Lobby café with bizarre décor and hit-and-miss menu Discuss this article
Lured to this out of the way café at Al Raha Beach Hotel by its website’s promise of high tea, we were somewhat disappointed to find no tiny sandwiches or scones in sight, and instead a pretty standard lobby café. The main problem with Mozart is it feels more like a place to wait than to eat. While the glass tables look elegant, they are clearly not designed for dining – being either too tall or too low, and somewhat precariously balanced, and lifelike Italian dolls glare at you from wall-mounted glass cabinets filled with trinkets.
Still, it is at least comfortable, with plush seating and a wall to separate you from the comings and goings of the hotel entrance; if you have to wait in the lobby, there are worse places to be. Skimming through the menu, we discovered some surprising choices alongside the obligatory muffins and sandwiches, including a Nordic fish platter, and sushi and sashimi. Our dining companion opted for the grilled chicken sandwich, which arrived hot and toasted, with plenty of fresh salad and crispy fries. We decided to try the sushi – mostly out of curiosity about how a Dhs36 platter in a lobby café would taste. The answer was pretty much as expected. After waiting for an age (by which time our dining companion had eaten his lunch and was ready to leave) the sushi arrived. It was well presented, but inedible, with cold, hard rice and tasteless, watery fish.
Stick to the basics, however, and you won’t go far wrong. The beverage list is impressive, with fresh juices and smoothies, as well as a long list of teas, coffee and soft drinks to choose from. While the cakes are definitely worth sampling, with a tempting array that includes everything from fruity French pastries, to mousses, cheesecakes and muffins on display near the entrance. We accepted that escape was futile, and indulged in a raspberry mousse cake, which struck a perfect balance between the sharpness of the fruit and the cream of the mousse, while its sponge base gave it a satisfying weight.
Café Mozart is not worth going out of your way for, but if you find yourself in the Al Raha area craving a hearty sandwich or something sweet, go ahead and indulge. Just don’t ever, ever order the sushi.
The bill (for two)
Chicken sandwich Dhs28
Sushi sashimi platter Dhs36
Cake slice Dhs18
Iced coffee Dhs16
Ginger ale Dhs11
Total (excluding service) Dhs114
Time Out Abu Dhabi,
Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.