Cafe Review: Society Abu Dhabi, Mamsha Al Saadiyat
We live in a society…
Do you remember the boy at school who was loved by teachers and students, who was loved most of all? This is Saadiyat Island. It’s sporty (check out the stunning Saadiyat Beach Golf Club); popular and very beautiful (recently it was named the best beach destination in the Middle East for 11 years); great with animals (wild dolphins, turtles and porpoises); It’s deep and cultural (check out the Cultural District’s current and future galleries and museums) and boy oh boy can it cook.
Mamsha Al Saadiyat Food Bar has gastronomic influences from virtually every culinary quarter of the globe and, in keeping with Abu Dhabi’s unofficial coffee constitution, cafe culture is served in a 31oz jumbo “trenta” mug.
The community is a late entrant to the Mamsha Belt, brought from Dubai’s Jumeirah, a fertile ground for home-grown craft concepts. And if the “OG” cafe is a stone’s throw from the shore, this Saadiyat fortress is a stone’s throw away. The sea of Lapiz Island is nearby, and its panoramic view gives alfresco seating a fairytale feel.
It’s midday, an unobstructed sun is directly above and we’re in the mood for something light but filling; From somewhere between the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Our waiter is friendly and impeccable, and with an expert step over our indecision, he calmly offers a pepperoni flatbread (Dhs62). “But is it bitter?” We like something really spicy” Convinced that it is indeed spicy, we confirm the recommendation and order a sugary peach iced tea to go with it.
While waiting for our meal, we tour the interior of the restaurant – like its Dubai sister, it shares the Art Deco design palette’s passion for creative curves and decorative applications. It’s a beautiful, spacious cafe and we’re told it’s particularly prized for its breakfast menu, but to be fair, that’s another key tenet of Abu Dhabi’s informal coffee constitution.
We have a flatbread waiting on the table, basically a bungalow of the pizza world. It’s characterized by rustic bread tones, a faint whiff of exotic spices in the meaty toppings (cumin? Anise?), but the deliberate lack of fluffy depth to the base means it’s still a great mouthfeel for us, perhaps playing second fiddle. to other types of pizza in the neighborhood.
Peach Iced Tea, which was included as a wild card in the order, is a real surprise. It’s a rabbit hole infusion of fruit juice and herbal tea, perfect sipping fodder for a warm and sunny day (and luckily, they’ve got a few of those on Saadiyat Island).
Verdict: The Society is a worthy addition to the Mamsha Clan in Saadiyat. We will definitely be back to explore more of the menu and tweak our Peach Iced Tea order.
Mamsha Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island, 8pm to 11pm (midnight on Fridays and Saturdays). @societyuae
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