Claws Lobster night at Fairways - The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort and Spa

Theme nights, as I have noted before, present  a challenge to F&B Managers and Marketers. How do you entice guests to visit your all-day dining restaurant when signature restaurants have so much more to offer in terms of intimacy, ambience and personalised service? Thus was born the ubiquitous theme night.

Having seen the clever print adds for the Westin's  Claws evening at Fairways, I gave it a try. My last visit to Fairways was for an iftar, and I remember how packed it was with insufficient space between tables. This time, I am pleased to say, tables are well spaced out, affording more room and more privacy.

Canadian lobster display 

We choose one of the booths because my 8 year old has come along. I waste no time in going to see if they really have all those lobster dishes on offer. At the Arabic station I see Lobster sayadia, a Middle Eastern dish similar to kabsa. At the same station I also seem doing lobster grills. The Westin offers Canadian, Omani lobster and Cigali or slipper lobster. However, it is the first two that seem to get the most attention.

I start off with some Fine de Claire oysters. They are fantastic. Deep shells with a lot of water inside. With the exception of a couple. they are well shucked. Probably among tastiest oysters I have had in Abu Dhabi.

Three starters - all a la carte worthy. 
I go for a trio of lobster-based starters. Lobster gazpacho, Lobster coconut ceviche and Lobster prawn cocktail. All three show the possibilities that exist when you have a creative team of chefs who are tasked with allowing an evening's theme to flow into the starters too. The prawn cocktail in particular is a highlight. Fresh mango and avocado plus the fragrant taste of Japanese shiso leaf. very good.

There are three drinks options - soft drinks, sparkling wine and Champagne . For some perspective, I try the Australian Sparkling wine, a Jacob's Creek Brut. Great value. However, they have a Moet Chandon special offer, so I switch to that.
Bubbly options to suit your budget

A visit to the Asian station follows next, and I try some sushi and sashimi. Highly recommended, with more than the usual tuna and salmon options. I also try the miso soup, but the soup is much too salty.
Loved the sushi
Stuffed lobster Torteau - Canadian in the back and Omani in the front.
In quick succession I try a few more lobster dishes. If you have a sweet tooth, the Lobster torteau stuffed with apples is perfect. Excitedly I order some Lobster risotto, one of a few genuine live cooking stations. Unfortunately it is overwhelmed by cheese, and the lobster taste is lost. However, my final two dishes are a credit to their chefs. The Goan lobster curry competes with the Singapore chili lobster for best dish of the day. The tumeric in the Goa curry gives it a gorgeous yellow colour. The Chili lobster has the same sauce from its more well known cousin, Singapore chili crab. Yum. Again, I feel the Westin has nailed it.

Singapore chili lobster 
Goan curry lobster
Finally, dessert has many impressive choices. The 15 or so ice cream flavours will make a child of every adult, especially with its carousel-like presentation. The chocolate souffle from another  live station is  also a favourite with both my daughter and me. It is served with your choice of ice cream with a cold vanilla sauce.

I have commented often on the beauty of Fairways. All-day dining restaurants are generally functional in many aspects and stylistically they seldom have a wow factor. Fairways, though, has  that understated beauty that sets it apart from many others. The earthy colours and the water features are very calming indeed.

Not a bad looking venue. Not at all. Aesthetic appeal

Claws is a unique concept, but it is more than  just a concept. It is actually realized. It is not just a marketing gimmick to attract gullible guests. On the contrary it delivers what it promises - an evening of lobster and more lobster. While it takes place on a Wednesday, a school night, it starts at 18.30, so you can certainly bring your kids without worrying too much about school the next day. My daughter was fine the Thursday, and at breakfast kept talking about the 'cool live' lobsters! With  many seafood nights around the city, this is one that you have to try. In fact, as a theme night, it is unrivaled.

The essentials

The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort and Spa
Every Wednesday 18h30-23h30
02 616 9999

Adult buffet 205 Dhs++
Soft drinks  240 Dhs++
Sparkling, red, white and beer 320 Dhs++
-Glass 95 Dhs net
- Bottle 450 Dhs net

                                                                                                            Pictures thanks to Nokia Creative Studio on my Nokia 1520
Brandon Stoltenkamp