In a region where ostentatious design and high demands reign supreme, going for gold often runs the risk of being too overbearing – there’s a fine line between gaudy and classy. Luckily dapper hotelier Rocco Forte knows the difference, which is why even the most pernickety critics applaud Oro restaurant at his eponymous Abu Dhabi hotel.


An architectural masterpiece, Rocco Forte Hotel Abu Dhabi is built from curved glass and shaped as a wave. However, despite its modern exterior, inside its authentic Italian restaurant Oro transports you back in time.

Plush crimson and tan leather chairs, opulent marble tables draped in crisp white tablecloths, art-deco mirrors and an abundance of crystal, it has the glamour of The Great Gatsby era.


With a Sicilian head chef you can’t get more authentic. Cuisine is hearty and comforting. There is no room for ‘no carb’ rules here. We recommend the trio of pastas – that’s right, three delicious varieties of pasta. The chocolate ravioli stuffed with monkfish and topped with beetroot and saffron gives gastro-molecular chef Heston Blumenthal a run for his money.


Jazz music plays in the background, further transporting you to the 1920s. The feel is high-end, yet not uncomfortably so – after all it is an Italian restaurant so there is a slight homely feel, albeit if your home was the dining room in the Titanic. Despite luxurious surroundings it’s relaxed with plenty of privacy for a tête-à-tête.


This is definitely a place to treat yourself after a long week at work. Don your fanciest glad rags, start with an aperitif at the bar, enjoy the fine dining then retire back to the bar and sample the unique creations by the superb mixologist.


A romantic date.


Oro restaurant, Rocco Forte Abu Dhabi
(02) 6170000,

Photo: Courtesy of Rocco Forte Abu Dhabi