A restau­rant and sports bar like no other in the city

What's On (Abu Dhabi) - - EAT // REVIEW -

If you want to eat some­where that looks shiny and new, you’re spoiled for choice in the cap­i­tal – but one out­let in the World Trade Cen­tre Mall proves that shabby can be chic as well.

Back Yard Bistro is a restau­rant and sports bar with a unique dé­cor that will please those who are pas­sion­ate about re­cy­cling. Cor­ru­gated metal sheets line the walls, bar stools are made from old bi­cy­cle wheels and gas can­is­ters. Ta­bles are propped up us­ing old scooter frames and retro petrol pumps line the bar. Think Last Exit, on Sheikh Zayed Road, with lots of TVs for sports fans.

Not sur­pris­ingly, the food here isn’t aimed at those look­ing for fine dining – it’s clas­sic pub grub but done well with a few twists. There’s starters such as rock shrimp and potato wedges and lot of burg­ers, plus a few sand­wiches and a small mains sec­tion and some sal­ads.

To start, What’s On rec­om­mends the Cal­i­for­nia quinoa salad with co­conut, al­mond flakes, red onion, avo­cado and edamame, pep­pers and a Ca­jun dress­ing. Con­sid­er­ing the amount of flavours on dis­play, the dish worked exceedingly well – the taste was sub­tle when needed and all the bet­ter for it. The rock shrimp also de­liv­ered – the sweet chili mayo driz­zled was a high­light poured on the fried, tasty morsels of seafood. For mains, the mac and cheese burger is a colos­sal dish and again was well re­ceived, al­though it’s mam­moth size meant the bun, coleslaw and fries on the side were sur­plus to re­quire­ments and went un­touched. The pasta’s cheesy sauce just about worked with the burger. The only dish that did dis­ap­point was a main of veggie moz­zarella slid­ers – they were let down by a bland coat­ing that was tough and over­cooked. The dessert menu is small – there are two pan­cake dishes, one with crushed Oreos and one with crushed Lo­tus bis­cuits, which are also belly bust­ing but taste good.

Ser­vice was top draw af­ter a shaky start – the waiter had no idea what dishes were veg­e­tar­ian but the day was res­cued by the out­let’s ex­cel­lent as­sis­tant man­ager.

Back Yard Bistro has been a busy venue since it opened and with good rea­son – the food’s de­cent and it’s one of the coolest look­ing restau­rants in the cap­i­tal.

World Trade Cen­ter Mall, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, daily noon to 3am. Tel: (050) 1143666. WTC Mall. face­­habi

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