As the name suggests, diners are in for a theatrical dining experience when visiting Teatro.
As a recent recipient of a Fact Dining Award for ‘favourite fusion restaurant in Abu Dhabi,’ we knew it was time to make a return visit to Teatro, the elegant restaurant tucked away inside the Park Rotana Abu Dhabi close to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
Teatro is a bold concept and one that confidently announces itself with large red lettering that is evident from the moment you pull up the hotel’s helpful valet. Passing a corridor of Venetian masks, we’re reminded of the playful interiors which feature draped curtains, large artworks and elegant chandeliers. We immediately feel as though we have stepped out onto a stage, and the food and beverage we are about to experience will be our swan song performance.
On previous visits to Teatro, we’ve always been drawn to the dining room, which is designed like a combination of Broadway theatre show and boudoir. It’s almost as if we have stumbled into a scene from Baz Luhrmann’s kinetic movie Moulin Rouge or a musical number from Hamilton. On this occasion, however, we opt to sit on Teatro’s new terrace. The al fresco dining area offers glimpses of the hotel’s swimming pool from comfortable seats, backed by manicured hedgerows and sparing illuminations. It’s an intimate and atmospheric space that provides diners with the impression of sneaking backstage into a VIP area that only those in the know have come to discover. In the process, the scene is set for an evening of memorable dining.
Teatro offers a diverse menu of Thai, Indian, Japanese and Italian flavours under a concept that revolves around the notion of “East meets West.” The menu, while undeniably expansive, offers something for everyone, which makes the restaurant an ideal dining venue for large groups where multiple preferences can be catered too. Yet, much like the Venetian play masks that cover the walls (commonly used to mask the wearer’s true identity), the food at Teatro offers the illusion of subtle fusion cuisine, executed with flair and consistency.
Much like the props and thematics that adorn the restaurant space, dining at Teatro is all about surprising guests with a show. Take the beverages for example, which are presented in genuinely unique ways – think metal vats, clay cups and ice-filled wooden boxes.
Act one marks the arrival of the appetisers, and we’re glad to see that even after many years of dining at Teatro that the wasabi coated prawn tempura is still a firm fixture on the menu. The shellfish are some of the biggest we’ve had the pleasure of eating and are accompanied by an addictive wasabi dipping sauce that just enough of a fiery kick to not overpower the delicate fish of the battered prawns. The dim sum selection is also of note featuring perfectly packaged parcels of chicken and prawn siu mai, prawn har gau and crispy prawn wontons that will leave you wanting to order additional baskets.
The main courses that make up the second act of a meal at Teatro include pizzas, pasta, Asian curries, tandoori, and noodles and no matter which cuisine you venture towards; the flavours are bound to leave you impressed. We adored the passion torch roll, a beautifully presented selection of torched maki rolls stuffed fill of tuna, salmon, avocado, tobiko and soya reduction. The miso sea bass is also of note, boasting a delicate and buttery texture that is elevated via the subtle use of sweet miso that heightens the flavour of the fish and leaves a lasting impression.
Look out for seasonal specials and the bar menu too, as the short rib with its gloriously lacquered exterior and the beef satay skewers with a peanut dipping sauce are not to be missed.
Teatro has become a firm a fixture at several Rotana’s flagship properties (including Bahrain’s Downtown Rotana and Dubai Towers Rotana), and it’s easy to see why. The restaurant offers a delightful selection of beverages and a menu of international favourites while providing a dining room and terrace to match.
Teatro continues to charm diners with a rewarding dining experience that offers value for money and an abundance of flavours, and a meal is akin to a trip to the theatre, with each course upping the ante and rising like a crescendo that culminates with show-stopping desserts.
Why not raise the curtain yourself and make a reservation?
GO: Call (0)2 657 3333 for reservations and more information.