Those who have yet to venture out into the desert surrounds of Arabian Ranches may be surprised to learn that just beyond its fringes is a beautiful polo club and restaurant. The serene and surprisingly green complex is a tranquil gem in the desert rough, complete with fields, fountains and frolicking Arabian steeds. However, perhaps due to its remote location, the clubhouse remains eerily empty, making you whisper in the deserted corridors. However, once inside Eppona, the atmosphere is that of a cosy old-fashioned library.
In line with the Spanish theme of the building, the menu offers an impressive selection of tapas and paellas plus meat and seafood dishes. To start with you can’t go wrong with the fried courgette, prawn and bacon parcels in a monstrously large portion of hearty goodness. Equally large are the fisherman’s mussels, served in a rich tomato, chorizo and potato sauce, giving the dish a rustic charm, although it’s a little filling for a starter.
Unfortunately the main courses don’t deliver. The sirloin steak with red wine sauce is disappointingly bland while the meat and potato pie completely lacks flavour and is sloppily presented. The poached pears with rice pudding goes some way to redeeming the poor mains, although while the fruit is perfectly cooked, the rice is a little underdone. Eppona needs to ensure the entire menu is as good as the tapas and it’ll be a much better restaurant.