Raclette: inside new Abu Dhabi brasserie that fuses tropical vibes with French fare

Located in Mamsha Al Saadiyat, the beachfront venue was launched to complement Louvre Abu Dhabi

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Abu Dhabi has a new home-grown restaurant set to bring a dash of "je ne sais quoi" to the capital’s diverse dining scene.

Raclette, which opened to the public on Monday, is a licensed brasserie and cafe located in the city's vibrant beachfront complex Mamsha Al Saadiyat.

French fare meets Amazonian jungle vibes at the restaurant, which was launched to complement Abu Dhabi’s cultural district, as well as Louvre Abu Dhabi, according to Niveen Ibrahim, chief operating officer of parent company MBT Development.

The interior space at newly opened French restaurant Raclette Brasserie & Cafe. Khushnum Bhandari / The National

“We all know where the Louvre is from, and I felt like the area needed a French bistro to complement the experience that we have there," says Ibrahim.

"I’ve always believed that restaurants play an integral role in shaping neighbourhoods, and with Raclette’s location on the Saadiyat, right next to the Louvre, this is what we hope it will do.”

Aside from the Parisian-influenced menu, visitors can expect laid-back Amazonian-inspired interiors. The venue is located by the beach, offering plenty of sea views, while the decor features wooden and tropical elements.

As Ibrahim puts it: “It’s a place you can visit anytime during the day – be it early morning for breakfast, or during the sunset for drinks and snacks – and the mood changes accordingly. It’s been designed to be like an extension of your living room.”

A raclette burger at Raclette Brasserie & Cafe on Al Saadiyat Island. Khushnum Bhandari / The National

The restaurant's name should provide a key hint about what you'll find on the menu. Raclette is a type of cheese that’s typically heated and layered on to dishes, and the brasserie will be paying tribute to the ingredient in a number of ways.

“What makes the food concept so special is that it is a true depiction of Raclette’s origin story. It's more than just a cheese dish, it is a cultural landmark, a dining experience and a great time,” says Danny Kattar, general manager of MBT Restaurant Management.

Expect plenty of dishes oozing with the gooey cheese, such as raclette-scraped burgers, as well as options including escargot Provencale, steak tartare and crepes suzette prepared table-side.

This is MBT Restaurant Management’s third launch this year, following Grand Beirut in Dubai Silicon Oasis and Beirut Sur Mer, which will also be located at Mamsha Al Saadiyat.

The group has other openings in the works, including bringing TVM, an alcohol-free Irish bar, to Abu Dhabi.

Updated: September 09, 2021, 7:46 AM