De La Costa

Quality food and premium styling at the Monte-Carlo Beach Club Discuss this article

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There was a brief flicker of time when the people of Abu Dhabi flocked to Sea Lounge, the bar at the Monte-Carlo Beach Club, but that time seems to have passed and we aren’t sure why. It isn’t too hot for sitting outside yet, it isn’t really more expensive a night out than anywhere else in the city, it’s stylish and has a truly excellent music policy – but every time we’ve been lately the place has been almost completely empty. It could be down to the near impossibility of getting there, unless you drive, and having to practically sell a lung to get a cab to arrive in less than half an hour when you want to leave.

Whatever the cause, it is a shame, because as a venue Sea Lounge has everything going for it. Everything except the price of the food.

We trotted along one Thursday evening to spend a night enjoying the stars and the weather, and fancied a bite to eat while we were there. Looking at the prices on the food menu, you’d be forgiven for thinking that each item is a full-sized portion, and then choking on your refreshing beverage when you are informed that they are in fact ‘bar snack’ size and that you should probably order chips as well. We went for the mini Wagyu cheeseburger, the chicken san choi bao, Ortiz anchovies and, of course, chips.

Truly, the presentation of the food will delight even the coolest customer and, not being terribly cool, we were squealing over the mini deep-fryer basket that the crinkle cut potato and sweet potato fries were served in, and the teeny tiny saucepan that contained the absolutely phenomenal san choi bao – so savory and more-ish, the minced chicken with its heady flavours of garlic, ginger and lime was quickly devoured. More conventional was the mini cheeseburger. Now this was a tasty burger, with smoked Scamorza cheese no less, but sadly the hefty price tag left a longer lasting taste in our mouth. The Ortiz anchovies dish was terribly fun to eat but, again, the price was a little hard to swallow.

Now, true foodies will know that the anchovies that make it into an Ortiz can are considered the crème de la crème of the fish world – these hand filleted little fishes, well aged and sustainably fished for five generations, could convert even a die-hard hater into an anchovy aficionado. However if we wanted to munch on anchovies out of the can on toast we could do that at home. Yep, we had an open can, some fluffy batons of toasted bread, a little pot of paprika and a lemon wedge – and that’s all. Please don’t get us wrong, it was delicious, and we were fighting for that last fillet, but once again that sky-high price tag made us want to weep when we handed over our credit card.

Always wanting to end on a sweet note we ordered the petit six, which was fine – six different mignardises including chocolates, a stuffed date and a very nice little horseshoe cookie – but the prize has to go to the salted caramel ice cream, which was just outstanding.

So. The food at Sea Lounge is delicious – your palate and your tum will thank you for eating there. Your wallet, however, will probably never truly forgive you.

The bill (for two)
French fries
Mini Wagyu cheeseburger Dhs50
Chicken san choi bao Dhs35
Ortiz anchovies Dhs140
Petit six Dhs60
Ice cream per scoop x2 Dhs12
Total (excluding service) Dhs334

By Time Out Dubai 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: Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 656 3500
  • Travel: Saadiyat Beach Club
  • Website
  • Cuisine: Bar & Pub food
  • Times: Open 5pm-midnight
  • Credit Cards Accepted: Yes

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