Bar review: Amano, Eastern Mangroves
When people use the term ‘sundowner spot’, a view is usually implied. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s impossible to enjoy sunset drinks in a windowless basement, but it’s the visual component rather than any arbitrary time stamp that gives the experience warmth.
We’re dissecting this classification because sundowner spots are having a wee bit of a moment in Abu Dhabi. And why not — there’s more than enough variety in the source material to support the medium. A quick inventory check of the capital list o’vistas, reveals such potential panoramas as beaches, desert dunes, island waves, golf courses, tower top urban sprawl, coastal crawl and of course the emirate’s gorgeous green crop of mangroves canopies.
A lot of the latter is what you’ll find running along the foot of the Eastern Mangroves promenade’s new F&B additions. Amongst the fold are a Japanese restaurant with conjoined Korean speakeasy and Amano, an Italian flavoured ‘Bar and Kitchen’ concept. We’ve waited until golden hour before coming to check Amano out, and just based on those rustic Tuscan looks alone — it’s clear that it’s Amano’ many talents.
We’ve got one of the best seats in the house, looking directly over the botanical hem that zips up the edge of the mangrove forest. The sun’s waning light paints flickering dimples on the water, and to match the glow — we’ve ordered a pair of amber spritzes.
They arrive as we’re approaching the end of our menu deliberations. There are substantial plates on offer, pizzas and pastas, salads, soups, ‘secondi’ and sweets, but we’re in the mood for light bites and the housemade foccacia (a complimentary perk for patrons), along with some calamari fritta (Dhs48) feels like sufficient filling for the evening.
Amano is a very attractive project — the royal hues of whites and blues blend smartly and both the interior and exterior space have been put together under the direction of an eye for style. An additional side benefit is that Amano is located just in front of the Sea Hawk kayak safari terminal, and the gentle stream of intrepid mangrove adventurers provides triple-A people-watching opportunities.
Verdict: There’s no doubt that the view is amongst the strongest components of Amano’s allure, certainly a more compelling hook than the cuisine. But there’s plenty ‘amore’ to charm you into coming — including the sparkling ambiance and exciting weekly promotions.
Amano, Al Kheeran, Eastern Mangrove, daily midday to 11pm. Tel: (055) 128 8635, @amano_easternmangroves