The Warehouse Wine & Tapas Bar - Pearl Rotana Hotel, Abu Dhabi

About a week before opening, I visited The Warehouse, the wine & tapas bar at Pearl Rotana in Abu Dhabi. I harboured a strong feeling that this venue would inject fun and excitement to the dining scene to the ADNEC area. I had an overwhelming sense that if they got the pricing right, people would actually do what the area has struggled to do - get people to drive out there for a night out. At that moment, I liked the industrial feel to the place. Seating options abounded and as I walked around, I could see how space had been cleverly used to ensure that need you never feel the venue is ever filled to capacity. 

In the past week, I visited The Warehouse twice, something I that felt would give me a more complete perspective. 


Abu Dhabi still lags behind Dubai in terms of venues where one can go just for a light bite and a glass of wine. While some restaurants offer tapas and wine as part of a promotional evening or happy hour concept, The Warehouse has it as its specialty, wine and tapas. People will love the entrance as it takes one through a narrow passage, recalling an unfinished , simple alley that could be anywhere. However, I am more excited about the 
separate entrance that means you need not go through the hotel. Imagine you are out to celebrate a big day and have a few too many - the separate entrance allows you to hop straight into a taxi. I am a huge fan of this! 

Something every day of the week

On one night I was there, I tried their Saturdayz - date a Spaniard promo that offers unlimited wines and tapas for 125 AED net, an unreal offer, considering it runs for a generous 4 hours. It is a nice spread and I must say that Executive Chef Burges Chinoy has done a great job coming up with a menu that walks that line between bar and restaurant rather nicely. On the one hand, you want a menu that will encourage people to eat a bit but on the other hand, the guest should have no doubt that he/she is at a wine bar. 

His chef on the floor, Chef Rohana, who also oversees Dino's Bistro Italiano  Dino's , makes sure that dishes are routinely refreshed, engages guests, to provide his signature approach to the full guest experience. I cannot emphasise enough how much people appreciate this. While I imagine the menu will rotate, hopefully on your visit you will find the delectably decadent Baked camembert as well as the immensely popular Parmesan fries. However, they really offer something for every day, over and above more traditional concepts like a Happy Hour. 

If there is one dessert you have this month ...

Desserts in bars are generally simple - a matter of offering something sweet for guests with a craving for sugar. Let's face it, there is usually not much thought that goes into it because desserts are not that big a part of the bar experience. Right? Well, up until now. The Jack D' - elicious Split is quite a clever dessert, presented in a cut open Jack Daniels bottle. Just how decadent is this dessert? Try a combination of fresh cream, ice cream, wafer, chocolate, banana and wait fr it ... a shot of Jack Daniels! It is good for 3 people!

Or just for a glass of wine...

This is, first and foremost, a wine bar, but it is not stuffy and pretentious. I love that about it. On the nights I was there, I met a cross section of guests , from guests who were there in their Sunday best and heels to those who had arrived after work, loosened their ties and simply relaxed. Then, there were those there for the World Cup on the screens around the bar. I even spotted a couple, nestled in a one of the booths, clearly on a romantic date. 

The Warehouse is also perfect for the person just wanting to drop in for  a glass of wine. Backed by Rotana's corporate wine list, guests can be assured of the best priced by the wine glass options in the city, which start at 42AED per glass. Incidentally, if you wish to splurge and enjoy a wine in the Bordeaux tradition, nice and full, then my pick is The Chocolate Block, one of the proud exports of South Africa. 

Overall, The Warehouse Wine & Tapas Bar at Pearl Rotana Hotel offers a seamless blend of no fuss prices with a quirky stylishness that should endear the venue to you. With people secretly yearning for stand alone bars, away from big hotels, The Warehouse will go a long way to appease them. The fact that this is an affordable night out is paramount, especially now when people are a lot more conscious of their spending. Pick a night and choose  a promotion or just drop in for a glass and some nibbles. 

The Warehouse Wine & Tapas Bar is a breath of fresh air. It offers a deft balance between something that is casual and chilled while also having wine and tapas that are very much synonymous with higher end experiences in the city. 

The Essentials
The Warehouse Wine & Tapas Bar
Pearl Rotana
+971 2 307 5555

Brandon Stoltenkamp