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Time Out Says

There are few things that are more disappointing than visiting an empty restaurant. There is no ambiance, which ruins the experience. Being able to hear your own thoughts and the gentle clink of your cutlery as it strikes the plate is, frankly, depressing.

It says something about the quality of food on offer at Rouge then that our overriding memory of this particular experience was all about just how blisteringly good the meal was. Just how this restaurant was so empty is beyond us. The food is quite possibly some of the very finest the city has to offer. That its operating hours are only from 7pm-11.30pm in the evening does suggest that not enough people know how good this establishment really is. Well, consider this an education.

Before our starters we were served an amuse bouche of spicy salmon sushi which was enticing and offered the merest of hints of what was to come. For starters, we decided to try out the Manchurian-style crispy mushrooms along with some tiger prawn dumplings. The mushrooms were spicy, crunchy, rammed full of flavour and served on a bed of lettuce and a crispy, sticky lattice. Next up were the tiger prawn dumplings (as suggested by our waitress, who was fantastic all evening and everything a host should be: attentive, friendly, efficient and knowledgeable) which were absolutely divine. Served as a portion of three the prawns themselves were plump, succulent and fresh. The choice of delectable fare at Rouge is actually quite daunting because they have such a wide range of uramaki, futomaki, nigiri, sashimi, dim dum (steamed or deep/pan fried), hot starters, soup, seafood, Korean dishes, chicken, duck, beef and lamb mains. It’s fun ploughing through page after page working out just how much food you can handle. We can’t help thinking that Rouge would be perfect with a group of friends because that way you could make navigating the menu a team affair. They do a fine line in vegetarian dishes too.

After demolishing our starters it was time to turn our attention to the mains. We settled on the double salamander soy honey glazed black cod with parsnip and sizzling scallion oil. To be fair we probably could have ordered anything because every morsel of food that crossed our lips was sensational. The black cod was so soft it practically melted when our knife grazed it and the sweet kick of the parsnip puree offered a tantalising accompaniment. After a brief respite we knuckled down for the final piece of the evening’s culinary events, some green tea crème brûlée.

Again, this was an absolute triumph. Admittedly the crème brûlée was more akin to a mousse than anything else but it was light, airy and topped with a sweet, sugary, caramelised lid. The perfect end to a perfect culinary experience. If we could offer one minor criticism it would be that the menu is certainly on the pricier side but the fare is easily well worth your hard-earned dirhams. A truly great meal and no mistake.

The bill (for one)
Crispy mushrooms Dhs45
Tiger prawn dumpling Dhs45
Black cod Dhs125
Steamed bok choy Dhs40
Green tea crème brûlée Dhs40
Total (excluding service) Dhs295

By Time Out Abu Dhabi staff  | 12 Mar 2013

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FacilitiesDine In
Payment OptionsCash, Credit Card
Dress CodeCasuals
11:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Sunday: 11:00 AM to 11:00 PMMonday: 11:00 AM to 11:00 PMTuesday: 11:00 AM to 11:00 PMWednesday: 11:00 AM to 11:00 PMThursday: 11:00 AM to 11:00 PMFriday: 11:00 AM to 4:00 PMSaturday: 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Show number 02 617 0000
Abu Dhabi, Al Madina Al Riyadiya, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Street

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