“The earth does not belong to us. We belong to the earth.” Waterlemon
Waterlemon, not to be confused with Watermelon (it’s a play on the word that makes you question if you are having a bout of dyslexia), is a new boutique cafe and juice bar that has opened in the capital’s newest hotspot, Al Bateen Wharf. Already a popular concept in Lebanon and Kuwait, Waterlemon here in Abu Dhabi is offering diners a menu of fresh and healthy dishes as well as some indulgent desserts.
Inspired by nature, this eco-friendly large casual dining cafe offers both modern indoor and outdoor dining spaces. We visited for lunch and chose to sit inside, it was too sweltering to venture out even in late April so I predict this space will be pretty much empty for alfresco dining until we reach the cooler months from October onwards. The parasol covered outdoor terrace has picturesque views overlooking the array of beautiful boats moored in the marina, the Al Marasy residential complex and the shining Etihad Towers beyond. This area has been under construction for some years but it seems that the new dining concepts that now line the waterfront have sprung up in record time since the hoardings suddenly disappeared.
The menu is a gallery of professional photos of some of the dishes, a concept I usually associate with those beachside restaurants in Spanish holiday resorts. The Waterlemon menu couldn’t be more different than those sticky plastic holiday menus, this is an upmarket sleek and glossy representation of the food and the venue itself.
We started with drinks, trying the AV Specials, thick healthier drinks made with plenty of blended avocado combined with either cream, honey with almonds, mango or strawberry. Quite an acquired taste, worth a try if you fancy something a little different, I recommend the strawberry version, that after a good stir was quite tasty. Other drink options include the classics, coolers, cosmopolitans and coffee freezes as well as a selection of hot drinks.
Myself and my fellow three diners were there to sample the menu so ordered a selection of different dishes. The most notable starter was my multi-coloured Nachos topped with melted cheese and served with sour cream and guacamole, other starters included the Dynamite Shrimp, the Waterlemon Salad and the Hot Buffalo Wings served with a blue cheese dip.
For the main course, I choose my usual go-to dish of Burrata, unfortunately, the Waterlemon version looked appetising but was disappointing, the cheese was hard and stringy and the bowl filled with a liquid like a soup. My dining companions munched their way through a Cuban Burger with avocado salsa, Shrimp Lemongrass served on a bed of fennel risotto and a underwhelming steak.
The black dough Goats Cheese and Vegetable Pizza was very photogenic but we were all rather full to do it justice (it was boxed to go). A serve yourself salad bar is another bonus for those who like to eat healthier and chose their own flavours, there are thirty different items to choose from including fresh greens, vegetables, fruits, grains, cheeses, pasta, quinoa amongst others.
The highlight of the meal was the desserts. My choice of the layered kit-kat and chocolate brownie stack was served with vanilla ice cream and the most popular at our table, it looked and tasted divine. The visually appealing strawberry pavlova is always a summer favourite, the banana tart was a little blander than I hoped and the crispy chocolate chunks were tasty but not overly remarkable.
The food was hit and miss but I did enjoy the desserts and the more unusual av specials were good, I would definitely go back for the nachos alone. Marsa Al Bateen is an impressive waterfront dining destination, a much needed new place to dine in Abu Dhabi with some good venues, both new and old and the added bonus of plenty of parking.
Location: Marsa Al Bateen Waterfront, Al Bateen
Opening hours: 8:00am to 11:30pm
Telephone : 02 635 5050
I was invited to visit Waterlemon UAE. The views in this post are all my own based on my experience. Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett 2017. All rights reserved. Interior photo used with courtesy of WaterlemonUAE