Cute and quirky décor is as good as it gets here... Discuss this article

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Hidden away on the ground floor of Masdar City’s Irena building, Melius is a charming deli-styled restaurant and lounge with an over ambitious menu.

Being located in an office block, we first have to make our way through metal detectors and scanners. A bit of an odd start to dinner. Despite the “Come inside, we’re awesome” sign at the door, nobody greets us on arrival. The venue, which is a lunching hot-spot for employees in the surrounding buildings, is almost empty for dinner, yet we have to flag down a waitress to get a table.

Finally seated, we work our way through its extensive menu of Arabic, Italian, Asian and international dishes. Sadly we’re not offered any drinks, and the selection of breads on the table is far from fresh.

We decide to start with a calamari appetiser, which is rubbery and tasteless. If you think that’s a disappointment, imagine the look on our face when the waitress removes our dirty fork from our plate and places it back on the table for the main course. Steering away from seafood, we order a Black Angus sirloin steak for mains, accompanied by grilled (read burned) Mediterranean vegetables and mushroom sauce. The steak is delicious and cooked to perfection, but sadly spoiled by the mushroom sauce, which has the consistency and flavour of instant gravy, fleshed out with canned mushrooms.

Our waitress, who seems disinterested when we ask her for suggestions, also fails to check up on us. “I was busy inside,” she tells us.

Despite a wide selection of cakes on display, we’ve experienced enough disappointment to send us straight home. Not even sugar can turn the situation around. It seems Melius has invested all its energy into the charismatic venue’s décor. Its tagline is “Where flavours meet”, but sadly none of those flavours were introduced to us on our visit.

The bill
1x Calamari starter Dhs45
1x Black Angus sirloin Dhs95
Total Dhs140

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: Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 418 2481
  • Travel: Irena Building, Masdar City

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