The relaunched Bar Menu at 55&5th, The Grill - St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi
My guest and I have two seating options - the low tables with very relaxed leather chairs, or the higher chairs at the bar. We start off at the low tables. My fascination this evening, first and foremost though, is to see whether the bar and menu can serve as a vehicle for 55&5th, The Grill in which the dishes have a thematic, presentation and balance of flavours connection. In other words, will the bar menu make me want to go to the restaurant on another occasion for a fuller experience?
The new bar menu is a definite winner. The dishes I had cannot be faulted. They offer a blend of imagination and functionality. The old cliched bar food that one expects will not be found here. Even in the more typical items like the burger and fries, Chef has created something very special. Is the bar a destination in itself? No, it feels too much tied to 55&5th, The Grill, robbing it of its own identity. With some tweaking to the space, music and possible rebranding, this bar could be a must visit thanks to the excellent menu it has. There are enough bars offering pub grub. What we need is a venue that raises the bar ( I could not resist!) and challenges peoples' conceptions of food that bars serve. The menu succeeds in doing this. I think it has something for everyone, from the traditional to the innovative. There is also an invigorated cocktail menu and with an excellent sommelier at the hotel, you can expect wine to match.
Overall, an amazing menu that will definitely inspire curiosity as to what the full restaurant menu is like. It fills me with a desire to see what the Chef will do on a larger scale. It will allow you to appreciate the attention to detail and balance of flavours that I have mentioned on several occasions with regards to Chef Kreaton's restaurant dishes. However, for it to succeed as a bar in its own right, it needs to forge its own identity while keeping a connection to the menu of the restaurant.
The Bar at 55&5th, The Grill
St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort,