On its website, Aquara Restaurant and Lounge is described as a great spot for pre or post-dinner beverages. While we agree it is a great spot, we think this hidden gem has a lot to offer in terms of its food menu. This is a place we would go for a finger-licking meal with a view for sore eyes.
Located in the Dubai Marina Yacht Club, the seafood venue is decked out in signature yacht club elements including wooden flooring and white fittings as well as cosy touches such as brick walls and dim lighting.
The restaurant’s indoor area consists of intimate sofas as well as high tables, but its most impressive feature is its floor to ceiling windows that overlook a sea of moored yachts set against an army of skyscrapers reflected on the water. If you want a closer look, you can head to the restaurant’s spacious outdoor terrace that we are told gets busy during the cooler months.
We went on a Saturday evening when Aquara was relatively quiet with only a few tables occupied. This makes it a great spot for low-key, private dining. We fell in love with the food starting with the complimentary garlic bread with rosemary – tender yet crispy on the outside. It comes with sides of garlic butter and dried tomato, but you will not need them. The bread is rich in taste, trust us.
Next, we chose two exotic-sounding salads as starters including the strawberry salad with baby spinach, Gorgonzola cheese and toasted almonds. Our favourite, however, was the compressed watermelon salad with feta, olive, balsamic reduction, almonds, avocado and tomato salsa – an oddly genius combination of creamy, juicy and sour flavours.
For the main course, we had the fresh water scampi with linguine pasta and Aquara chimichurri sauce – delicious – not too much sauce, pasta perfectly cooked and scampi just tender enough. We also tried the label rough chicken breast to test non-seafood options. Contrary to its name, the chicken was pleasantly soft. A healthy dish, it was served alongside green pea puree, snow peas and braised leeks.
As for desert, we shamelessly chose the Aquara split with almonds, vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce - delightful, but on the heavy side, so we do recommend you share this.
All in all, Aquara is definitely a must try if you are looking for a good meal, a good view or just an intimate and private get-together. It is open daily from 6pm to 2am.
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