A touch of the Mediterranean at The Abu Dhabi EDITION

Alba Terrace takes Saturday lunch to a new level.

Entering the stylishly vast lobby where designer low-slung sofas, an oversized mahogany dining table, giant potted palms and a gilt-edged billiard table fill the cavernous space, there’s a distinct feeling that James Bond is about to appear. This could be a classy establishment in the heart of Monte Carlo, but it’s not. This is The Abu Dhabi EDITION and all that is missing is the famous 007 soundtrack that would befit this Abu Dhabi movie scene.

Team Yalla is here for The Weekend Lunch but with a special twist; three Michelin star chef Tom Aikens and his culinary team is firing up the burners to bring fresh delights and new seasonal creations to Alba Terrace’s sublime Saturday lunch that promises to surrender a license to thrill.

Bathed in sunshine, the terrace is a hive of activity while the airy indoors surrenders a bar lined with iconic mixed beverages. But it’s October and the dop in temperature means alfresco dining is beckoning.

Reminiscent of a scene set on the Mediterranean coast, you’d be forgiven if you thought you were dining overlooking the Aegean Sea or, perhaps, in a suave southern French venue rather than in the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi.

Mahogany wooden structures provide shade from the sunlight and green foliage hangs down, gentle swaying in the light breeze to create the perfect setting in which to lunch.

We’re here for the culinary feast expertly crafted by chef Tom Aikens who had been in town for seven days preparing for this very weekend, rustling up a range of dishes for Alba Terrace, as well as the Oak Room, the hotel’s British style dining venue.

Alba Terrace’s signature charcuterie board complied of smoked duck breast, beef coppa, truffle salami, Wagyu chorizo and scrumptious sour dough begin the feast. An array of delightful sour apple chutney, grape chutney and celeriac remoulade are perfect for spreading on the lightly toasted homemade bread.

Among the starters is a fantastic tuna pizza, surely the star of this culinary show. Raw tuna sliced thinly decorate ultra-thin crispy French bread that had been especially flown from La Belle France.

The burrata cheese is to die for. Sprinkled with an assortment of condiments, it tastes as fresh as it looks and melts in the mouth. The circular refreshingly, light mint, feta and cucumber salad that is strikingly green is piled high. Tower like, it is a piece of art worthy of gallery status but it’s here for the eating and soon disappears.


A touch of the Mediterranean at The Abu Dhabi EDITION


Had the offering ended there, there would have been no sounds of disappointment, but this was not the case. Enter the mains.

The seafood risotto makes an appearance and is punctuated with mussels, clams, squid, prawns and asparagus. Then arrives the tagliatelle; pan seared sea bass decorated with pistachio; the Alba Pizza; and a melt-in-the-mouth lamb shoulder that had been slow-cooked for no less than 30 hours.

Before dessert is served – would we have room?  – Chef Tom makes an appearance to offer his greetings before disappearing towards the outdoor pizza furn to join his team for a well-earned  respite.

Would dessert be a step too far after all that tasty goodness? A resounding NO is the answer. The Tiramisu, mixed berry crostata and a selection of home-made ice cream and sorbet are the perfect way to finish this memorable dining experience.

Mission accomplished!


For more information and reservations, call 02 208 0000 or email restaurantreservations.auh@editionhotels.com


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