continental, Moroccan and Lebanese styles of cooking.

"At the Yum Yum Tree I also grasped the techniques of Sushi and Teriyaki."

Late last year, Chef Ivan married the woman of his dreams, Roweena, who also worked at the Yum Yum Tree.

Chef Ivan said he hopes to one day go to the United States where his brother lives to find work in his field.

Guests planning a visit to the outlet can expect a series of healthy cold appetisers including a low calorie platter, smoked salmon, tomato and buffalo mozzarella, jacket potatoes, fried calamari, fried wontons, Punjabi samosas and salad Nicoise.

Hot and cold mezzes, broths, sandwiches, burgers, steaks, sizzlers, pasta, Chinese delicacies, curry pots and a range of grilled and tandoori choices are also on offer.

A separate menu features a range of desserts and refreshments including fresh juices, mocktails and milkshakes as well as hot and cold coffee and tea choices.

Veranda also has a branch in Adliya which serves fresh sheesha.

Chef Ivan shares one of the venue's most popular dishes, the Owner's Pride - a dish with tender Gulf prawns sautoyed in butter, garlic, saffron and parsley.

Owner's pride

Ingredients:

Fresh prawns 200gm

Butter 50gm

French mustard 2tbsp

Chopped garlic 1tbsp

Fresh lemon juice 1tbsp

Saffron 1/2 tsp

Fresh parsley to garnish

Salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:

Melt 25gm of butter in a small frying pan, add garlic and fry gently for about two minutes until it becomes brown.

Add prawns and saffron together. Add salt and pepper. Cook gently for five minutes. Separately melt the remaining butter in a small saucepan, add garlic and fresh lemon juice.

Place the prawns on a serving plate and pour the garlic lemon sauce over. Serve with boiled vegetables and saffron rice.

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Publication:Gulf Weekly
Article Type:Recipe
Date:Mar 24, 2009
Words:531
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