The restaurant, which is attached to a museum, is an oasis of calm and seclusion, perfect for a relaxed lunch or dinner. AHLAN! awarded Fanr 'Best restaurant' in 2012, and I have to agree. It was heavenly.
Fanr restaurant serves award winning cuisine from 10am until late, and as I happened to be in the area, floating around Abu Dhabi, as you do, it would have been churlish to ignore my lunchtime hunger. In short, I dined with friends, and it was a beautiful few hours.
In terms of decor it's the type of restaurant I like: simple, minimalist design, coupled with a few spectacular architectural pieces. Arabic sculptor Mona Saudi provides the restaurant with a mind-skewing sculpture that you can admire if you're seated inside, along with the floor to ceiling windows, which allow you to delight in the spectacular views. As nice as the interior restaurant was we decided to dine in the traditional Arabic courtyard and watched the pretty water features as we chowed down. The sleek décor allows the food to speak for itself, and every mouthful was a joy.
You eat with your eyes, or at least I do, and Fanr restaurant was on point when it came to presentation. I certainly enjoy a meal more if it looks good, or at least I think so. I opted for the chorizo and feta quiche with salad, which was stuffed with roasted pumpkin, cheese, and vegetables. When they presented me with my meal I was somewhat disheartened because I was hungry, and it didn't look very big, but it was dense, delicious, and I grudgingly left about a quarter of it on the plate.
The service, as expected, was superb. Saadiyat Island is known for being the art and cultural soul of Abu Dhabi, but instead of a lax 'easy going' experience you might encounter in other parts of the world, the service here was very good. Fanr had the air of a five star restaurant – nothing was too much. The staff kept on top of our drinks too. I felt like royalty as they topped up our water. It was just the right amount of attentive – not breathing down our necks, but aware that we were paying customers. I definitely like that kind of attention to detail.
I always judge a place on the quality of the bathrooms/toilets, and ask the following questions: are they clean? Is there space to change in a cubicle, are there full length mirrors? Is there space to put your bag down? Are there baby-changing facilities? Fanr restaurant ticked all the boxes, which is a struggle for even top-notch restaurants. Clearly they created each section of the restaurant with the customers in mind, not just for aesthetics.
On the website they state that there are children's facilities, and sections for your little ones to have their fun in, and surprisingly enough there was. It's not often that I'm surprised by restaurants, especially when they meet their claims, but Fanr won us all over. Three adults and three children under ten, most definitely approve.