Destination: Somewhere in Abu Dhabi…

While its original café at Dubai Mall has stylish bookstore-esque features with views of the Dubai Fountain, the newly opened Somewhere at Abu Dhabi Marina Mall presents a more Arabesque look and feel, with yellow and golden details, pastel-coloured knick-knacks and pops of green foliage.

The cafe’s concept is simple: to promote the thrill of travelling and exploring the unknown. ‘Let us take you on a journey somewhere’ is a notion that’s reflected on the menu with fusion dishes taking inspiration from travels around the globe.

Despite its newcomer status, the aesthetically pleasing venue has already drawn large crowds. There is both interior seating as well as a terrace that expands into the mall. Lunchtime is bustling as we take a seat indoors under the art-speckled dome. To begin, we quench our thirst with the Somewhere mocktail (Dhs41), which blends watermelon, with passionfruit.

A quick scan of the food menu paired with helpful tips from the staff, and our order is in. We kick off proceedings with the falafel salad (Dhs61), crispy mini bite-sized patty-shaped fritters tossed in tahini sauce and greens. The creamy hummus dip, topped with tender chopped black Angus beef (Dhs47), is next, which we scoop up like ice cream with mini fluffy Kuboos, and surprise-bites of pine nuts mixed in.

somewhere abu dhabi

We turn our attention to the four-piece shrimp kunafa (Dhs55) sitting like a tall crown on our table – an Arabic, culinary play on shrimp tempura, we’re told. The crispy golden kunafa is woven almost spindle-like around the tender prawns and has a pleasing crunch that’s satisfying on the palate. There are spicy hints, which pair well with the tartar sauce and sweet pomegranate seeds. For the chicken shawarma baos (Dhs41 for two), we tilt our heads and take our first bite, savouring the all-too-familiar garlic sauce and tender chicken with crispy sweet potato toppings. Both dishes are ones we would order again.

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Lastly on our Middle Eastern culinary journey is the shrimp sayadiyah (Dhs95) – the pot rice with caramelised onions and tender spicy shrimp, cooked in fish sauce, and doused in a tomato soup-like sauce. Coming together in perfect harmony, we’re glad it was recommended by the team.

Somewhere DESSERT

For dessert, fans of rose-flavoured treats will fall in love with the four-tiered rose ice cream sandwich (Dhs37), topped with popping candy and white candy floss. And while that might sound like enough dessert for one mealtime, don’t leave without trying the Cerelac umm ali (Dhs55), a tasty oven-baked pudding served with cereal milk. Pro tip: ask the servers to help you out, as their expertise will ensure you try all the best bits. To round off our afternoon, we pair dessert with a bitter iced Turkish coffee (Dhs33).

WHAT’S ON VERDICT: A reasonably priced, eye-catching café. We’ll be back to try the rest of the menu.

Somewhere, Marina Mall, Al Kasir, Abu Dhabi. Sun to Thurs 12pm to 10pm, Fri to Sat 12pm to 12am, Tel: (0)56 141 5517. @somewhere

Images: Somewhere and What’s On