Today we are visiting The St. Regis Abu Dhabi to try the revamped menu at Azura Panoramic Lounge. For those that have not previously visited, Azura is spread across three unique levels, the top level being for dining whist the other levels lend themselves more to drinks and light bites. We make our way up to the top level. The décor is light with natural tones and plush comfortable seating. The views are spectacular and as the name suggests Azura truly does offer panoramic dining with sweeping Corniche views all to the backdrop of the Arabian Gulf.
It is somewhat fresh this evening and the team do offer us blankets and a heater, although the breeze coming off the ocean its quite refreshing after a day in the office. Some may remember the previous menu which offered a tapas style of dining, that has now been replaced with the new revamped menu that focus more on hearty Mediterranean dishes. The menu is easy to navigate and is split into appetizers, soups, mains, sides, Azura signature table grills and desserts. We do debate ordering Azura signature table grill, made to be shared by two guests the table grill offers a choice of seafood grill AED 500 or meat grill AED 400 and comes with mixed salad, steamed rice and steak fries. Eventually we decide against it, mainly because I would prefer the seafood and my dining companion would rather the meat, so unable to agree we opt to select our own dishes.
Wanting something light and warm on this cool evening I start with Lentil Soup. My dining companion opts for the Grilled King Crab Legs served in a mouth-watering herb butter. Seeing the portion size of the crab legs I offer my assistance. Chef has done well to add just the right amount of seasoning to the crab legs, allowing us to also enjoy the rich seafood flavours without overpowering the crab. The Lentil Soup is not the usual yellow style we have come accustom to in the UAE but instead chef has opted for brown lentils with thick vegetables.
We have a choice of six main dishes to choose from, my dining companion selects the chef’s choice of Short Rib Burger – slow cooked USDA short rib on the bone, taleggio cheese, fresh basil, chipotle sauce with duck fat potato fries. I opt for the Black Cod with Miso – soy, pickled ginger, bok choy and Asian dressing. The mains are served piping hot and nicely presented. The Black Cod is perfectly cooked and glides off the fork, to the taste the light miso undertones are evident. The USDA short rib is a great protein, although we would prefer the rib to be served pulled, as it is slightly difficult to eat and the overwhelming taste of the ribs (as good as they are) do distract from the other flavors.
We cannot deny that Azura offers exceptional value for money, remember we are dining at a St. Regis, the portion sizes are extremely generous, and prices are in line with most fine dining restaurants in the city. That said had we known in advance the portion size we may not have ordered the sides, Steak Fries and Steamed Broccoli with Almonds. Wanting to end on a sweet note we opt to share the Blueberry Crème Brulee, the contrast of sweet and slight acidity of the blueberries makes for a fine finish to our dining experience.
Personally, we enjoyed our time at Azura. I would have liked to have seen a few more vegetarian options on the menu and a few lighter dishes, that said if you like seafood or meat the menu will cater well to your requirements.
Azura is a stunning venue and its views are unrivaled, service is, as one would except from a St. Regis impeccable, this is an ideal venue for a group of friends looking for a relaxing ambiance to catch up over a nice meal.
Lentil Soup, AED 50
Grilled King Crab Legs, AED 180
Short Rib Burger, AED 165
Black Cod, AED 160
Steak Fries, AED 45
Steamed Broccoli, AED 45
Blueberry Crème Brulee, AED 65
Azura Panoramic Lounge, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, +971 2 694 4553