We have recently visited St. Regis, a 5-star resort hotel situated in Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi.The main purpose of the visit was to try Sontaya, a restaurant overlooking the Arabian Gulf. The name of the restaurant fairly gives an idea that it offers Thai dishes since “sontaya” means “sunset” in Thai.
The place is impressive since it sets you in a mood to relax, mainly driven by the beautiful sight of running water via the floating pavilion and the beach itself is a visual treat. It makes you excited to find cruise holidays to cross over the Arabian Gulf. The interior is also packed of interesting pieces, take for example that irregular stand of the long table (photo above) and replicas like Buddha’s, jars, etc. I personally consider the attempt agreeable to set it apart from the other Southeast Asian restaurants which are mostly attempted just to have the zen effect.
Sontaya has different menus for lunch and dinner. We visited during lunch time and I personally picked Pad Thai, Nasi Goreng and Chicken Satay for my non-Asian companions — affirming that those are the safe choices for newbies. I just wished that they offered char kuey teow. The menu, however, is not region centred because it also listed curries, several versions of rice noodles, etc.
One of the interesting chapters of the lunch was the “orientation” of how to (properly) eat the dishes, how to better enjoy them, with side notes to my own experiences, and since there were no Filipino dishes in the menu, the counterparts of those dishes in Filipino table. With honest mention of how a certain dish or version of a dish even tastes better, when appropriate.
We seated in one of these tables. Really a refreshing view.
But next time probably when summer is over, we will definitely take one of the “floating tables” outside.
St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort