We dine at one of the city’s most beautiful locations 4 Reviews
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The lobby of the leaning Hyatt Capital Gate Hotel is very modern, with large sleek curved structures everywhere. The beautiful padded lifts take you up to the stunning Eastern Mediterranean restaurant 18°, and we decided to sit outside, where the décor is not as opulent as the interior but you’re treated to a magnificent view of the city.
We were surprised by the number of people out on a Tuesday night; the outdoor section was pretty full, and we were concerned that the service might be slow as a result. But our concerns were quickly put to rest. After placing our order, we went straight for the bread basket. We were pleased to find that it was baked fresh and the baguette had the perfect crust, crunchy enough to be delicious without bruising gums.
The menu is broken up into different sections; Italian, Turkish, Syrian and Lebanese and we ordered bits from each. Our appetisers consisted of an organic rucola salad, fried calamari and a grilled halloumi salad. The salads were great; the rucola had a generous portion of grated parmesan cheese in it. The halloumi salad had large chunks of grilled cheese on top of watermelon slices, which is a common way to eat it in Lebanon. Our only complaint was that the dish needed more watermelon and less of the honey sauce. The fried calamari was served with an interesting sauce on the side, which tasted like it had tahini in it.
Soon after, our veal and sea bass arrived. The milk-fed veal was served in a deep clay pot and looked much more appetising than it tasted. It seemed to be missing some herbs and was rather bland. On the other hand, the sea bass was divine. The fish was cooked to perfection – juicy enough without feeling under cooked. The spices on it were great, although it was doused in sauce, which we had ordered on the side. The fillet sat on top of a generous portion of large asparagus. It was a fantastic dish, but again there was too much sauce overpowering the natural flavours of the ingredients.
Despite the little gripes, we finished our mains and settled on a dessert to end the meal. Chosen from the Lebanese menu, we waited for our kunafa; a very traditional pudding in the Levant. Although meant to be for one, this dish is enough to satisfy two at the end of a meal. It was served with a side of strawberries, cut up and doused with sugar, which took the place of the liquid sugar kunafa is usually served with it. It was very sweet so people who do not worship sugar need to beware.
Having paid our bill, we spent an additional hour just taking in the scenery. It was very nice to note that none of the staff hurried us to leave and in fact everyone was very helpful and accommodating. Our first visit will certainly not be our last.
The bill (for two)
Organic rucola salad Dhs75
Fried calamari Dhs90
Grilled halloumi Dhs65
Milk-fed veal chop Dhs250
Sea bass fillet Dhs200
Kunafa strawberry Dhs55
Total (excluding service) Dhs735
Time Out Abu Dhabi,
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