The Riviera is just in front of Swagath Chennai, close to Arab Udupi. We passed by everyday and decided to give it a go when in the mood for Arabic food.
Bad decision. I have never felt so unwelcome in any restaurant before, be it high end or humble canteen.
The lady at the door smiled as though she was doing us a favour which did not portend well. As we entered, we could get the stench of smoke so we immediately requested the non smoking section to be abruptly told that the entire restaurant was 'smoking'. Reluctantly we made our way to a cabin sort of area hoping that the smoke smell would not permeate. It did not but the waitress promptly plonked an ashtray in the middle of our table even though she jolly well knew that we wanted non smoking.
What took the cake was the sour face she made as she gave us the menu cards. That was the last straw, I mean who wants to be served with such attitude? We had opened the bottle of water that was on the table so we got up, paid for it and left. The other lady managing the counter did not even bother to enquire if anything was not quite right. Obviously they did not care for our custom.
There is no shortage of Arabic / Lebanese eateries in Abu Dhabi, catering to all budgets. Most serve excellent food. We enjoyed a wonderful meal with warm service at another place two blocks away. We left feeling satisfied and happy.
The management of the Riviera would do well to keep an eye on how their staff behave, if they want to retain their patrons. Having separate non smoking sections would not go amiss either.
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