As a food blogger it’s very easy to become blasé about the luxury hotels and the high quality food and beverages you’re able to sample. Despite this, every once in a while there will be an establishment that continues to impress time and again, no matter how often you visit.
For us, it’s the Four Seasons. A brand synonymous with great hospitality and luxury whose newly launched ‘Eclipse Terrace Lounge’ is no different. Located on the third floor pool deck and offering unrivaled reviews across the Arabian Gulf to the twinkling skyscrapers of downtown Abu Dhabi. Eclipse is a hybrid space that’s part Ibiza chill out lounge and part chic Manhattan loft living.
Illuminated panels separate the dining area into secluded nooks and the outdoor ratten furniture is made surprisingly comfortable via plump cushions. A uniquely triangular pool casts soothing shadows of turquoise and green that reflect the ambient dance music pulsating discreetly through the sound system.
Despite having only opened eight days ago, Eclipse is already making a splash. Four Seasons Al Maryah Island have obviously looked carefully into their target demographic when designing not only the space but the menu. With the UAE full of young, technology minded individuals always looking for “the next big thing”, Eclipse offers this in abundance. The creations on the beverage menu especially, are instantly Instagrammable and include a gold metal pineapple.
The meticulous attention to detail won’t just please customers looking for the next exicting item to SnapChat. Instead it promotes Eclipse (and the Four Seasons) as a place to see and be seen and the power of social media cannot be denied. So why should you visit?
Each evening Eclipse holds a sunset social between the hours of 5pm and 8pm. Call it a happy hour if you will but with discounts on beverages, it’s the perfect spot to unwind after a tough day at work. With the weather cooling down, this outdoor terrace is the perfect place to watch the sun set with a cocktail in hand. Each week a classic cocktail will be re-inrerpreted and promoted at just 25 AED during the sunset social. Currently it’s the Margarita, with the Daiquiri and Moscow Mule to follow.
Did we mention the drinks? Eclipse serves some of the best cocktails you will find in Abu Dhabi. Wether it’s the Starry Night served in a ceramic fish (dark rum, cognac, absinthe, orange and passion fruit) or the NASA’s Nuts (a concoction of pomegranate, vodka, gin, light rum, amaretto and nuts) housed in a bulbous glass sphere encased with ice. The drinks may sound strong but are in fact extremely subtle and definitely inventive.
Eclipse also offers a small selection of smoked cocktails. Using a smoke gun and a choice of woods (the light oak is recommended) the mixologist presented us with a Roasted Orange Negroni (sweet red vermouth, campari and gin) which albeit strong was definitely full of smoky flavor and with a large artisan ice cube, is a unique entity in a city chock full of bars.
For those not drinking, the mocktails are as good, if not even better than there alcoholic counterparts. The #Progress blends coconut water, pineapple juice and cloves into a stunning taste sensation that is exemplified further by its presentation in a metal pineapple. While Banana’s For Albert is just as innovative, combining fresh z’atar with banana, orange and lemon juices. Whoever would’ve though that adding z’atar into the mix could have such a profound impact?
The medusa shisha is a perfect example of the Four Seasons being perfectly on trend. An impressive glass structure that is gigantic is size and contains electric LED pulses that illuminate at will. Medusa shisha’s are notoriously difficult to obtain and are only available via premium partnerships with Medusa themselves, making the Four Seasons the first in the capital to have them. Aside from the unique look, the smooth draw and immense flavor from these smoking contraptions is exceptional and is likely to leave you wondering why you have ever smoked anything else.
Seafood lovers will relish in the Asian-inspired menu. We ourselves relished in the physical menu itself, for which the pages illuminate when opened (something we have never seen before) and is apparently referred to as a ‘chargeable menu.’
The menu is relatively short and offers a range of light bites, salads, large plates and desserts. The firsts thing we noticed was that the prices were not as expensive as expected from the Four Seasons and despite the smaller portion size, the quality is exceptional. Using only the highest quality ingredients, many of which have been imported from as far afield as Mexico.
We began with a Ginger and sesame sashimi that came at the recommendation of our server. Usually during a soft opening the staff can be overwhelmed or confused, this was not the case at Eclipse, with the team confidently offering suggestions and comfortably assisting diners. The sashimi itself was marinated in yuzu soy and chives and tasted delicious.
Hoping to sample a number of dishes, we opted for the Eclipse Platter. Combining a number of the appetisers into one sharing plate was a cunning way to eat as much as possible without getting full. We especially appreciated the Crispy Rock Shrimp doused in a creamy truffle sauce, as well as the Parmesan Fries, crisp on the outside but so fluffy within. The Edamame packed a punch coasted in Cajun spices, while Roasted Chicken Wings were tossed in a tangy lime and unami marinade. A salted Salmon Anticucho, Seafood Ceviche and Seafood Spring Rolls crammed full of crab meat and glass noodles, were also present.
Having had the pleasure of brunching at the Four Seasons all-day-dinign restuarant Crust, we noted at the time how good the desserts were. This trend is continued and perfected at Eclipse and though there are only currently six desserts available (mainly fruit and ice cream based) what we sampled left us more than a little impressed.
The Chocolate Delight takes a light and creamy mouse and loads it with crunchy brownie bites and summer fruits. Looking like a forest on a plate with it’s earthen colours, splashes of red and edible flowers. The chocolate delight, like it’s name sake, was delightful to eat and not too heavy, while keeping it interesting with a variety of textures.
The Oreo Mud Pie was less of a pie and more of an ice cream cake. Utilizing coffee ice cream, caramel fudge and an oreo crumb to startling affect. Throw in some crisp meringue and you’re looking at near-perfection on a plate.
As a nightlife venue Eclipse Terrace Lounge ticks all the boxes. Representing everything we want in a bar – chilled out vibe, spectacular views, funky illuminations, a happy hour, shisha and hands down some of the best cocktails in the capital.
If you’re looking for somewhere new to hangout this long weekend make it Eclipse.
Location: Third Floor, Four Seasons Hotel, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi
Social: Instagram / Twitter / Facebook
Hours: 11am – 11:30pm
Phone: 02 333 2222
We were invited to dine at Eclipse. All views are our own and all photographs are © Out & About UAE, with the exception of the first image.