EAT

A new café con­cept opens in Al Ba­teen

What's On (Abu Dhabi) - - CONTENTS -

New out­lets Coya, Tashas and Fogo de Brazil re­viewed and rated by our panel of ex­perts

what do you get if you mix South African cui­sine with Ara­bic and Mediter­ranean dishes, in­flu­ences and dé­cor? Tashas, a new high-end café in Al Ba­teen. Orig­i­nally launched 12 years ago by South African Natasha Sideris, the Abu Dhabi branch is the first in the cap­i­tal and will likely ruf­fle a few feath­ers among the city’s café scene, be­cause Tashas is a cut above most we’ve vis­ited in the cap­i­tal.

The venue can hold 183 food­ies and it’s a big space with one mas­sive ace up its sleeve – an awe­some, huge al­fresco area. Its ve­randa of­fers tran­quil views of boats at Al Ba­teen Ma­rina, while the wooden floor­ing, stylish ta­bles, wicker chairs plus gi­ant plant pots (the high­light be­ing a huge tree trunk ta­ble as a cen­tre-piece) are rus­tic and homely. In­side is also slick, bright and airy with creams and whites dom­i­nat­ing the walls and fur­ni­ture.

The menu fea­tures a weighty sal­ads sec­tion, mini burg­ers, fil­let steaks, salmon fish cakes, pasta dishes, que­sadil­las, sand­wiches, break­fast dishes and more – it’s so vast it’s a lit­tle over­whelm­ing at first. To start, check out the tapas. A por­tion of grilled cala­mari, per­fectly ex­e­cuted with olive oil, le­mon and chopped pars­ley and but­ter, was ex­cel­lent and the sim­ple flavours let the rich taste of the squid shine. A de­cent por­tion of breaded, fried cau­li­flower of­fered an al­most sharp, tangy taste but was light and not greasy at all.

For mains, the chicken Viet­nam sand­wich is pricey at Dhs90, but is the size of a small car, mean­ing you’ll get at least two meals out of it. Two chicken breasts mar­i­nated in a sweet and sour sauce were sur­rounded by mounds of shred­ded car­rot, green beans and chunks of av­o­cado, and served in a cia­batta. While a lit­tle spicy, the heat didn’t over­whelm the var­ied flavours.

The high­light though was the aubergine, veal and yo­ghurt crum­ble. A huge roasted egg plant was filled with minced meat, gar­lic, pine nuts, chilli, mint and tahini yo­ghurt and pomegranates. The flavours worked in­cred­i­bly well to­gether, es­pe­cially the pomegranates with the veal.

What’s On left Tashas with big smiles on our faces. It’s the whole pack­age, of­fer­ing qual­ity food in a unique set­ting – and we think you’ll also have a grin on your face if you pay them a visit.

Al Ba­teen, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Wed 8am to mid­night, Thur and Fri 8am to 1am. Tel: (02) 4450890. Taxi: near Crown Prince Court. tashas­cafe.com

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