Amber Bar

Belgian bar is a foodie hidden gem in the Novotel Al Bustan Discuss this article

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Tucked into the back of Novotel Al Bustan is Amber, the hotel’s Belgian bar. Step inside and it doesn’t have much of a European vibe save for the continental football that is playing on giant televisions 24/7, a DJ is usually playing deep house and disco lights are the overbearing element of the décor. However, all that changes when we read the menu.

We’re here on a Thursday evening, which is coincidentally ladies’ night, and the bar is reasonably busy. We take one of the few remaining tables and are immediately greeted by an exceptionally friendly waiter, who takes our drinks order and leaves us with the menu. Excellent service will prove to be a theme running through the night.

We see that the hops are aplenty and they are mostly from Belgium – the bar’s theme is starting to make a lot more sense. The fare on the menu is reasonably standard, but we can already see from the table next to us that the food is fresh and appetising, nothing appears gnarly, gristled or reheated like some bar food can be.

We decide to stay away from the fried food and instead order the spicy quesadilla to share as an appetiser, and the wagyu burger and short beef ribs for mains.

In very prompt time our food is delivered to our table so we tuck in. The quesadilla is served with sour cream and guacamole, it looks like a wrap cut into three (not ideal for two people sharing) rather than the flat pizza-shaped quesadilla we’re used to, but it smells delicious so we slather on both of the condiments and take a bite. It’s juicy and full of flavour – we can taste peppers and the spicy sausage provides more of a Spanish, Mediterranean feel to a traditional Mexican dish.

The burger is thick and well cooked. The wagyu is a noticeably better cut of meat than the vast majority of burgers in the capital. It’s a fairly plain dish, but this enables the burger’s quality to shine through rather than be masked by excessive sauces and salads.

The beef ribs are served with a portion of mashed potato and some salad leaves. We can’t quite put our finger on exactly what it is, but there is something a little different about the taste of these ribs than we were expecting. The barbecue sauce isn’t a typical flavour, but we like it all the same. We finish the whole plate including a full bowl of mashed potato, which is creamy and complements the ribs well.

We weren’t sure what to expect when we arrived at Amber, but the food and service has certainly surpassed all expectations. This is a great little spot for grabbing something to eat before heading out for the night – we’ll be sure to come back soon.

The bill (for two):
Quesadilla Dhs42
BBQ Ribs Dhs75
Wagyu burger Dhs52
Extra cheese Dhs5
Total (Excl. service) Dhs174

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.

Details

  • Location: Novotel Abu Dhabi Al Bustan, Al Aman, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 501 6444
  • Travel: Airport Road, near ADNEC

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