Gourmet Lab

Review: Family-friendly spot that hasn’t quite mastered the formula Discuss this article

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When you open a restaurant in such a competitive market it’s a good idea to have a solid USP. Sometimes, however, the idea can veer a little close to gimmicky. Gourmet Lab, a new opening in Khalifa City A, has a science theme. But does it have the formula for success?

There’s a periodical table on one of the walls, drinks are served in glassware more at home in a chemistry lab and light fittings resemble a double helix. All very cerebral.

We prefer our food to appeal to more base desires, however, and the menu -- pretty standard fare such as salads, soups, sandwiches and pastas – doesn’t immediately get our juices flowing. Most dishes have the promise of a Gourmet Lab twist, though, and on the whole, they deliver on that promise.

The trio of fish cakes, are plated next to sploshes of tartar sauce and mini green beads, “green chilli caviar,” according the waiter. It’s a fun touch and runs with the molecular theme, but there’s not a whole lot of chilli going on when it comes to tasting it. Cute, but not done perfectly.

On the other hand, the wild mushroom soup doesn’t use any tricks and the dish seems better for it. A waft of truffle adds a little decadence and the deep, earthy flavour is spot on. The bowl is empty in double quick time – a sure sign of success.

The Chef Burger is a good option, too. There’s nothing wacky about this one, but crispy beetroot adds a nice touch.

Chicken fajitas – wok-fried chicken with peppers, guacamole, salsa and sour cream – are pretty basic.

Gourmet Lab sits in the shopping complex in Al Rayana Community is fun and shows some inventive touches and while it probably won’t take Abu Dhabi by storm, it has the makings of a solid community café.

The bill (for two)
1x mushroom soup Dhs25
1x fish cakes Dhs36
1x Chef Burger Dhs45
1x chicken fajita Dhs42
1x small water Dhs5
Total Dhs5

The bottom line
A good addition if you live in the area.

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 A, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 418 2461
  • Travel: Al Rayyana Community
  • Times: Open Sun-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 10am-10pm

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