A round of applause for the Art Deco-inspired American brasserie.
Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi knows how to put on a show. As one of the world’s most expensive hotels, it has a reputation for being a luxury dining destination. The hotel is already home to MICHELIN-starred restaurants and that golden cappuccino, which is topped with 24 carat gold flakes. Now, the curtain has risen on its latest restaurant, Broadway – and it’s a showstopper.
Broadway is a homegrown restaurant that combines the Old and New World. The concept pitches itself as a French brasserie serving British comfort food with an American influence. To the casual diner, the venue wouldn’t look out of place at its namesake, Broadway, New York, which is home to more than 40 theatres. The entrance feels like a nod to the theatreland district, from the logo’s Art Deco font in neon lights to the West Side Story-style ladders in the background.
Tom Kooij, Director of Food and Beverage of Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, Abu Dhabi explained: “Broadway is set to break the mould of hotel dining. This innovative concept is the perfect accompaniment to a night at the Auditorium Theatre – where heightened theatrics meet gastronomic delights, where classics are given a creative spin, and where guests are welcomed as family.”
When you enter Broadway in Emirates Palace, it feels like you are stepping back in time. The venue draws its inspiration from the 1920s to create a relaxed yet refined experience. Sure, there are chandeliers, high ceilings and red leather booths, but also exposed bricks, high tables and communal tables. Thanks to the different areas indoors and outdoors, guests can come for after-work drinks, dazzling dinners and live entertainment. Look out for the white rabbit, which leads to a magic show in the theatre.
We sit in a cosy corner, which is perfect for privacy, and settle into the black leather sofa by the black table. Make sure you have a wander – we spot a jukebox, vinyl records, and Les Misérables and Phantom of the Opera painted on the wall.
Broadway in Emirates Palace has smart, smiley staff who are dressed to impress with blazers, and knowledgeable about the menu. The menu covers bar snacks, starters, mains, Josper grill, sharing plates, sides, desserts and cheese.
We start with the Blooming Onion, which takes the humble onion ring and elevates it to a thing of beauty. The pieces are positioned like a flower and create a pretty presentation. The Truffle and Parmesan Tarter Tots are crispy texture on the outside and soft on the inside, and it is does not suffer from a case of the UAE’s truffle overload.
The USDA Prime Tenderloin is cooked to perfection to create an oh-so juicy meat, and served with a confit garlic, watercress and a choice of sauce. Vegetarians will not be disappointed, as the dishes range from Mac and Cheese to Spinach and Ricotta Agnolotti. Plus, the Roasted Cauliflower Steak has crispy capers and a smoky finish.
The dessert menu gives comfort food a glamorous upgrade, and ranges from a Baked Alaska to Chocolate Tart. The Sticky Toffee Pudding is one of the best we have ever tasted, and combines a wonderfully warm soft sponge with cool clotted cream. The Raspberry Cheesecake is a smooth yet sharp delight.
Broadway in Emirates Palace’s drinks menu brings the razzamatazz. The bar includes a range of wines by the glass and craft beers on tap, which put regional microbreweries in the limelight. Classic cocktails have been given a twist and take you on a history lesson: Hemingway is inspired by the man who invented Ernest Hemmingway’s favourite drink, Daiquiri; Mary Pickford was created for the actress when she travelled with Charlie Chaplin; and The Colony Cocktail is a prohibition-era drink.
Dinner and a show is a tried and tested formula in the UAE, but often feels like two supporting acts and no main event. At Broadway in Emirates Palace, everything plays a leading role, from the dinner to the décor. The concept has been executed with old-school charm and class, and that never goes out of style. Encore, please.
GO: Follow @broadway.uae on Instagram for more information.