Last weekend, The Husband and I were invited to dine at Teatro Restaurant in Abu Dhabi's Park Rotana Hotel. Having never even heard of the venue, let alone sampled the food, it was fair to say that we were both intrigued.
Teatro offers up a diverse menu and features the best of Eastern and Western cuisine, all in the eye-catching surroundings of the theatre inspired restaurant. Forget gimmicky, the heavy drapery and scattering of lit candles gives off a romantic vibe yet the contemporary music playing in the background added to the buzz of the place.
So the food. We were spoilt for choice with starters featuring Teriyaki Chicken Wings, various salad selections from Prawn and Chicken to Warm Duck with Lychee as well as Steamed and Pan Fried Dim Sum. The restaurant also features a sushi bar and offers a generous mix of fresh Sushi, Sashimi and Maki Rolls.
I ordered the Sweet and Sticky Veal Ribs which were absolutely divine and deliciously tender. The sweet, tangy sauce was perfectly offset by the spicy kick of black pepper and I could have happily devoured several portions. My Husband opted for a Sushi Combo Platter containing Crab Maki Rolls, Salmon and Tuna Sashimi as well as Yellowfish, Prawn and Kingfish. He commented that the dish was one of the freshest sushi plates he's tried. Not to mention it was beautifully prepared and presented. We were off to a good start.
Onto the mains. If we thought choosing a starter was difficult, we were really stumped by the main courses. The menu showcases everything from Wood Fired Pizzas to Fettuccini Carbonara, right through to Australian Lamb Loin, Miso Seabass, Butter Chicken and Lamb Seekh Kebab. The variety is impressive and whilst there's often the worry that such an extensive menu can lead to dishes falling below par, we were pleasantly surprised with what we received. The signature Stir-Fried Lobster with Szechuan Sauce was my dish of choice. Although the portion size was generous, the blend of crunchy vegetables and fresh coriander kept it feeling light. The dish wasn't weighed down by too heavy a sauce, allowing the flavour of the lobster and scallops to shine.
At the time of our visit, Teatro were running a specialty Indian menu to compliment the Indian dishes already offered on their permanent menu. We were informed that the restaurant features such speciality menus regularly which offers up something a little different for its diners. My Husband opted for the South Indian Kerala Prawn Curry which was served on a tray alongside fragrant Pilau rice and chutney. Every thing about the dish oozed authenticity. Not being the typical curry enthusiast, I wasn't expecting to have strong feelings for the prawn curry, however I was proven wrong. In fact, scratch that, I was seriously impressed. The robust flavours were balanced out with the added sweetness of plum - an ingredient we were both surprised by. As a usual avoider of curry, this was one dish I would happily order and enjoy.
Ahh, deserts. How we even managed to squeeze any remaining space is beyond me but we couldn't leave without trying their popular Chocolate Fondant Cake - not that I needed much persuading by the lady serving us. I adore chocolate fondant and this one was everything I'd hoped it would be. Moist sponge and rich, velvety chocolate sauce. The Tahitian Vanilla Gelato was creamy and delicious, whilst the extra serving of chocolate sauce was delightful yet unnecessary. If anything is worth saving space for, it's this.
Scott opted for Dulce De Leche and Banana Wontons dusted in cinnamon sugar. The wontons reminded me of churros, only made of banana and slightly crispier. The crunch of the cinnamon sugar gave these an almost festive flavour although that quickly subsided once we dunked them into the creamy, caramel-flavoured dipping sauce.
What struck me most about Teatro was the fact that it really offers something for every taste. If you're looking for a venue that offers up a unique dining experience alongside exceptional food and a relaxed yet elegant atmosphere, then look no further. Teatro has all of that and so much more. It's safe to say that I am looking forward to my next visit already!