“The launch of the new menu at Teatro will sure take the dining experience at the hotel to the next level. We are very excited to have introduced new unique flavours to the outlet.” Ted Espiritu
Exciting things have been happening at the Park Rotana Hotel Abu Dhabi over the summer. Popular restaurant Teatro has undergone quite a transformation in both its decor and menu. I have said it before and no doubt I will say it again, the capital’s restaurant and hotel scene is a competitive marketplace and establishments cannot rest on their laurels. Taking the bull by the horns as it were, Park Rotana has tastefully revamped Teatro and unveiled its fabulous new menu showcasing the very best of Eastern and Western cuisine.
I was invited to preview this remodelled restaurant as it revealed its exciting new menu at the recent media launch night. I took the other half along as chief meat and seafood taster as well as designated driver which meant that I was free to indulge in the delicious signature cocktails that arrived soon after we were seated, what luck! A delicious array of free-flowing concoctions from Mai Tai’s, Honey Berry Sour, Downtown Tokyo, Cherry Blossom and Lychilli Martini’s were colourful, exotic and as tasty as they looked too.
The design concept incorporates a palette of deep red hues offset by eye-catching art work, distinctive chandeliers, hand blown glass and beaded crystals, the signature theatrical Venetian masks synonymous with Teatro of old remain an integral part of the interesting decor. The stage is further set with a large vase of fresh red and white roses surrounded by varying sized lit candles giving an overall dramatic yet romantic backdrop in the dimly lit dining area. The well-stocked bar and dedicated centralised sushi preparation area both have bold patterned wallpapered ceilings that offset the Japanese elements, including traditional artefacts and accessories that are intrinsic to the restaurant’s Eastern influences. The adjacent stylish lounge is perfect place for pre-dinner drinks and to relax with a final nightcap.
So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty, the food! Teatro’s gourmet experience is inspired by a mix of Thai, Japanese, Indian, Italian and Chinese cuisines with the large menu featuring a line-up of tantalising new dishes designed to captivate even the most discerning diner. Sushi lovers will be particularly pleased with the vast variety of combo sashimi platters and sushi maki available, we tried some tuna, salmon, and crab varieties in the form of California maki, Passion Torch and Bansai Rolls, all beautifully presented.
Course after course of perfectly created sharing dishes were delivered to our table giving us an opportunity to indulge in some of the dishes from the extensive a la carte menu. Alongside the Japanese sushi and sashimi, the menu offers a choice of eighteen different starters and salads, ten Western speciality dishes, Asian curries, salads, noodles and rice dishes, Dim Sum, traditional Indian favourites and Tandoori, Maki Rolls, Chinese Wok and Stir fry options all prepared in the large open show kitchen and sushi counter. Lovers of Italian food, like myself can enjoy fresh pizzas from the wood oven as well as a choice of pasta and risotto, really Teatro has something to offer every desire and palate.
Obviously with such a huge menu, it would have been impossible to try everything in one evening so instead we sampled a selection of the dishes chosen by the chefs, who visited the table to explain their creations. After the sushi course starters of Grilled Kalbi Beef Salad Rolls, Crunchy Green Bean Tempura, Sweet and Sticky Veal Ribs with a Malaysian sweet black pepper glaze were served alongside an Asian sampling plate with Peking duck spring rolls, vegetable samosas and jumbo fried prawns. The other half’s favourite dish was the tender ribs that had been cooked for thirty-six hours so the meat literally fell of the bone, I have to say the green bean tempura and samosas were perfect for my veggie tendencies.
As if all of that wasn’t enough food there was still more to come with a sampling of some main course options. Those who love Indian flavours won’t be disappointed with the Tandoori seafood dishes, the Laziz Mahi Tikka which pairs marinated local hammour fish with tandoori spices and served with basmati rice or perhaps jumbo prawns soused in Indian spices and yogurt. Fans of Chinese food can grasp the provided chopsticks to tuck into Asian classics straight from the Wok, Kai Pad Med stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts in oyster sauce and the more exotic stir-fried lobster and scallops in a rich Szechuan sauce.
Not forgetting the last savoury course, the Western specialities of grilled corn-fed chicken with potato-onion ragout and sautéed chanterelle mushrooms and Australian lamb loin served with Mediterranean grilled aubergine, zucchini and asparagus accompaniments. Under the guidance of Park Rotana Executive chef Ted Espiritu, the new Teatro menu offers an incredible assortment of dishes, made from the freshest ingredients and perfectly executed to provide fantastic aromas and flavours. Ever had that occasion where you fancy a pizza but hubby fancies a curry, well that’s not a problem at Teatro as they can satisfy both requirements and many more. Wine connoisseurs will be impressed too as there is an extensive choice of wines on offer displayed in large glass fronted cellars located in the restaurant’s dining area.
A hush descended around the table as my favourite dessert course arrived in the form of The Big Show presented by the chefs themselves. This magnificent large circular platter was filled with an assortment of sweet indulgences that were a treat to the eye and the taste buds. Nestled on a bed of ice was coconut gelato, Banana cigars (fritters) with Dulce de Leche dip (wowzers), Mochi Ice Cream cake, creme brûlée with sorbet, a range of fresh local and exotic fruits and my fave some delectable chocolate truffles on sticks, so yummy!!
Part of the revamp has seen a truly unmissable massive red Teatro logo appear outside the venue and Park Rotana ran an Instagram and Facebook competition offering guests that felt inclined to pose with the larger than life sign the opportunity to win a dinner experience at the restaurant.
I have to say that the ambient Teatro is a perfect dining location with its elegant theatrical style decor, attentive yet unobtrusive service and of course it’s mouth-watering gastronomical delights. It’s niche is offering its guests the unique opportunity to experience an abundance of diverse dishes influenced by the characteristics of several cuisines from different countries all in one place, which is fantastic experience in itself. Grab some friends and head down to the new look Teatro for a global dining experience, don’t forget to try a signature cocktail and most definitely save some room for The Big Show!
Location: Park Rotana Hotel near Khalifa Park, Abu Dhabi
Telephone: 02 657 3333
Teatro is open daily and welcomes guests from 6:00pm till 1:30 am. Dress code: Casual (shorts, slippers and caps are not allowed).
Thank you Park Rotana for the invitation to attend this event. All the views are my own, Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2015. All rights reserved.