Review: Lovely waterfront setting but not all of the dishes work Discuss this article

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T he lights are shining brightly as we arrive at Al Bateen marina, especially the illuminated sign that welcomes visitors to the waterfront promenade. It’s the place to be, or rather, eat, at the moment. From trendy restaurants to casual coffee shops and stylish cafés – there’s something for everyone here.

Located half way along the marina’s strip of eateries is Waterlemon (and, no, that’s not a typo). The café’s décor is fresh: pistachio green-upholstered chairs slide under charcoal table tops, floor-to-ceiling windows allow natural light to stream in during the day. There’s also an outdoor deck that offers views over the picturesque marina and the Etihad Towers cluster.

The menu offers plenty of choice (perhaps a little too much, it’s hard to keep the quality high when there’s so much going on).

Buffalo hot wings are a good place to start. The portion is generous, as is the kick from the Tabasco, but it’s calmed by a dunk into the blue cheese dip. The chicken is succulent. We devour the whole lot like Fred Flintstone would with a portion of dinosaur ribs.

The cheerful staff are happy to engage in some friendly banter. But we weren’t laughing after ordering the grilled salmon on his suggestion. It’s served on a bed of pesto moghrabieh, (a kind of Arabic couscous that’s chewier than usual). Dollops of mango puree add tasty punches to the dish, the fish is dry and the accompanying grilled veggies are cold and lack flavour.

The Ulti-meat Pizza (turkey ham, beef chorizo, beef bacon and meatballs) is soggy and despite all the toppings, it’s just not very tasty.

The chocolate dome saves the day, however. Inside is a rich brownie and there’s vanilla ice cream on the side. It’s everything you want from a dessert – gooey, indulgent and irresistible.

A lovely place, but could do with more focus on the food.

The bill (for two)
1 x Buffalo hot wings Dhs42
1 x Ulti-meat Pizza Dhs85
1 x grilled salmon Dhs95
1 x chocolate dome Dhs49
1 x large water Dhs16
1 x small water Dhs10
Total (excluding taxes) Dhs297

The bottom line
A cute café where quantity wins over quality.

Time Out Abu Dhabi,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.


  • Location: Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 635 5050
  • Travel: Al Bateen Wharf, Al Bateen

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