While I have not done food reviews for quite a time, I cannot let this moment pass not to announce that we have found another superstar restaurant in Abu Dhabi — that’s Caramel Abu Dhabi.
Being a superstar restaurant to me is tantamount to being able to satisfy a diner/ visitor at all levels – food is worth each dirham/ dollar, more than being an inviting place (not necessarily posh), it actually encourages you to stay longer, that you have not left the restaurant yet but you were already planning a revisit, that on your next visit you will not be forced to keep ordering that ‘tried and tested’ item because everything on the menu screams exploration with satisfaction, and the superstar restaurant makes you feel special because they regard you as one not because of how you look or being a repeat customer, but there is sort of a culture that the moment you stepped in their premises, their objective the whole time is to make you feel special.
We intentionally tried dining during and post- Ramadan to discern discrepancies, if any. Well, Caramel Abu Dhabi is pleasantly consistent with one exception – there was no DJ during Ramadan. The cultural awareness is a plus factor, of course.
I initially surmised that it will not be family friendly or it would be discouraging to bring youngsters due to the lounge-like/ purely nightlife impression because of the DJ. But no, the restaurant was well-structured that there were designated spots depending on your agenda – marriage proposal, candid/ loud dine in, chit chat, buddy drink (apparently, there is a bar).
I suggest though for families with younger children to visit at lunch time, unless the youngsters are ripe enough to embrace the jive of night music. We have tried dining both at day and night times and the environment was always appropriate. As a side note, the playlists are consistently cool-superb.
Caramel Abu Dhabi offers American cuisine. Our top picks are the TNT (dynamite shrimps) for starter, tomahawk steak, seabass with risotto and grilled chicken for main courses, and everything in the desserts list are a must try – but I am biased towards crème brulee and brownie.
It is worth mentioning that I always receive a snail mail (yeah, in this era!) few weeks after dining. That is their simple way (I think that is huge) of extending their appreciation for the visit.
Caramel Abu Dhabi
St. Regis Hotel, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi
Landline: 02 678 3344