→ Open daily, 6pm-2am. Licensed. Courtyard By Marriott Abu Dhabi, World Trade Center Abu Dhabi (02 698 2222).
We check out the recently refurbished Up & Below at Courtyard by Marriott, and Ànd that the food is just as impressive as the views.
“There’s no snobbery here and the staff are all so welcoming”
IT’S QUITE HARD to Ànd a downtown rooftop bar that isn’t at least a little bit cool. After all, enjoying a meal surrounded by towering skyscrapers never gets old does it?
Up & Below is one of these awesome hangouts, and it closed over the summer to make over its look into a place that’s a bit more stylish and modern.
As we walk in we immediately clock the hanging lantern-style lights, comfy sofas and gardenstyle outdoor terrace complete with trailing vine leaves (fake, but the effect is still great).
We want to sit outdoors to make the most of the perfect weather, and everyone else seems to have the same idea too. All the tables are either full or reserved so we perch on some
high stools along the edge of the terrace. From here we have the best possible view.
Our fellow diners are dressed in everything from Áip-áops to full business suits. There’s no snobbery here and the staff are all so helpful and welcoming.
It’s ladies’ night, so women get four free drinks and 50 percent off a selection of bar bites.
The main menu also includes Caribbean-style dishes such as jerk chicken and red snapper escovitch, as well as that ultimate comfort food, baked camembert.
We start with the Barbados spicy Àsh balls from the ladies’ night menu and the Caesar salad.
We feel that the latter could do with a bigger helping of croutons, parmesan, and the other fun parts of the famous salad, but it’s all fresh and crunchy, and ideal if you’re looking for a healthier option. The Àsh balls are stuffed with snapper, chilli and spring onions; far more tasty and fancy than your average bar snack.
Next we move on to the veggie patties. The three small burgers are served with a mountain of fries. It’s much bigger than we expected and just the casual night-time snack we are looking for. We also get a further cheese Àx with the halloumi and spinach salad. The salty Greek cheese is predictably delicious and the fennel, spinach, pine nuts and grapefruit dressing combination is tangy and interesting.
With high-class bar food, amazing views, and a chilled-out vibe, this laid-back venue has perfected a winning formula.
WHAT IS IT... A rooftop bar with an open terrace and cool views over the city
WHY GO... For the slider-style patties, piles of nachos and ladies’ night bargains
Time Out reviews anonymously and pays for its meals