Every month in Yalla – Abu Dhabi Life magazine, Team Yalla showcases a restaurant we have tried and tested and think you should try too…bon appétit!
There’s change afoot in Khor Al Maqta, Abu Dhabi. And the Armed Forces Officers Club & Hotel is at the epicentre.
Renowned for its wide range of sporting facilities, which, despite the hotel’s name, is open to all, the hotel and its dining destinations are receiving an overhaul.
One such restaurant is Al Rimal, which aptly translates to ‘the sands’.
The restaurant signals the first chapter in the hotel’s story of new openings and renovations on the horizon! And judging by this venue, it is certainly going to be a page turner!
The restaurant itself is vast, with a panoramic view across Al Fayy (The Shade), a scenic central garden that surrenders to the sea and where a large al fresco terrace awaits diners, temperatures permitting of course.
While such a view is welcomed, we suspect your eyes will be on the culinary action where chefs man the frontline cooking up a storm in the show kitchens and numerous live cooking stations.
The restaurant’s interior – quite rightly so – gives a knowing nod to ‘the sand’, both design wise and in its earthy tones.
Intimate tables for two and larger ones for those family gatherings, and bar-style dining bars punctuate the airy space.
And although we would rarely mention the restrooms, design wise, they are definitely worth a visit!
Al Rimal is the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant and offers breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets.
Team Yalla opts for lunch. Despite being newly opened for just a few weeks, the venue is abuzz. Like the venue’s design, the cuisine too gives a gentle nod to its desert origins with Emirati fare taking its rightful place among a vast array of dishes that span the globe!
The stations are lively. One is firing up the furns that bake a variety of bread from European loaves to Arabic flatbread.
The latter is perfect for the Leventine Mezze, which is our immediate go-to starter. The usual suspects are there – Hummus, Tabouleh, Moutabel, Fattouch…We also raid the Sushi Station where chefs roll fresh Make and concoct Sake Salmon, Ebi Shrimp and more!
The mains are plentiful and we tuck into a healthy serving of the Emirati dish, Machboos Laham or in English, Emirati Slow Braised Lamb Shank with Saffron Rice.
Popular with many diners during our visit, the chunks of lamb simply fell off the bone, almost melting in one’s mouth.
The Prime Beef – charcoal grilled prime beef medallion served with baby vegetables or steak fries and pepper sauce – is also a delight.
When Team Yalla dines out, there is always room for dessert and Al Rimal fails to disappoint.
Again, we stick to local and regional dishes, such as the scrumptious date cake, Arabic sweets and the comforting Umm Ali, a particular favourite.
The sand is certainly shifting at the Armed Forces Officers Club & Hotel and it is looking good.
For reservations and more information, please call 02 497 5100 or visit afoc.ae/alrimal