c.taste, Centro Capital, Abu Dhabi

The city is awash with high end hotels offering fantastic dining options, and there are more set to open in the next couple of years. But there seems to be a dearth of mid range hotels with dining which offer a nice balance between a great price, food, service and ambience. However, I am pleased to say that the Centro brand is plugging that gap very well.

You may recall I wrote a post a couple of months ago  about Centro Al Manhal's Friday brunch : http://mitsukiemma.blogspot.ae/2014/02/c-taste-centro-al-manhal-abu-dhabi.html. On this ocassion, I had the chance to visit c.taste at its sister hotel at the Capital Gate Centre. For those who are wondering 'Capital Gate Centre?' It is in the ADNEC  area.

Lovely views from the roof top swimming pool area. . 

I have always liked the Centro brand: modern, simple, great value and service to match. While they target business travellers and exhibition visitors, a family going out for dinner here will not feel out of place. This is due to the warmth of the lobby when one walks in: the art pieces that they they use go a long way to making this happen, as does the soft lighting.

c.taste,  based on my dining experience at their Airport road hotel, has a simple concept: good food and drinks at at a fraction of the cost you would pay at higher end restaurants. It is no different here.

This c.taste restaurant itself continues the art motif started in the lobby, with oversized abstract pieces which are visible in the dining area. Very large mirrors too are smartly used to create a sense of space. I liked this. When one has booth style seating, how much fun is it staring at a wall? Finally, the wooden floors are modern yet quaint. Loved it.

Very spacious seating. 
The buffet area is centrally positioned. It is not large, but has more than enough choices. As you walk into the buffet area there is basically a square buffet station with options on the four sides: a wonderful choice of salads, a wide selection of mezze and desserts which includes fresh fruit, cakes and mousses. In close proximity are the the hot dishes, which on this occasion included soup, pasta and grills. There are not that many hot dishes, but then again, and this is a question I have been asking a lot lately, how many choices do you really need? The seven or so hot on offer here are more than enough.

Classic Arabic mezze on offer.
Salads a plenty at the salad bar.
The concept of simplicity does not detract from the overall experience. It enhances it. 

Anything to reconsider? I think they could look at the wine list and pricing. I find that the wine list is a bit too ambitious, and rather than have  a list of so many expensive wines, they could focus on a few and make sure that everything listed on the list is then available. Two of my choices were not available. Also, the prices are a bit steep in relation to the meal. How many guests are going to buy a glass of wine (I think the cheapest available was 45Dhs) that is half the price of the meal? I recommend a few wines that could go for about 25 - 35 Dhs. There are some lovely Chilean wines out there. In fact, Wolfblass, an  Australian wine, is a decent wine at that price. Other than this, though, it was a perfect evening.

Part of the dessert station. Enjoyable!
The service at c.taste is very attentive without being obsequious. I have written often about service that can go to another extreme and be just as annoying as poor service, and that is service that is just too much. I think they have a nice balance here.

To sum up, as was the case with my previous Centro c.taste experience, I enjoyed this. What I liked over and above the service, great value for money and food, was that this c.taste has a different character to the c.taste on Airport road. This makes it possible to visit both without feeling they are mere copies of each other. What is that? Well, you would have to find out.

The low down

Breakfast 75 Dhs net (incl soft drinks)
Lunch and Dinner 95 Dhs net (incl soft drinks)
Soup and salad buffet 65  Dhs net