Filini Garden Abu Dhabi | The Esquire Review
Speak to anyone who has ever visited Italy (even for a quick layover at Rome International) and you’ll probably hear about the food. Well, you won’t just hear about it. It’s probably all you’ll hear.
Yes, the Pizza in Napoli is rather good. Gelato next to the Coliseum? Tasty, huh. And that time you ate seafood plucked fresh from Lake Como? We’re sure that tasted rather good, also.
Everyone puts down Italian food being so damn delicious on the fact that you’re in Italy. But we have an alternative view; perhaps the food tastes so good because any trip to Italy is spent primarily outside in the Mediterranean sun.
Yes, Al Fresco dining is a big deal in Italy. Which is why Filini Garden at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Abu Dhabi Yas Island, has embraced the great outdoors with a new venue with views over the Yas Links fairways and the water of Al Raha Creek.
Filini Garden Abu Dhabi: what’s the vibe?
Filini Garden is split up into a few areas, but all of them are a bit funky. In a good way.
You enter via a foliage-lined garden entrance that leads to a hostess and the lower outdoor deck. This is where the party happens (complete with pre-requisite raised DJ booth) and posh lighting.
The upper deck is where the foodies will go, lettings diners take in that glorious view while tucking into the food. There’s a few smaller lounge chairs for those looking for a light bite over a drink, and proper dining tables for who want the full menu.
Filini Garden Abu Dhabi: how’s the food?
There is a tendency for new Italian places to try and push the boat out with ‘interesting’ takes on classic Italian dishes. Fortunately, Chef Federico Vigilante (who has an excellent name by the way) doesn’t fall prey to this deleterious stereotype.
Dishes are as you’d expect – done simply and at some particularly high standards. There’s a selection of pizzas, pastas and cheeses (the burrata is tasty). The Frutti di mare is particularly good and makes for an excellent shared starter (or even just to share over sunset drinks).
Filini Garden Abu Dhabi: the verdict?
We chastise many venues who try and be everything for everyone (restaurant, bar, nightclub, pet hotel) because they risk becoming a jack of all trades, but a master of none.
Somehow – probably due to the many different areas, separated by heaps of plastic foliage, Filini Garden manages to pull it off. The food and drinks are good and the view is pleasant.
And while most people would still rather eat somewhere along the Amalfi coast, Filini Gardens is a worthwhile replacement for those unable to escape the capital.
Filini Garden Abu Dhabi: where is it?
Filini Garden is located around the front of the Radisson Blu Abu Dhabi Yas Island (you’ll have to follow some signposted concrete bollards from the main lobby of the hotel to find it).