The Drawing Room

An airy hotel lobby cafe with great nibbles for lunch Discuss this article

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There’s much to be said about the Drawing Room at St Regis so we’ll start with the view. Think giant French windows overlooking the turquoise sea and pristine Saadiyat Beach. Then consider the high ceilinged, spacious and light expanse which constitutes this classy lobby café. There is a refined and lazy ease about this place, which makes you want to sit around for as long as you can. And on that note, be sure to order tea after your meal.

This café treats tea, and all its paraphernalia, with enough ceremony to make any connoisseur wet themselves with excitement. Naturally, the menu lists all the usual desserts, pastries and cakes but turn over to the Day Time Delicacies page and you’ll find some delicious lunchtime dishes to satisfy a bigger appetite. From this list, we picked the black sea bass, pan seared and served in a broth of clams, chorizo and black olives, with Tuscan kale and artichokes. A crazy sounding combination, you’ll agree, which tasted just as crazy but in a way that worked beautifully. The sea bass was fresh, tender and cooked to a melt-in-your mouth consistency. The clams, in our opinion, were too good to have so few on the plate, and the broth almost made us ask for a spoon with which to lap it all up with. To this rich savoury mix, the crispy chorizo brought a spicy, smoked flavour. It boldly declared that it would not allow our taste-buds a moment of boredom – as if that were even possible.

After this light but divine meal, we ordered some tea to top off our satisfaction. The menu boasted of over 23 different kinds of tea and a few signature blends, of which our waitress spoke very highly. We chose the St Regis Arabian blend and ordered a blueberry muffin to go with it. Our tea was served indulgently, with the waiter making us wait until it was properly brewed and then removing the filter to prevent over-brewing. This special blend warmed the air-conditioning shivers out of us with its rich infusion of orange, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. The accompanying muffin, on the other hand, wasn’t as mind-blowing. It was quite bready and not overly moist or fruity. Admittedly, this muffin was not the king of all muffins, but it was a good muffin, and a good bit of something to nibble on alongside our tea.

The bill (for one)
Black sea bass Dhs130
Muffin Dhs12
St Regis Arabian blend tea Dhs24
Total (excluding service) Dhs166

By Time Out Abu Dhabi staff
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.


  • Location: The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 498 8826
  • Travel: Saadiyat Island
  • Website | Send mail
  • Cuisine: Cafés
  • Times: Open daily 8am-10pm. Afternoon tea 2pm-6pm
  • Price: Dhs50-200
  • Credit Cards Accepted: Yes

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