Review: Ba:TE in Abu Dhabi
Proof that there’s no such thing as too much cherry blossom…
We thought we’d seen all the most beautiful and Instagrammable restaurants in Abu Dhabi, but then Ba:TE came along and blew them all out of the water. If you like your restaurant’s extravagant, flamboyant and very photo-worthy, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Overlooking the serene waters of the Mangrove National Park, the expansive terrace is sure to be a big hit during the cooler months. But the inside is just as stunning. Describing itself as fine-dining Japanese infused with Korean and Peruvian influences, every corner is adorned with handmade lanterns, artworks and traditional Korean artefacts. Providing a full cultural immersion into the flavours and culture of the east, the chef and many of the staff are Korean. Part of the dining room is even set inside an enormous lantern (it’s less weird than it sounds, believe us).
But the real highlight lies inside an unremarkable-looking green cupboard. Like a scene straight from Narnia, the wooden doors open to reveal a passageway into Abu Dhabi’s coolest hidden bar, Jumak.
Backing up our theory that you can never have too much fake cherry blossoms, half the ceiling of Jumak is covered in picturesque pink blooms. The whole place is next-level cool, and the food and drinks are just as extra as the décor.
After sipping our way through fun test-tube welcome drinks, we find that the extensive menu holds an overwhelming array of sushi and ceviche to choose from. So instead, we opt for a platter that includes a bit of everything (Dhs329). Served on a massive three-tiered construction, it’s overflowing with dry ice and greenery. But it’s far from style over substance. The maki rolls are sensational, including some unique and unusual varieties such as white kimchi and moromi miso, alongside explosively flavoursome ceviche and silky salmon nigiri.
Everything is made with top-quality ingredients and expert skill. The apple and seaweed salad is delightfully refreshing without being too fishy, while the wagyu croquettes get devoured in seconds.
The main courses are mainly clay pots, robata grills and skewers. While the Ansim steak (Dhs218) is super tasty with a topping of spicy teriyaki and pickled cucumber, the black cod clay pot (Dhs189) is a little bland and the only dish that doesn’t quite hit the mark.
The creative, oriental-themed mixed drinks are well worth a try, and saving room for a bite of indulgent chocolate fondant (Dhs61) should be compulsory.
What’s On Verdict: Ideal for date nights or birthdays, Ba:TE is an experience to remember.
Eastern Mangroves Promenade, Al Salam Street. Mon to Thur, 5pm to midnight, Fri and Sat 1pm to 1am, Sun 1pm to midnight. Tel: (0)2 632 5272. @bateabudhabi
Words: Harriet Shepherd
Images: Supplied by Ba:TE