Filini Garden

Review: Simply stunning alfresco venue that could be so much better Discuss this article

Meal Deal
Friday brunch

A lovely outdoor venue serving antipasti, Italian mains and desserts. There’s a funky DJ, saxophonist and an after-brunch package available, too. Try it when the weather’s cool. Dhs200 (soft drinks), Dhs365 (house beverages), Dhs500 (premium beverages). Radisson Blu Hotel Abu Dhabi Yas Island (02 656 2000). Timings: 12.30pm-4pm (Friday)

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© ITP Images

First things first, Filini Garden is a gorgeous venue. From the moment you arrive, you can’t fail to be impressed by the picture-perfect spot at the Radisson Blu Hotel – from the lush green foliage of the entry tunnel you meander through, to the kitsch bicycle with a floral basket at the reception desk.

It doesn’t stop there either, as soon as you step into the lounge you’ll be wowed by the view. This picturesque spot has wide-ranging vistas across Yas Links and out towards Al Raha Creek. We recommend arriving early to have a sundowner in the mellow lounge area before dinner – the sunset views are simply stunning.

Top views, comfy seats and trendy décor – so far, so good. However, things peak here. We take a seat on the terrace of the restaurant area to peruse the menu. It’s filled to the brim with all the Italian classics you’d expect – pizzas, pastas, salads, grills and much more.

Service is fairly haphazard throughout our visit (there are long waits to order drinks, then food, and longer waits yet for some of the dishes to arrive).

A starter of a vegetarian antipasti board has plenty of grilled courgette, artichoke and pieces of red and yellow pepper, and a small, tasty, pot of warm aubergine salad that we mop up with triangles of sourdough toast. It’s all okay, but pretty safe.

A main of mushroom risotto is gloopy, sickly, and the truffle overwhelms so much we can’t finish it. The calzone has a generous amount of fillings, but the dough is too thick and stodgy to eat.

We skip dessert but stay to enjoy the calming view, the reeds of the links sway in the breeze making for a tranquil end to the evening.

If the food catches up with the setting, then this could be a top place to dine. In the meantime, stick to it for a great night out.

The bill (for two)
1x antipasti plank Dhs62
1x risotto fungi Dhs82
1x calzone Dhs76
1x house salad Dhs18
1x large water Dhs35
Total (including service) Dhs273

The bottom line
Top setting but not yet a dining destination.


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: Radisson Blu Hotel, Abu Dhabi Yas Island, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 656 2000
  • Travel: Radisson Blu Hotel, Abu Dhabi Yas Island
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Times: Open Sun-Wed 5pm-1am; Thu 5pm-3am; Fri noon-1am
  • Price: Dhs200-350

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