Aquara

Dubai Marina Yacht Club's signature joint impresses on the food front but we could have done with a bit less 'mood' music

From Time Out Dubai Eating Out 2009

It seems nothing can mar the pristine setting you can enjoy from Aquara’s balcony. Watching gaggles of yachts bob up and down on the marina waters, while the servers – knowledgeable, efficient and meltingly relaxed – mill about, careful not to disturb the ambience.

What ultimately tears into the evening’s reverie is the soundtrack: on Time Out’s visit it was David Gray on constant repeat. The music’s impact on the setting becomes a kind of metaphor for the rest of the evening: near ideals wrecked by sloppy imperfections.The menu offers intriguing ideas, but they, unfortunately, miss the mark.

Any attempts at originality, such as serving the starter of blue-fin tuna in three ways – as a tartare, carpaccio and as spring rolls – is disturbed by the fact that none of the ways are done particularly well. The mains fare better, but some are spoilt by greasiness and limp side orders. Aquara could almost be a great spot for a romantic date or group get together, and the obstacles it has standing in its way are fairly minor.

If it could bring the food up just a notch or two and change the soundtrack, it could become a marina dining destination.

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