Rosewater at Jumeirah Etihad Towers - Elegantly casual

Rosewater is housed in Jumeirah Etihad Towers,  a sleek hotel with a gleaming glass finish. It was my third visit to this hotel, having dined at Rosewater before and had a not-so-memorable afternoon tea experience in the lobby lounge. On that particular occasion we made the mistake of going for afternoon tea during Eid, and the arrival/parking situation was an absolute nightmare. This is a common issue with hotels in Abu Dhabi. Planners could do better when designing this aspect of a hotel. I am pleased to report that while it was still a bit of a messy affair when we arrived this time, it was better managed.

The lobby area is quite breathtaking. Natural light is a key feature with magnificent floor to ceiling windows. There are also magnificent chandeliers which provide light and adds to the airy feel of the lounge. Off -white coloured seating options enhance this. Rosewater can be found to the right as one enters the lobby, one level below.

I liked my last visit to Rosewater, and this was to be no different. On arrival the hostess for the evening greeted us and told us that she would guide us through the buffet. She then explained each station and I thought this was great customer service. So many high end restaurants assume that people know how these things work.

We used a Groupon voucher which entitled us to 4 drinks for 2 people. Because it was Ramadan, there were no alcoholic drinks so we settled on some very refreshing mocktails. I recommend Groupon by the way. I have used them about 7 times and happy on all occasions.

The spread is not big at all. If you are accustomed to the grand buffets of Fairways at The Westin or Sofra at Shangri-La, you will be disappointed. However, I actually did not mind the modest looking selections. Sometimes one does get tired when there are too many options. Furthermore, the number of tables justify a smaller spread. Rosewater features Salad, Cold mezze, Japanese,  Grill, Indian, Asian, Arabic and Dessert stations. The Grill station was rather disappointing judging by the choices on offer. This disappointment continued when I learned that the only sashimi on offer was tuna! My daughter was thrilled though with the pasta station and through the night, had 4 small servings. They have 9 different types of pasta and 5 different sauces. While not very child friendly in terms of what is on offer, this certainly would be a hit with kids!

I really wanted sashimi, so went with the only option which was the tuna. Not that fresh I must say. I had the seafood salad which was amazing. I followed this up with a green salad. After this I had the tortellini which was very good. The key was the white sauce. The dessert station had the usual mousse variations. However, I enjoyed the fresh fruit. The passion fruit in particular was a highlight.

Overall, I liked Rosewater. I think the restaurant has a beautiful design and the size lends itself to a quiet evening. The best part of my experience though was the service. It was slick, without being robotic and had that Shangri-la human feel to it. Highly recommended.