Bar review: Stills restaurant and bar at the Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi
No matter how satisfied you are, there’s Stills more to come…
On a Sunny summer afternoon in the capital, we walk into what is prided as being Abu Dhabi’s longest bar. So naturally, we expect miles and miles of bar, with a cloud of indulgence and the scent of freshly poured pitchers. But we’re in for a surprise.
Yas Island’s Stills, on the ground level of the Crowne Plaza, is much more than any regular sports bar. With swift, friendly service and a menu that focuses on fresh, locally grown produce like a lot of the capital’s eateries have deftly adapted to, the kitchen packs an impressive spread. It’s comprehensive, diverse, and makes you want to linger on at the business, so you can keep ordering and enjoying both the food and the ambience.
We’re introduced to an elaborate, full-fledged selection that can cater to the party enjoying a football game, catching up with buddies or just docking to experience a complete dining experience. The staff are quick to highlight Stills’ focus on fresh food. “People are all about healthy eating and supporting local these days”, our server says.
We’re recommended the incredibly flavourful mushroom flatbread (Dhs65) fermented overnight, and Mediterranean spiced prawns (Dhs145) when we opt for a lighter afternoon spread. Which is not to say they don’t serve up impressive entrees, like the Polynesian crispy chicken burger (Dhs95) and the Philly cheese steak sandwich (Dhs110), which make us wish we’d visited with bigger appetites.
A cursory glance at the television screens, and the Gunners are two-nil up. But we don’t register who they’re playing, with urgent matters on our plate like a delectable duality of tarty cranberry, married with a crunchy pumpkin seed emulsion amid bites of shaven cauliflower salad (Dhs65). This dish starts out light but quickly gathers steam, the wondrous amalgamation of flavours and superfoods it is.
Back to the mushroom flat bread, which holds its crispiness for over thirty minutes after it descends on our table. You’d be excused for forgetting your manners and diving right in, such is its astounding aroma. Roasted whipped eggplant (Dhs55) jostles for space, served with fennel and onion flat bread. But it quickly takes centre stage with the right amount of smokiness and a cooling aura that helps greatly when we’re seaside in the summer.
Banging bass and sun-soaked seating are a beautiful pairing at Stills, but they’re not the only combo we’ll remember this spot for. Fantastic food and excellent service. Views of the water and mocktails to match. Stills is no regular sports bar, and if you’re looking for a little brochure advertising a selection of five bar bites, that will come as the only disappointment here.
What’s On’s Verdict: When Saturday afternoon comes-a-calling and you roll out of bed wondering where to get your eats in, this no-nonsense sports bar-style restaurant with a hulking menu is the place to be.
Stills Bar and Restaurant, Crowne Plaza, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Sun-Thurs 12pm to 1am, Fri and Sat 12pm to 2am. Tel: (0)2 656 3066. @stillsyasisland