Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental to open three new restaurants this year

Landmark hotel also plans to launch lounge for VIPs

Episodes cafe is one of the hotel's newest dining venues to open following its rebrand. Photo: Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental
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Three new restaurants are coming to Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental in Abu Dhabi this year, as it continues its extensive rebranding.

On Friday, the hotel officially relaunched under the Mandarin Oriental portfolio, which has been in the works since January 2020.

The landmark Abu Dhabi property has undergone major renovations of its common areas, as well as its rooms and suites, which now include vegan offerings.

There are plans to open three new restaurants this year, general manager Michael Koth confirmed, one of which will replace BBQ Al Qasr.

"BBQ Al Qasr will reinvent itself over the summer months," Koth tells The National. "We will use that period for renovations. It will still be based around barbecue and open-fire cooking, but we created a large lounge with it."

The lounge will be perfect for sundowners, he says, and will have live music and DJs. BBQ Al Qasr is still open, with a launch date for the new restaurant, set to be called Sand + Koal, yet to be announced.

Additionally, two more restaurants are coming, with details such as cuisines and opening dates currently being worked on.

Michael Koth, general manager at Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental. Khushnum Bhandari / The National

"It's a bit too early for me to pull a great reveal, but we are really excited to open the two venues by the end of the year," he says.

Asked for a hint about the new openings, Koth says: "In our efforts to be relevant, particularly to Emiratis and to families, the concepts will really embrace everyone." He uses the terms "multi-generational" and "comfort dining" to describe them.

Aside from the restaurants, Koth says the hotel has a number of new amenities in the pipeline, including a "kids palace", a two-storey facility that will house activity areas for children, and a new spa that will combine wellness concepts and techniques from Morocco and Asia.

There is also a new lounge opening on Sunday, called EP Club, which is reserved for guests in club rooms and suites. The lounge will have 80 seats indoors and 40 on the outdoor terrace. It will have access to a private beach and a 24-hour butler service.

Episodes cafe

One new outlet that is already open is Episodes.

Located in the lobby of the palace, Episodes has four sections: a delicatessen, cake shop, tea apothecary and gelateria, which is yet to open.

"The ice cream machinery is currently somewhere between Milan and Abu Dhabi," Koth says with a chuckle, "but the chefs are hired, and we will eventually serve Italian gelato."

What "brings the place together", however, is the apothecary, which serves a selection of teas, with choices of pots ranging from Dh45 to a black tea from Guanxi, China, that costs Dhs350.

Teas range from Dh45 to Dh350 at Episodes. Photo: Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental

"This ancient Chinese tea is encased in a rare mandarin fruit named chen pi that is enriched with vitamins. Within the chen pi is our divine Liu Bao tea, a black tea from Guangxi province in south-west China," the menu reads.

The delicatessen serves a range of dishes, including a house-smoked turkey baguette, camel burger with 23-karat gold and saffron risotto. The famed Emirates Palace gold cappuccino is still on the menu.

More information is available at mandarinoriental.com

Scroll through the gallery below for images of the renovated Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental

Updated: February 17, 2023, 2:11 PM