On a recent trip to Abu Dhabi, I was intrigued by the caliber of restaurants, the quality, and the value for the money.  One that really stood out was Martabaan by Hemat Oberoi at the Mandarin Oriental Emirate Palace hotel.

From the stunning exotic décor with jewel tone colors to the tranquil terrace seating overlooking the gulf and the Qasr al Watan to the innovative take on traditional Indian cuisine I was just mesmerized. Hemat Oberoi has been a noted chef for over for decades his take on modern Indian cuisine is riveting.

We were seated outside where it was warm but the breeze from the gulf was very soothing. We had a beautiful table overlooking the illuminated palace and the gulf. The whole ambience was very exotic with the lights on the terrace and how it played off the water below.

We started with the samosas, that were different in presentation and taste from anything I have had before. They were light and the dipping sauce even though spicy but full of flavor. We ordered a basket of assorted naan, and each flavor was more unique than the other. Light and crispy baked in the clay oven.

For our main courses we had Chicken Tikka and salmon each was prepared beautifully with the required herbs but light and tasteful. We had a side of saffron rice to complement our main courses. For Dessert we had an exceptional chocolate cake that was infused with wonderful tastes of the region.

It was truly an experience that I will not forget because I felt I was transported to another time with the décor, terrace view and the scrumptious food.