Al Nafoura Lounge

Review: Stunning venue with some great food but slow service Discuss this article

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Looks aren’t everything, we’re always told. Life is about more than being pretty on the outside, it’s about being beautiful on the inside, right? This is generally true, but sometimes it’s okay to be shallow when it comes to plush restaurants.

Which brings us to Al Nafoura Lounge, in the Beach Rotana, which oozes glamour and sophistication. The outdoor space is undeniably beautiful, especially on a pleasant evening. Dining tables surround the water fountain, which is beautifully lit, and a chilled-out atmosphere fills the air.

We’re visiting on a relatively busy Saturday evening, but despite our brilliant first impressions, not everything goes to plan.

There are hardly any staff around, meaning it takes 20 minutes to place an order, 30 minutes before our drinks arrive and another 40 minutes before we get our starters. That’s over an hour before we’ve had as a crumb of food.

The menu is rooted in Lebanese cuisine, though there are some fusion and Japanese dishes, too.

We start with a five-dish sharing platter, which includes delicious prawn tempura and some tough calamari. Special mention must go to the halloumi fries topped with sweet-sour pomegranate seeds, though.

When staff are around, they are friendly and as helpful as they can be, but clearly need a hand.

Mains are outstanding and go some way towards making up for the slow start.

Jumbo prawns, served with harissa and lemon, have a perfectly seasoned spicy coating, and cheeseburger sliders, while lacking in taste, come in an exquisite brioche bun that we can’t get enough of.

Overall, the food is decent, but the service needs to improve for Al Nafoura to become a place people will want to return to. After all, you can’t coast through life on your looks.

The bill (for two)

1x sharing platter Dhs132
1x jumbo prawns Dhs119
1x cheeseburger sliders Dhs63
1x sweet potato fries Dhs32
1x fries Dhs32
2x diet Pepsi Dhs50
Total (including taxes) Dhs442

The bottom line
Glamorous venue that needs better service.

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: Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiyah, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 697 9129
  • Travel: Beach Rotana, Al Zahiya

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