A creative menu, but is the quality up to scratch?
Hamilton’s Gastropub is now open on Saadiyat, serving mean cocktails, milkshakes and clever dishes
Saadiyat isn’t the first place you’d think of if you looking for a traditional pub in Abu Dhabi, simply because there’s not many hotels there. But that all changed a couple of months ago with the opening of the new Saadiyat Rotana hotel, and inside is Hamilton’s Gastropub, a venue with drinks and pub bites that embrace the US and UK.
Hamilton’s is a sharp looking destination that certainly mirrors its location in one of the more upmarket parts of town. This is no rough and ready, spit and sawdust outlet – the décor is all exposed piping, high ceilings, smooth wooden floors and giant silver kegs and wooden barrels on display. There’s several TVs showing live sport as well and the stereo belts out rock tunes by Guns N’ Roses, Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam.
The drinks menu is extensive and varied, with a big selection of cocktails (including milkshakes with alcohol), plus a huge selection of cask and flask whiskies. The same can be said for the food. There’s plenty of grub you’d find in English gastropubs, such as a fancy, and very good, version of a Scotch egg with veal. Again, the variety is commendable – there’s cheese and meatboards, mussels, barbecue dishes such as brisket and you can even buy sausage by the metre. For the less adventurous, there’s fish and chips and bangers and mash.
For mains, a pile of thinly sliced barbecue beef brisket was a standout dish (it was incredibly tender and was elevated by the sweet barbecue sauce) as was a fresh portion of grilled salmon with tomato, olives and a celeriac puree.
With ladies’ night deals on a Tuesday, sangria deals on a Sunday and a happy hour five days a week from 5pm to 9pm, Hamilton’s has plenty to offer all punters, and is a good addition to Abu Dhabi’s pub scene.
Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, daily 5pm to 2am. Tel: (02) 6970000. Taxi: Saadiyat Rotana. rotana.com