As the only revolving lounge in Abu Dhabi, Stratos at the Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi has carved out a reputation to match its stratospheric name. FACT visits to experience Ratpack Supper Club high above the city.
Ideally located on the corniche and perched at the very top of the five-star Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi, this circular restaurant bucks the trend when it comes to gimmick-led revolving restaurants. Instead, Stratos presents a sophisticated space for dinner and drinks in the heart of Abu Dhabi’s buzzing downtown district.
Exiting the elevator on the 26th floor, we’re met with an immediate “wow” factor from the stunning views. and our reservation for the Friday Ratpack Supper Club coincides with a remarkable Abu Dhabi sunset that forges hues of pink and orange into our memories for life. Passing through the bar area that forms the crux of the restaurant, we are soon seated in comfortably upholstered high-backed armchairs and greeted with genuine warmth by restaurant manager Shane.
The concept of the Ratpack Supper Club is relatively simple and offers a choice of seven dishes which can be ordered as many times as you want, alongside unlimited drinks and a soundtrack from the original 1950’s Rat Pack. While we wait for the onslaught of tasty treats to arrive, we can’t help but admire the panoramic views of Abu Dhabi offered from such a unique vantage point not found anywhere else in the city. Each revolution of the restaurant takes approximately 90-minutes we’re able to experience a 360-degree view of the UAE capital as we dine. We move from the waters of the corniche dotted with wooden dhow boats and past the new CBD of Al Maryah Island, before culminating in the illuminated canopy of the city’s latest cultural attraction, Louvre Abu Dhabi. The restaurant rotates at such a leisurely pace that diners will barely notice the seductive ‘spin’ which is almost hypnotic in its motion.
A menu high above the clouds has to match the views, and despite offering international appeal, it’s easiest to categorise Stratos as a steakhouse due to the amount of grills provided. We begin with a shrimp cocktail which offers butter-poached shrimp in a house cocktail sauce that is remarkably light and undeniably fresh. This is followed in quick succession by the red snapper ceviche which provides a contrast in the seafood thanks to charred avocado and a pleasantly balanced Amarillo sauce.
Bar bites come into play with warm spinach and halloumi croquettes which are golden on the outside and provide a nice textural contrast to the cheesy interior. Crisp fried calamari is simple but no less impressive, with the tender rings coated in a moreish batter and served with lemon aioli and an admittedly addictive, black pepper jam.
The sticky-glazed chicken lollies are served on the bone for easy consumption and are perhaps our favourite dish from the extensive supper club menu, which also includes Lamb Merguez Sausage and Angus Beef Sliders. Although a lot of food is offered and can be re-ordered in unlimited quantities, diners at the Stratos Supper Club also have the option to upgrade their meal with a selection of meats and seafood from the Josper grill for an additional AED 100 per person. This is something we would highly recommend partaking in, and we conveniently rotate past the open kitchen just as our meat is served. The duo of steaks are beautifully tender and seasoned with pride.
We would’ve perhaps liked to have seen a dessert course incorporated into the Supper Club menu, but with so much food on offer, we suppose it is not necessary.
One thing is for sure though, and that is the excitement regarding the food and beverage offering throughout Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi. A new afternoon tea inspired by Alice In Wonderland has just launched at Stratos too, and the concept is fascinating! Taking the tradition of afternoon tea and turning it completely on its head!
As a special occasion restaurant, Stratos ticks the boxes when it comes to atmosphere, food and drinks but in truth, we’d happily visit just for the view! ✤
GO: Call (0)2 674 2020 for reservations and more information.