Stylish lunch at a reasonable price for suburban residents and young families
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Time Out Says

There’s no denying that Aloft Hotel looks the part, but is the produce consistent with the flashy facade? In the case of Dine, the lobby-level restaurant that serves both buffet and a la carte, style and substance are pretty much on an even keel.

The restaurant itself is eye-catching rather than comfortable. Exposed ceiling pipes and silvery fittings are the order of the day, with a distinctive orange finish leaving an indelible impression on any future memories that may form. Very much a design for the younger generation, in many ways it put this reviewer in mind of an ’80’s music video set: forward thinking, but somehow retro to boot.

We arrived at noon on a Friday without a reservation. While the restaurant was bustling, we still had a decent pick of the tables, so we sat by the slanted windows, overlooking a building site that will one day offer a more inspiring view.

The service was impeccable. Families will delight in the way the staff pamper and entertain your children, apparently honoured that the little folk would choose to dine at their outlet. The youngest member of our party immediately set about producing a riotous mess – she’d have been scolded at home, but the Dine staff laughed it off as though it were charming.

As far as the food on offer went, we encountered neither wonderful surprises nor gut-wrenching disappointments. Strangely, despite the large, open-plan kitchen, any saliva-inducing aromas seemed absent, but there was fun to be had peering into the bubbling pots and allowing the glutton within to take control. The Thai green curry was a nice addition to the usual roast meat and mixed vegetables, and we rubbed shoulders with a very satisfied set of Italian military men as we filled our plates from a slowly cooked pot of melt-off-the-bone lamb. Only the dessert bar felt uninspired, lacking the sugary overload you come to expect at an Abu Dhabi buffet.

A Friday brunch at Dine is not the rowdy affair you expect from some of Abu Dhabi’s older hotels, but a sedate experience, more appropriate for younger families. That said, a little more atmosphere wouldn’t do it any harm; perhaps this is something that will come with time. For now, it’s a perfectly adequate option for locally dwelling families that just want to eat their fill and then roll back to bed.

By Time Out Abu Dhabi staff  | 27 Jun 2010

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Abu Dhabi, Al Safraat, Hazza Bin Zayed Street - Al Wahda Complex - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates