Its the end of the weekend, and the last thing on your mind would be facing work the next day (sometimes). Don’t we all deserve a nice break? A nice lazy break. How about a Saturlaze? What is this “Saturlaze” you ask? Well, being one of the most beautiful restaurants I’ve seen in a long time, the fisherman-hut-resembling structure that sits right on the pier of the Beach Rotana in Abu Dhabi, Finz, presents itself as an absolute farm (sea, in this case) to plate sort of concept. Interiors of beautiful white, that take you away from the worries of everyday life, along with a gorgeous view of Al Maryah Island and the water before it, dining here can be very…addictive. A very lazy lunch on Saturday with seafood? I couldn’t ask for more!
Entering a New World
It is quite difficult to me to talk about “the ambiance” of a venue, or the “quality of seating” at a restaurant, given my passion for food only. However, there are some cases where I really can’t help, but praise the interiors of a restaurant. Especially when it just works on my mind and puts it in trance with the divine aspects of peace and relaxation.
I guess one of the most beautiful parts of this restaurant has to be the display of seafood…
The again, one mustn’t get lost only in the sheer simplicity of the venue, but the food as well. However, I do have to mention that the background “House Chill Music” definitely set the mood!
Let me break this down for you. The food is absolutely fresh – no question about that. Sometimes however, you may find the menu a bit “limited” or “too short” (the Saturlaze Menu, I mean). Rest assured, the food served is sure to fill you up! Before I go into finer details, the menu set up for this lunch is a set menu – plate service if you will. I strongly feel that this is an absolutely beautiful way to dine, especially, with 3-4 hours on your time and the views that are just out for grabs. No this isn’t a brunch, it’s a lunch.
The service at this restaurant is incredible! With warm staff to attend to you and make sure your lazy Saturday lunch is to be termed as an experience, I just found that Finz did a very interesting take on something extremely simple…bread.
It’s the most basic thing, I know, but Finz puts an interesting twist to it. You get four types of bread, one stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes, the other with seaweed and rosemary, and one with squid ink stuffed with squid meat, and the other is a mini-baguette. Well, if you ask me, I couldn’t stop savoring the seaweed one. Serving this with creamy butter and sea salt, gives you every imagination, rather it hits every nook and cranny of your brain that has anything to do with the seaside. And that is the beauty of it! Isn’t it? To feel one with a restaurant that is going to serve you its array of food.
Something to drink…
With a bit of looking around and deciding what to order, we couldn’t help but notice the magnificent views of this place, so I did a bit of snooping around…
Does this look a bit familiar?
I must admit that the bread and the cocktails did fill us up quite a bit, but we powered through. First in line, was a beautiful Seafood Stand. Essentially, it is an array of prawns, mussels, oysters, ceviché of salmon, crab and tuna, as well as a range of dippings, including a thousand island dressing and a saffron aioli.
A very beautiful seafood stand indeed. I’ve usually seen this in buffets, but one served right to your table is definitely interesting. Taste-wise? Well, Can’t really say a lot but the fact that everything you eat here is extremely fresh. I would also put my bets on the salmon ceviché, cause that was really good! Oh and the saffron aioli makes a nice pair to kick up a bit of acidity with the food.
Moving on to the second course, was a Shellfish Spaghettini. Essentially spaghettini tossed in a lobster bisque sauce, served with prawns, mussels and asparagus.
Keeping in line with the theme of the restaurant, seafood that is, I must say that this dish was..refreshing. Of course, I wouldn’t laud a lot when it came to the spaghettini (as I found it a bit off to serve pasta at this seafood place), however, as mentioned before, the seafood was absolutely fresh! Paired up with a beautiful lobster bisque sauce (which could be a bit more thick and saucy), this plate was actually light and kept us ready to try on the mains!
As Finz calls it, we were given a choice for a Catch of The Day, between a grilled barramundi, tuna or a salmon. This was served with a few sharable sides of tabouleh, cous cous, brown rice and tahini.
I was definitely expecting a lot more. However, trying to plate all that down (right from the bread at the beginning), and you’d start wishing you wouldn’t order more. It’s not “heavy”, it’s just that you get full soon. However, I must say that the simplicity that Finz aims at hits all the sweet spots. Getting to capture the essence of the theme of the restaurant, which is seafood, is what has been done exactly right! I couldn’t ask for more.
To sweeten things up, we were given a dessert platter that consisted of a Crème Catalan, an orange and almond cake, spiced fig and dark chocolate tart, and chocolate macaroons.
I can definitely vouch for the macaroons and the figs. Hitting just the right notes to balance out that seafood flavor, these two were primarily light and refreshing. More so, I couldn’t help but notice the cute way the macaroons were served in.
Finz is a beautiful restaurant that sits off the pier at Beach Rotana and promises a very relaxing meal, very fresh oysters and a good selection of bubbles. With a cozy yet elegant setting, I’d urge you to hurry and try the outdoor seating, before the weather kicks in! Of course, if summer dinners will not be bad! Can’t imagine how beautiful this place would look at in the night!