Aquara, Dubai Marina Yacht Club

Nominated for Best Seafood 24 Comments

aquara_1
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Aquara manages to feel like a restaurant in its own right despite the floorspace being shared with the somewhat boisterous Cafe Bistro. The menu, tidy and adept is a predominantly European one, though illuminated by some welcome Asian touches. The hot and sour soup is a fierce and fervid affair, the tidy spicy kingfish a slightly gentler proposition where the craft and delicacy of the fillet really impress, and for the even more conservative, the surf and turf with juicy prawns and parmesan is also worth a venture. There's artistry to each dish and the chef's playful touch is evident. It's hard not to be impressed with Aquara, the food, the cosmopolitan feel, the silvery service, the reasonable prices… one way or the other, you'll be won over.

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By Time Out Dubai staff
Time Out Dubai,

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Posted by: Alex Christie on 29 Dec ' 13 at 18:56
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

How can ANYONE recommend this place for a romantic evening? (When I searched for romantic seafood restaurants in Dubai Marina on TIME OUT, this place came out as the ONLY one!).

OK, the place has style and is definitely in with the IN crowd... but romantic? Give me a break!!!!

Posted by: Maya on 12 Aug ' 13 at 13:19
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Absolute disaster of an experience. I invited my whole family to a Eid dinner at Aquara expecting great views and even better food. To my disappointment, only the marina view lived up to our expectations.

The restaurant was almost totally empty and yet the table they had set up to us was facing the kitchen in the corner. When I asked for another table, it took a while to convince them to move us to another table in the deserted restaurant. We were then given the limited menu, which had what looked like good options so we all ordered within 10 minutes of arriving. The food then took over an hour to arrive because "another table's mains had to come out first" (what restaurant can't handle 2 tables at once?!), arrived cold, and did not even taste good. Specific dietary requests that were made were not adhered to and the staff were totally nonchalant about the topic. Even the manager did not seem too bothered, and only removed one of the dishes off the bill as compensation as well as offer free coffee (it was 11 pm by the time we finished - who drinks coffee then?).

Overall the experience was below average and even embarrassing as I had invited my family to what was supposed to be a fine dining experience and instead left angry and with empty stomachs and wallets!

Posted by: Gayan on 11 Mar ' 13 at 09:51
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

I was promised an amazing experience, but it was a joke. I booked a table for 4 people, and the evening began very nicely, until we placed our orders. We had to wait for an hour for our starters, although a group of people who arrived after us got their starters before us. Then after waiting for another hour or soooo, I was forced to ask for our main meals, and once we finished the main meal we were waiting for the desert menu, and nobody bothered to give us the menu, so I had to go yet again and ask for the desert menu, once we placed the order, only one desert came out, and the other 3 had to wait for ours and it only came out when the other person has finished their desert, and when the bill came out, they had not given me the buy on get one offer on one particular drink, and I questioned it, and they told me that there was no offer although the drink menu that they offered us clearly stated buy one get one for cider. This whole dinner was a nightmare, and made me look like an idiot cos I had to keep asking for the food that we ordered. I tried to comment about the service i received the following day, and all I was told was, that I can visit there again that they will offer me some free drinks, that proved the point that they have no grasp of customer service, they were prepared to offer me couple of free drinks, after ruining my whole night, and they reckon that their free drinks gonna make it fine. I was told that they were gonna escalate this to the management and I have not heard from them since. Just an over priced restaurant with no quality service, I spent just under AED2000 for nothing.

Posted by: Mathew Cruise on 29 Dec ' 11 at 16:51
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Aquara just gets better by the day and we had a great time once again. The food and service was beyond words and a must try venue.

Posted by: Tortstein Grouzer on 17 Nov ' 11 at 10:17
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Brunch served
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Dinner at the terrace was lovely and I had been really impressed with food quality and service eficiency from the staff here. The menu is fusion but the Asian twist of tom yum and spices is the one that creates the explosion in your mouth...must try especially if you are entertaining your boss!!

Posted by: Johnathan Sworkiski on 19 Oct ' 11 at 08:42
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I had taken my fiancee over to this restaurant for the very first time as was blown away with the attentive service and well trained staff. From the moment we were seated, till we left the entire experience was just perfect; complemented with food cooked to our liking and fantastic views of the Marina from our table.....simply amazing!!!

Posted by: Shelby Carrington on 05 Oct ' 11 at 10:31
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Brunch served
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

We had an outstanding experience, the service was brilliant, and the care and attention we received was wonderful. A true reflection of an excellent quality brand.

I would like to thank all the staff and management at the Aquara restaurant at the Yacht club for providing such a special evening. The made to order cheese cake that Greg thoroughly enjoyed was perfect, with a great digestive biscuit base! The service was impeccable, and the food quality was excellent.

Posted by: Shelby Carrington on 05 Oct ' 11 at 10:30
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Brunch served
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

We had an outstanding experience, the service was brilliant, and the care and attention we received was wonderful. A true reflection of an excellent quality brand.

I would like to thank all the staff and management at the Aquara restaurant at the Yacht club for providing such a special evening. The made to order cheese cake that Greg thoroughly enjoyed was perfect, with a great digestive biscuit base! The service was impeccable, and the food quality was excellent.

Posted by: Stacey Edmonds on 29 Sep ' 11 at 14:11
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

It was a great Caribbean Wednesday with the saxaphonist playing some serious Caribbean cum Latin numbers...fantastic atmosphere and we had a good night!!

Posted by: William Gregory on 28 Sep ' 11 at 14:50
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Its was our first time and great to be there..service and food both complemented each other...

Posted by: Mathew Jo on 26 Sep ' 11 at 07:17
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

It was a great Friday Night for me and my family, service was great and the staff looked after us really well....one even took care of my daughter whilst me and my wife indulged in some fine seafood at the buffet...highly reccomended!!

Posted by: Angie on 03 Aug ' 11 at 18:14
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

It was the first time I had dinner in Aquara. I was fascinated at first but just after we sat on our table I didnt feel comfortable at all. The table needs to be change. It iritates me. I dont know how to make my feet comfortable.

The candle on our table was not lit. The waitress took it and I thought she will replace it but she didn't.

First we told the waitress we will not order wine because they have a poor wine list menu so she removed the wine glasses but suddenly we changed our minds and order one bottle just to accompany our main course. The waiter brought the ordered wine and showed us the bottle. He was about to open when I told him we dont have wine glasses. He didnt even noticed all.

My boyfriend ordered this Shenchuan scallops for main course. There's nothing special on it. Its just a simple sweet and sour scallops. Better call it just that way. Plus the rice they served with it is not enough for one serving.

Also, the manager didn't check our table while the others he did.

Last, I ordered cappuccino. The waiter served it without chocolate powder on it. I asked him why there's no powder. I think he didnt even know that theres something missing on my coffee because if he does then when he serve it he will inform me that chocolate powder is unavailable, but no. He came back and served me new cappuccino and finally with chocolate powder.

This dining experience is unbelievable! What an experience on that night but still I will dine there again and try my luck next time and hope to see improvement on their service, food and wine list!

Posted by: Quinapalus on 30 Jul ' 11 at 17:31
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

This is without a doubt the worst Friday Brunch that I have been to yet. The problems began on arrival, when it became clear that there was a problem with our booking, and rather than try to resolve it the manager simply told us to go away. Fortunately one of the waitresses figured out what had gone wrong and took us to our table. The next issue to arise was that of the layout of the buffet. Most of the food is laid out in a tiny room off of one end of the dining room, meaning that a huge queue forms in seconds. We consequently spent more time standing around queuing than we did eating and drinking for the first hour.

The next bone of contention was the very peculiar drinks policy. This brunch is described as including "Selected House Beverages". This apparently does not included House Spirits. I asked for a Gin and Tonic and was told that it was not included in the price. We were offered Mojitos, which were pretty good, but one of my friends is not a fan and asked if he could just have some Rum. He was told "No". I asked if he could have a Mojito without the mint, soda and sugar (i.e. just the Rum) and was again told "No"

The food was distinctly average. Aquara boasts a reasonable carvery, but a lot of the seafood that I tried was disappointing. Limp, bland mussels, over-cooked, chewy prawns and quite the toughest, stringiest and flavourless lobster-tail that I have ever tried to eat.

The overall experience was further marred by having to listen to the manager shout at waiting staff in the middle of the dining room every few minutes. This was the same manager that told me to go away, rather than spend 30 seconds figuring out that my table was being held under the wrong name, All in all, this brunch represents poor value for money and falls short in every aspect. If you want a brunch with good food, pay a bit extra and go to Al Qasr or Spectrum on One. If your in it for the booze and aren't fussed about food, Double Decker is definitely the way to go. At 290 Dh per head for poor service, mediocre food, terrible organisation and a pathetic choice of drinks, this is simply not worth the money.

Posted by: Johnny Wong on 21 Mar ' 11 at 08:56
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Absolutely great veiws from the deck....people and music is great on a Tuesday...Ladies nite....with people dressed to kill. Food was tasteful accompanied with gentle service from well trained staff....

Posted by: Anita Andrews on 06 Jan ' 11 at 13:53
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Brunch served
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

This restaurant is fantastic.....beyond words..>!!!! Staff and Chefs are just great and interact with guests....I never felt alone when I was dining at Aquara.

Posted by: Neil Anthony Carrol on 23 Dec ' 10 at 15:03
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Words can't describe what a fantastic time me and my family had on our visit to Aquara.....keep it up...good food and plesant service...

Posted by: Sally on 11 Dec ' 10 at 05:57
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

We have eaten at Aquara twice now for dinner (not the brunch), both times on tables with 10 people. Each time the service has been incredibly slow, with us having to ask for wine and water glasses to be filled whilst we waited for food to be served. Even when the staff have apologised for the wait, they still have to be asked to fill glasses up (don't they realise that's how they make money?). Food is very average and overpriced in my opinion (AED 165 for two prawns AND make me pay extra for a small bowl of rice?) and why does every dish have to have foam - it's not the 80s!!

Great location, but won't be eating there again - there are far too many other fabulous places...

Posted by: Jude Santa Maria on 10 Nov ' 10 at 16:13
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Brunch served
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

We had a great time here with our friends....bruch was great and the Mojitho was delighful. Food and service was way above class....highly reccomended.

Posted by: Kathy Soheil on 06 Nov ' 10 at 06:59
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Brunch served

We were there for dinner brunch and definately highly recomended for Brunch and atmosphere....chilled out terrace.....so peaceful!!! Service and food was great too..

Posted by: Michael James Henrick on 29 Oct ' 10 at 08:52
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Its a great place to dine and food was just beyond words....try the Diver Scallops and service was just above expectation....waiters were always smiling and interaction was great....we will definetly be back on our next visit to Dubai..

Posted by: Mark Edmonds on 17 May ' 10 at 16:29
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Great location, and the menu read well.

But the food took absolutely ages and was so bland. It's been a long time since I had meat cooked (both steak and duck) without any trace of taste whatsoever, just watery - obviously been heavily frozen. With the location, menu and prices this was a real disappointment, much better within the area at a fraction of the price

Posted by: UAE Monticristo on 14 May ' 10 at 17:14
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Emaar Hospitality is really losing its Value By keeping this restaurant open. the best way is eather they change the staff Completly including there Chef.

this restaurant has an amazing view but that was the only thing that was good about it.

Posted by: Kilani on 14 Feb ' 10 at 20:28
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Nice setting if seated outdoors, the service is ok, the food great. I definitely recommend the seafood although you may well end up scratching your head for choice from the inspired menu. One of the few places I would return to; to spend over 500AED for two. If you're tired of generic restaurants (chinese, indian, italian..etc) then give this place a try and you won't be let down. It should be noted that I didn't experience the music issues that other reviewers mentioned although this could be dependent on the time of day and day of the week.

Posted by: Kitty on 12 Jan ' 10 at 18:19
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I have been to Aquara twice now and agree with the Time Out review (and had a very similar choice of food). The food is lovely and makes for a rather special meal, if only it wasn't hampered by the loud music.
The first time I went was as a romantic meal just as it opened, but that was spoilt by the fact they had a loud party, complete with disco lights, going on at the bar end of the restaurant. Several other tables mentioned it and the very helpful staff did take our comments on board.
Second time was with a business colleague. We sat on the terrace and the atmosphere was really good.

 

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