URBAN DINING DONE RIGHT

Step into The Warehouse Wine & Tapas Bar through a chain mail curtain (excellent insta spot) and a mood-lit, casually suave venue greets you. The award-winning urban eatery at Pearl Rotana City Centre, has gained itself a loyal customer base with after-work diners huddled into booths, in-house hotel guests admiring the chic interiors and regulars stopping by for their favourite dish and drinks. FACT’s Shabana Adam sits down to sample some of their newest menu additions…

Inspired by Mediterranean-style dining, paired with warehouse-stimulated design and a grape selection to make any vino connoisseur full of envy, The Warehouse is all about wowing guests with delicious small plates – although we soon learn that the portions are anything but generous – and a vivacious roster of sips to tempt every palate that crosses paths with this industrial, hip destination.

On the evening we visit, there is a healthy capacity – the crowd is made up of laid-back diners, visible ADNEC-goers and groups of friends having lively catch ups. The music is good, the staff are their usual fun and welcoming selves and we are, simply, starving! Ready to tuck into their new menu items, we didn’t hold back. First up from the Jars & Pots section is the Crisps & Dips – a mammoth platter made up of an assortment of corn and wheat chips alongside smoked salmon dip, spicy tomato relish and avocado chickpea dip. It’s the perfect choice of sharing nibbles that you order for a group who are primarily there to blow off steam and indulge in their favourite drinks. Each dip is spot on and we hover between the two types of chips to scoop up each one as the conversation flows.

The Super Food Salad with Crispy Chicken brings together kale, avocado, pomegranate, edamame, rocca, roasted beetroot and berry vinaigrette. If there was ever to be a salad with all of our favourite ingredients in it, this would be it. Fresh and packed with flavour, there’s enough to go around at least three people – sharing concept done right. What followed was the biggest surprise of the meal. We didn’t expect to love the Sujouk & Rocca flat bread as much as we did. In fact, it was the one dish that was cleared out in minutes. The bread is fluffy yet retains a lovely golden crisp whilst the toppings of lamb and chicken sujouk, red onions, pomegranate and rocca leaves can only be described as genius cooking. The meat is juicy and adds rich texture to each bite – we honestly couldn’t get enough of it and raved about the dish for days to come. If you’re a carnivore at heart and there’s one thing you order when visiting The Warehouse, make sure it’s this!

We steer into vegetarian territory with the moreish Black Bean & Portobello Burger topped with provolone glaze, pickled gherkin, tomato and jalapeño relish. There is something to be said about the restaurant that can deliver veggie options that are just as incredible as their meaty counterparts. With melted cheese oozing out the side and succulent patties wedged in between fluffy, hearty buns, these sliders were an absolute treat and very filling to say the least. A side of battered parmesan fries adds more crunch to our meal and we savour every helping. To top that off, the drinks we order are flawless. From the zero alcohol selection, the Basil Blush with basil, strawberries, lime, honey water and orange is as refreshing as it gets. Whilst the range of different red grape is of high quality and definitely to our liking.

Don’t leave The Warehouse without trying dessert. The Strawberry Yum, dubbed the “posh” house ice cream sundae may be the largest sundae we’ve ever seen. With a side of poppin’ candy, it’s an interactive dish that brings back childhood nostalgia. Check out our instagram to see exactly what we came face to face with – and took a pretty good shot at finishing it all. The Jack D’ – elicious Split is made up of whiskey-soaked bananas, spiked caramel, ice cream and jack chaser. It. Was. Unreal. Presented in an actual bottle of Jack Daniel’s, it’s a creative dessert made for those who can appreciate the use of the Tennessee beverage combined with a sweet ending. And it makes for a worthy Snapchat story too! The Warehouse doesn’t do things by halves. There’s no compromise on food, drinks, atmosphere or service. All are in perfect synch thanks to a passionate team, which is also evident the evening that we visit. For its impeccable consistency, it remains one of our favourite hangouts in the city.✤


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