The last time I had a meal with a ravishing effect on my tastebuds was at Zeta in Address Hotel. But you wouldn’t know about that. And that is because I never got around to writing about it. Hell, I didn’t even post the pictures on my social media convinced that it would “take away the charm” of putting them fresh on the blogpost. The result? A blog that never saw the delight of a sensational Seared Foie Gras nor felt the gentle crumbling of a perfect Mango Pavlova. Ah, procrastination, you are indeed to blame!
Well, I’m not going to let that mistake repeat again (even though I’m a month late at that!). My stay at Park Rotana, Abu Dhabi, brought along a dinner that I’m sure to remember for a long time ahead. And believe me when I say that Teatro had us appreciating the finesse of Japanese cuisine within minutes the starters got served.
The first vibe from Teatro was of velvet sensuality. Dim lights casted deep, intimate shadows on dining spaces and gave a beautifully romantic ambience to the restaurant. Dark red and white roses, lighted scented candles and plush red and white chairs took care of rest of the nuances and Teatro became a dining theatre for decorated masks to be adorned and splendid food to be had.
The restaurant welcomed us with a delicious glass of sparkling wine. Our job of skimming the menu was made a lot simpler by the smart staff who pleasantly offered his services in the form of dish recommendations and descriptions. We went ahead with the restaurant special sushi platter and the traditional dim sum selection that served prawn crystal dumpling, jade vegetable & prawn, chicken & black mushroom sui mai with a trio of sweet chilli, sesame soya and chili oil dipping sauces.
My experience with the sushi was a profound one. It was perfectly tender with just the right amount of crunch and lavishly drizzled with a spicy mayo that took the juiciness to a different level. The husband and myself locked eyes and murmured our appreciation with every bite. It was one of those dishes that could easily make its creator feel proud and the diner feel lucky. The dimsum selection came in the traditional wicker basket, but they were placed on a banana leaf base which, together with the moisture and heat, ripped and deformed the soft, tender dimsums when we tried picking them up. The dimsums were good, but the sushi easily stole the limelight from them.
Maincourses were tad more difficult to finalize upon. A consensus was quickly struck on the Miso Sea Bass while the second dish had us take many thoughtful sips of the vino before arriving at the Grilled Lamb Loin.
The wait was not much but I utilized the time to walk around, click some pictures and chat up with the staff of the restaurant. Soon my daughter rang the siren for me, signaling the arrival of dinner, and I was back at the table in a jiffy, lest she got motivated to repeat the “favor”! I was already wondering how I was given a reservation with a 2-year-old toddler in tow, as it was obviously a fine-dining, classy set-up. As much as I appreciated the relaxed policy of the restaurant, I had to make sure the little person on my table didn’t mess up the dining experience of those sitting around us.
The Grilled Lamb Loin came on a bed of braised red cabbage, set on a plate artfully decorated with parsnip puree and pomegranate molasses. It was a good dish though I regretted asking for the grill to be well done. A medium rare could have made the meat a lot softer and responsive to the wonderfully caramelized red cabbage and the flavorful purees on the plate.
I turned my attention to the gorgeous looking dish on the husband’s end of the table. The man too, looked quite pleased with himself for having selected this particular dish. It was a Chilean sea bass marinated with miso crispy potato and balsamic glaze and it looked rather ravishing under the yellow spot lights above us.
I could have done justice in describing the sea bass, if my sense of poetry were any better. Without that arrow in my armory, let me simply tell you that this is a dish worth driving from Dubai to Abu Dhabi for. Under the gentlest probe of my knife, the fish opened up in a dozen delicious flakes. It was an extra ordinary display of culinary goodness and proof to the point that good food creates moments worth living! The miso marinade was magnificent and the very slight charring on the surface helped to enhance the flavors of the fish. Together with the crispiness of the potato at the base and the zing of the balsamic glaze around, the sea bass got promoted to the center of the table with two pairs of cutleries battling for it.
With the empty plates cleared away, it was now time to anticipate the desserts. The order was given for a Baked Hawaiian and a Vanilla Crème Brulee. There were some rather interesting items on the menu, including Banana Cigars and Tapioca Sushi (with Wasabi icecream, no less!). But an almost-stuffed tummy didn’t leave much room for getting too daring, so we waited for our “modest” order to arrive.
As per the menu, the Baked Hawaiian was described as coconut and mango icecream sealed inside toasted meringue and lilikoi coulis. FoodKissed has never been a fan of coconut flavor in anything except “varutharacha” preparations in Kerala/ malayalee cooking. However, this dessert made me think hard and deep about my seemingly unreasonable inhibitions. The meringue was slightly too sweet and soft – less sugar and more baking time could have given that perfect crunch to the delicious flavors of icecream inside and the tangy element of lilikoi coulis (similar to passionfruit) outside. The Vanilla Crème Brulee on the other hand was the perfect dessert if you didn’t have a rich sweet tooth. It was mild with the pleasant vanilla flavor and fragrance and a lovely caramelized crust that was delightful to crack open! If only the raspberry sorbet together with the fresh berries and infused berries didn’t feel like an overkill of berry sweetness, this dessert would have been the perfect choice for someone preferring a soberly sweet something after a hearty meal.
By the time the last of the plates were cleared and the last of the glasses were downed, we were exploring the term “food coma” in a higher dimension. It had been a thoroughly enjoyable dining experience with some high quality food served in a beautiful, intimate ambience with the winning entries being the sushi at the start (which is still making me drool) and the Chilean sea bass. If you plan to dine out at Teatro sometime, please don’t forget that FoodKissed will be waiting to hear all about your experience as well! 🙂
Teatro – The Pricing Story:
Traditional dim sum selection (6 pieces) – 45 dhs
Miso Sea Bass – 185 dhs
Grilled lamb loin – 155 dhs
Baked Hawaiian – 45 dhs
Vanilla Crème Brulee – 40 dhs
FoodKissed was invited to dine at Teatro during a stay at Park Rotana, Abu Dhabi. All the opinions stated in this review are completely honest and formed out of personal experience and interests. If you wish to share your thoughts, please feel free to do so in the comments below. FoodKissed hopes to write honest, impartial restaurant reviews and travel stories in this little blog and sincerely appreciate your encouragement. Thank you! 🙂