Café Blanc – Lebanese restaurant
Where in Abu Dhabi:
Eastern Mangroves promenade
Tel: 02 677 9881
This restaurant is inspired by the name of a Lebanese drink, the ‘café blanc‘, and serves traditional Lebanese cuisine with a contemporary and more modern twist.
With several outlets around the world, from Egypt to – of course – Lebanon, we were very excited to find out that they just opened in Abu Dhabi.
We tried this brand new restaurant on a lovely mellow evening, and just by walking on the Eastern Mangrove promenade we felt really relaxed: there is something so calming in being near the water!
The restaurant welcomed us with its very colourful and yet very sleek interior with Mediterranean-inspired décor, making for a very joyful atmosphere.
They had tables both inside and outside on the terrace, for those who want to smoke shisha.
As drinks, I ordered an iced tea, raspberry flavoured, and W ordered a frozen mint and lemonade. They arrived at our table with a choice of nuts and they were both really fresh and tasty.
W then ordered a Shawarma Djej (meat, grilled onion and tomato, served with homemade bread, tarator dip and fries), and I ordered an Arayess Halloum (halloumi cheese, parsley, arabic bread with side of rocca leaves and olives).
As sides, we got some halloumi sticks (served with bbq tomato sauce), and some rakakat jibneh (cheese-filled pastries), which came with olives, pickled veggies and a generous serving of bread. It was all hot, tasty and delicious, and we really loved it.
At the end of our meal, we were asked by the chef if we wanted to try some of their desserts, so obviously we accepted!
The super-friendly waitress brought us two cups of a sweet drink: it was café blanc! One was with orange blossom, the other with lemon zest, and both tasted really nice. They were served in very pretty small glasses, and when I asked about it, the waitress told us that the glasses, as well as all the tableware, are custom-made for the restaurant.
The first dessert was a Lebanese take on traditional cheesecake, with a bottom in sweet cream cheese and a jelly top that tasted fresh, fruity and really yummy, with notes of berries and rose. The second one was a cheese ‘knefeh’, a sort of melted cheese pastry with nuts on top and sweet citrus syrup served on the side. They were both delicious! We never tried these desserts before, and we loved them.
We really enjoyed this new restaurant: the food was really yummy, the staff was very friendly, and the view on the water was so relaxing, making for a lovely atmosphere. We will certainly go back for more!!