Jazz&Fizz - Sofitel Corncihe Abu Dhabi

The Sofitel Corniche Abu Dhabi has been awarded Leading Business hotel in Abu Dhabi two years in a  row. Quite an achievement in this competitive environment. Business hotels have a reputation for being rather soulless places full of suit clad men with brief cases hanging around lobbies. I generally think these narrow judgements don't do anyone favours because not many things in life are as clear cut. There is a lot of grey in between. I am always curious to find the soul behind the concrete when I visit a reputed business hotel. As I walk into Jazz&Fizz, Sofitel's bar and lounge, I am optimistic. My plan is to start off with a couple drinks and then go to Silk&Spice for a Thai dinner, seeking that element of soul.

Opulent chandeliers.
The lighting is perfect as I walk in. Dim lighting as you would expect, but lighting that serves to highlight a stunning bar area that is well lit up. Chandeliers are equally arresting as I continue to walk around. It is not a Thursday, but it is already full at 19h30! The lounge is in an L-shape, with one part facing the bar and the  other more secluded or removed, but both giving a view of the band - tonight the band is not playing, but the music is, how shall I describe it, house with a twist of jazz, staying true to the name of the bar.

Tonight I want to get both the jazz and the fizz. Having walked in and picked up the house jazz beats, It is time for the fizz. I look at the drinks menu and I am thrilled to see 16 by-the-glass wine options. As I visit lounges mostly by myself, I appreciate it when an outlet has so many by-the-glass options. In addition, there are also three sparkling options - Laurent Perrier Brut,  NV Laurent Perrier Brut Rosé  and a  NV Prosecco le Colline. 

However, I am looking for something that says 'Sofitel' - Something with a bit of soul. I can drink Laurent Perrier at half a dozen hotels in the city. I need something quintessential Sofitel. I am enthralled when the sommelier recommends Pol Roger Brut Reserve as my Champagne for the night. I am sold. He pairs it with Herbed prawn tempura, which consists of Tempura prawn, tahini cumin sauce, wild rocket & coriander salad. 
My drink for the night, The Pol Roger Brut reserve

The music picks up. The crowd gets bigger. Not an empty seat in the house. It is a classy and elegant crowd, a nice mix I must say, and in many ways a microcosm of Abu Dhabi. I love it. My Champagne is poured. Fine bubbles, consistent too. I have a sip. Oh, nice depth, not very moussey. Nice and clean. I try the shrimp, a dish that in its own right is perfect bar food. One does get tired of wagyu sliders or fries in any form. But then this is no ordinary bar or pub - this is The Sofitel! The pairing works, with the herbs especially striking the right note with Pol Roger. 

Before I realize, time has passed, and dinner is calling out to me. Jazz&Fizz shows me what an indictment it is when people stereotype hotels because they cater for a business market. This little nook is vibrant, cosmopolitan and elegant. And matched with a sommelier who has had the pleasure of sampling some fine vintage Champagnes over the years, including a Veuve Cliquot 1925, Jazz&Fizz caters for discerning guests who know how to relax and unwind. That is anything but dull!

The low down

Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche
02 813 7777

Brandon Stoltenkamp
This blog post will appear as a full article in UK based magazine, Glass of Bubbly,  in December. http://glassofbubbly.com/