Sax Lounge & Club

Passable food in an unwelcoming atmosphere
  • +3

Time Out Says

We knew from the booking that trying to get a meal at Sax wasn’t going to be easy. The first few post-Ramadan calls revealed it still wasn’t open for business. And when it did finally reopen (something we found out through sheer perseverance – the staff weren’t able to give us a date), it took a while to convince the person on the end of the phone that it was Sax we wanted to eat in, not Oceans. The second hurdle came at the door – a strict smart casual dress code applies, and if you have the audacity to show up wearing a T-shirt, no amount of begging and pleading will get you past the pair of gorillas manning the entrance. Oh, and if you’re blessed with more youthful looks, take your ID along. Having been deemed too scruffy to enter on our last visit, we came prepared and were eventually seated in a completely empty nightclub. Nervous looking staff didn’t seem to understand why we had chosen to eat there, and we have to admit we were starting to consider abandoning the mission in favour of somewhere that actually wanted to feed us.

So why keep trying to force our way into somewhere where we are so blatantly unwelcome? Well, from what we remember about last year’s visit, the food is really rather good. Sadly, we can’t say whether that is still the case. We were presented with the menus, but just as we’d decided on our meals they were whisked away and replaced with menus from Sax’s sister restaurant, Oceans. Still we persevered, requesting starters and mains from the Sax menu. Our first, second and third choice of mains, and first choice of starter were all unavailable, and in the end we were forced to admit defeat and order the bulk of our dinner from Oceans; indeed, the only thing they were willing to feed us that was actually from Sax was a starter of spring rolls.

The food was passable for the price. The vegetable spring rolls were crisp and fresh, and mains of wasabi chicken tender. Our partner’s dishes were less successful, comprising a starter of chewy and greasy crab tempura and mains of salmon that was so undercooked as to be little more than warm sashimi in the centre.

Having chewed through our meal in a room completely devoid of any atmosphere, while bursts of house music blasted from the speakers as staff tested the sound levels ready for the late-night revellers, we decided not to stay for dessert. We’re not sure who was more relieved about that, us or the waiting staff.

The bill (for two)
Crab tempura
Chicken wasabi Dhs85
Miso crusted salmon Dhs98
Vegetable spring rolls Dhs27
Total (excluding service) Dhs275

By Time Out Abu Dhabi staff  | 20 Sep 2011

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9:00 PM to 3:00 AM
Sunday: 9:00 PM to 3:00 AMMonday: 9:00 PM to 3:00 AMTuesday: 9:00 PM to 3:00 AMWednesday: 9:00 PM to 3:00 AMThursday: 9:00 PM to 3:00 AMFriday: 9:00 PM to 3:00 AMSaturday: 9:00 PM to 3:00 AM
Show number 02 674 1286
Abu Dhabi, Al Markaziyah, Le Royal Méridien Hotel - Khalifa Bin Zayed The First St - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates

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