“Cuisine can be compared to haute couture; ingredients are like models that you must dress to perfection without altering their natural charm!” Chef Roudy
Being in the mood for seafood is something I can never claim to be, as a vegetarian seafood restaurants are not high on my agenda but the other half will always choose a fishy dish if given the choice. Catch Abu Dhabi is a stunning beachfront two-story restaurant located within the St. Regis Nation Riviera Beach Club that we had the priviledge to visit for a late lunch on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
With a menu to suit everyone’s palate I was relieved to see some vegetarian options alongside meat dishes, salads and obviously lots of local and international seafood choices. Head Chef Roudy Petersen and his team offer a larger than expected innovative menu using local and seasonal ingredients that’s packed with appetisers, soups, sushi, sashimi, mains, grills, steaks and desserts. As expected classics such as sea bass, cod, salmon, prawns, oysters and the more indulgent caviar all make an appearance on the menu. A large beverage menu with beers, fine wines and cocktails offer something to accompany all the dishes.
One thing you are guaranteed at Catch is fresh food that’s been cooked to perfection and presented with flair. With so many dishes to choose from it took us a while to decide before opting for appetisers of Salmon Tataki with a shallot and lime dressing and luckily for me my favourite Burrata Cheese with cherry tomatoes and a tangy white balsamic dressing. These two dishes were not the fastest to arrive but it became clear as to why when they were placed in front of us, two plates of food that each resembled a work of art, lovingly decorated and amazing tasting too.
Anticipation was high for the mains and we weren’t disappointed as two more creative dishes were presented to us. The Black Cod with a green papaya salad was served atop a banana leave in a wooden dim sum style basket that the other half ate with sides of wok fried broccoli and green beans with ginger and soya sauce. My organic Quinoa Salad was one of the prettiest dishes I’ve ever eaten, served on a granite stone, this layered salad was topped with cubed watermelon, feta and had a bottom layer of red bell pepper coulis. My only complaint is that the watermelon and feta were such tiny cubes and I would have liked more.
Catch’s famous Melting Chocolate Sphere has been reinvented to resemble a pearl sitting inside its shell. An oyster shell shaped plate had a white chocolate sphere in the centre that was covered in hot chocolate sauce that melted to reveal a centre filled with miniature chocolate brownies and a kumquat compote. A theatrical, calorific (I admit to devouring the whole thing single handedly) and sweetly satisfying end to a fabulous lunch.
Not only is the food memorable but the decor is chic and stylish too. Light and airy the palette of creams, golds and light wood are offset with sea-inspired touches. Driftwood, rope, glass, colourful fish adorned cushions and scales designs on the bar areas and flooring all add to the seafood vibe. A large team of visibly busy chefs congregate at the open sushi bar and in the glass fronted kitchen at the rear of the venue, hand crafting each dish with the tiny colourful flowers and pieces of gold leaf. Our server Sergay was both efficient and engaging, something that enhanced our dining experience.
While downstairs offers luxury seafood dining, upstairs is a party venue which we have frequented before for some drinks. The resident DJ keeps things lively on the chic rooftop, there’s a large bar and terrace with plenty of room for dancing, abundant seating with views across the Arabian Gulf, the only issue seems to be enough customers to fill the sizable space. Tuesday and Saturday are ladies nights and guests can party through the weekend with the Signature Weekend promotions on both Thursday and Friday evenings
Catch is a big fish in a big pond, there are other high-end seafood restaurants in the capital but this upmarket white washed establishment is beautifully inside and out with a menu to match that simply blows the others out of the water. It may not be the most affordable but you get what you pay for and we had a delightful meal, I was impressed with attentive and friendly service too. The food at Catch is picture-perfect with flavours to match, every dish was simply beautiful and hands down it’s the best presented food I’ve eaten in Abu Dhabi.
Catch Abu Dhabi
Location: Nation Riviera Beach Club, Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi
Telephone: 02 611 0909
Opening Times: Daily 12 noon – 1:00am
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I was invited to review Catch Abu Dhabi. The views in this post are all my own based on my experience. Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett 2017. All rights reserved. Final photo used with courtesy of www.catch.ae/