PEARL LOUNGE A new lobby lounge with bold am­bi­tions, but is it a suc­cess?

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

At the back of the new Grand Hy­att ho­tel’s lobby, hid­den be­hind a wall, lies Pearl Lounge, a chic look­ing lo­ca­tion with an al­fresco area for the milder months, classy dé­cor in­clud­ing gi­gan­tic pearl chan­de­liers, and a var­ied menu.

Pearl Lounge is a café that serves sal­ads, sand­wiches and mains, but it’s also worth a visit if you have a sweet tooth. The out­let has sev­eral glass coun­ters sell­ing plenty of desserts. There’s a daily patis­serie sec­tion with cheese­cakes and prof­iteroles, an Ara­bic sec­tion sell­ing lo­cal treats, plus you can try Turk­ish de­light. There’s a crepe counter as well, and you can buy ar­ti­san jams and hon­eys, and teas made by the ho­tel. What’s more, you can sip a glasses of cham­pers or a cock­tail.

It’s also a live mu­sic venue – visit un­til September 9 to hear Ja­panese singer-pi­anist Rié Fu­ruse daily from 5pm to 9pm per­form­ing jazz and pop fu­sion hits.

The a la carte menu is split into sec­tions, one called Clas­sics, which fea­tures sand­wiches, bagels and spring rolls, plus a Savoury sec­tion with big­ger dishes. And there are a lot of Asian in­flu­ences in the lat­ter. What’s On started with a por­tion of crispy glass noo­dles and shrimp spring rolls which, while ad­e­quate, were or­di­nary and st­ingy on the seafood. The big­ger dishes fared bet­ter, es­pe­cially a por­tion of grilled lamb loin with avo­cado, toma­toes, shal­lot and green chili and lime dress­ing. It’s a Thai-in­spired plate with in­cred­i­bly del­i­cate thin strips of lamb, which worked a treat with the avo­cado. Mean­while, some cumin dusted chicken sa­tay skewers didn’t set the world alight on their own, be­cause the chicken had a rub­bery tex­ture that dis­tracted from the ex­cel­lent taste. But the ac­com­pa­ny­ing green pa­paya salad with cashews in­stantly made us for­get our tex­ture woes. It was a high­light. For dessert, make sure you try some of the huge chunks of milk and dark choco­late (made again in-house) al­though skip the white choco­late cheese­cake. It had a bit­ter taste that con­fused what was ex­pected to be a smooth, creamy pud. A fruit tart­let with le­mon mousse worked well, though, thanks to a sweet glaze.

Pearl Lounge is the sort of place you’d take mum for a cof­fee and some cake in the af­ter­noon. While the food was de­cent, it didn’t pull up any trees, but for a posh brew in a re­gal set­ting, it works well enough.

Grand Hy­att Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Akhdar, Abu Dhabi, daily 10.30am to mid­night. Tel: (02) 3048196. Taxi: Grand Hy­att. abud­habi.grand.hy­att.com

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