Trader Vics Al Ain Rotana
Time Out Says
The brand, which was established in 1934 by Vic “The Trader” Bergeron has gathered a massive following over the years since.
Trader Vic’s at Al Ain Rotana is something of an institution. The bar area is permanently packed and there’s always a great buzz.
It’s kitted out in the décor you’d expect – all light woods, canoes hanging from the ceilings, brightly coloured ornaments, wicker seating et al. Order up a drink and your exotic mixed beverage will most likely come in a quirky vessel. It’s all a little dated, but in a nostalgic way that doesn’t seem to put people off flocking here.
However, don’t discount it as a restaurant either. The menu is packed with signature dishes, including Trader Vic’s curries, grills and tasty bar bites.
We dine on a weekend and the restaurant is, as expected, extremely busy. It’s a big space that gets quite loud, so you won’t be lacking in atmosphere.
We can’t resist ordering a portion of those delightfully gooey jalapeño cheese balls. They’re crispy, not at all greasy and house a molten mass of cheddar and emmental, with a wonderfully warming chilli kick. We also opt for some Maui Waui shrimp, which are nice enough but there’s a little too much of the dressing, making them slightly soggy.
For mains we choose the island curry – a rich, coconutty dish that is mildly spiced and full of flavour. The barbecue nine-spice chicken served with it is also very tasty.
Portion sizes are generous, too, although restaurant service could be slicker.
For tropical drinks and dishes without the airfare, don’t miss a visit to this Polynesian classic.
The bottom line
Familiar dishes in a fun setting.
By Time Out Abu Dhabi staff | 02 May 2018
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