INSIDE OUTLETS: Amici at The Yas Hotel
Seeking out the hottest new F&B outlets, Caterer Middle East reveals the innovative concepts and operation strategies securing the success of the region’s new launches
Contemporary but classic, airy yet intimate, Italian restaurant Amici at The Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi forms an effortlessly elegant part of the new property’s food and beverage portfolio.
But of course, as should be the case for all F&B concepts coming online in the current climate, an enormous amount of planning and preparation has gone on behind the scenes to ensure the concept will work successfully in the already-crowded marketplace.
“The idea was to showcase classic Italian cuisine in an unpretentious and informal restaurant, with a focus on simple food at its best,” explains Aldar Hotels and Hospitality director of business development and commercial Raman Khanna.
“Italian food is very popular, especially in Abu Dhabi, so the theme was an obvious choice for us,” he continues. “An antipasti buffet was a must, along with a show kitchen — but it also had to have a luxurious setting.”
All Yas Hotel outlets were designed to complement each other, so Amici was created with the other options in mind, says Khanna.
But he admits creating an outlet that was simultaneously intimate and conveyed a truly Italian ambiance was a challenge.
“We wanted to offer guests a wide range of experiences and tastes without the feel of a food court,” he says. “The most difficult part of pulling this off was fitting in the show kitchens. Fitting the equipment in such small spaces and ensuring chefs were well equipped on display was a challenge, but the finished product is worth it!”
According to Khanna, since the outlet’s recent opening all the planning has paid off. “Amici has already proven to be very popular. The downturn hasn’t impacted people’s desire for wholesome and hearty food which is prepared simply,” he asserts.
“This outlet has the appeal of offering a five-star experience in an unpretentious environment — and that will last.”
“We deliberately stayed away from the chequered tablecloth look; we wanted it to be luxurious, while also making people feel comfortable walking in after a day out and about on Yas Island.
“The sharers table is integral to the Italian way of life and that family element; the bottle chandelier adds an edge of modern design, while the antipasti display is the perfect way to showcase the finest Italian cuisine.”
“When developing a new F&B concept, you have to keep it simple; just don’t over complicate it.”