Market Kitchen, located in the newly renovated Le Royal Meridien hotel in Abu Dhabi, is inspired by Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s concept of the “hotel as home”. It’s interior is impressive and best described as casual elegance. The space has two levels and feels open and airy. At every turn, the eye falls on a natural element like carefully pruned trees or something that sparkles and shines like a dimly lit candle. There’s a variety of seating options from bar side seating to traditional dining tables, to decorated nooks with a combination of chairs and a cushioned bench. Although the restaurant is extended as a casual family kitchen, it is well-appointed and suitable for a romantic date night.
The menu is inspired by the “greatest hits” of classic Jean-Georges Vongerichten cuisine featuring fresh, bold ingredients. The food tastes like the perfect fusion of American and Asian flavors. We started with Grilled Jumbo Shrimp and a chopped lettuce salad with apples, avocado, pecans and blue cheese. The shrimp were actually prawn-sized and both dishes were ample enough for sharing. For my entree, I selected the Soy Glazed Beef Short Ribs with Apple-Jalepeno Puree and Rosemary Crumbs, a traditional American dish with an Asian twist. The combination of flavors and textures paired nicely; the meat was savory and the flavorings were light and sweet. After being slow cooked for six hours, the rib was tender and infused with ingredients. In true American style, I paired the rib with a side of mashed potatoes – sheer perfection. My guest enjoyed the Grilled Lamb Chops with Ratatouille and a side of steamed broccoli. The lamb chops were well prepared but the star of this plate was clearly the Ratatouille, a mix of peppers and vegetables tossed in a refreshing sauce.
The service was great. We were greeted and seated immediately. Between management, who were well versed with the menu and the restaurant’s history, to servers all of our needs were met. Members of the staff also suggested that we end the night with a visit to Stratos, Abu Dhabi’s revolving lounge, bar and grill. The lavishly appointed space boasts, lush seating arrangements, 360 degree views of the city and a master Mixologist who prepares custom drinks based your personal palette. Stratos is definitely an upscale, hotspot for the grown and sexy. It was the perfect way to end the evening and we are grateful to the Market Kitchen management team for making the suggestion.
Market Kitchen is located in a prime location within an exquisite hotel. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal and appreciate having the option to enjoy other outlets in the same location. I truly appreciate how well American cuisine translated for the menu; it’s not the typical gourmet burger and fries. Whether you’re an expat seeking an elegant taste of home or a couple seeking an awesome night out, Market Kitchen (with a pop in to Stratos) is definitely worth a try.