New food experiences in Abu Dhabi for 2015
What’s On previews new food experiences in Abu Dhabi, including new chefs at the best restaurants in Abu Dhabi, and even some new brunches.
When it comes to dining out, it’s easy to stick with what you know. Trying somewhere new can be a bit hit and miss – you don’t want to shell out good money for a mediocre experience, or mismatch the restaurant to the occasion. But there have been lots of changes happening on the dining scene in the capital. Whether it’s a new opening, different head chef, updated menu or new brunch, here’s a handy guide to tell you what’s cooking.
Having worked in Michelin-starred restaurants throughout his culinary career, the new chef de cuisine, Didier Quennouelle, is bringing his skills and flair for perfection to the table.
He has already changed the seasoning and cooking processes in the kitchen.
Be sure to try the new healthier options including tenderloin Rossini, white and green asparagus and wild mushroom concoction.
Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, daily 6.30pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 5098511. Taxi: Shangri-La, Qaryat Al Beri. shangri-la.com
New in October, Toshi Asian restaurant is offering a selection of Thai delicacies every Monday, and for that they’ve brought in Filipino chef Ricardo Sicuan to head the teppanyaki table. With more than 13 years of experience, expect some tantalising teppanyaki served to smoky precision.
Grand Millennium Al Wahda, Al Wahda, Abu Dhabi, Mon 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 4953921. Taxi: Al Wahda Mall. millenniumhotels.ae
Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
German chef Michele Muller has moved from Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel And Villas and taken the reins at Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi, running the show at 18 Degrees, Profiterole, Privé, The Lounge and the Pool Bar as the executive sous chef.
Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 5962222. Taxi: Hyatt Capital Gate, next to Adnec. abudhabi.capitalgate.hyatt.com
If you’re after an authentic taste of Spain, then a Spanish chef with years of experience at three Michelin star restaurants should do the trick. Francisco Sanabria’s new menu at Catalan includes starters such as carabinero tartare and roasted steak of foie gras, with mains including oven-roasted sea bass and traditional Catalan lobster and vegetable fideua.
Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, daily 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 8135552. Taxi: Rosewood Abu Dhabi. rosewoodhotels.com
Spending a weekend away in the Western Region? Head to Sir Bani Yas Island and meet Oscar Cardenas Diaz, new chef de cuisine at Desert Islands Resort & Spa By Anantara. The hotel’s restaurant, Samak, has a new menu as a result, featuring chilli grilled oyster (red chilli deseeded, sliced fresh root ginger, breadcrumbs and butter), plus creamy Swiss almond ice cream topped with caramel peanut Snickers, whipped cream and chocolate stick.
Desert Islands Resort & Spa By Anantara, Sir Bani Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (02) 8015400. desertislands.anantara.com
Steak And Jazz
The Foundry, in the recently opened Southern Sun hotel, has launched a Steak And Jazz brunch with a live band. An oyster bar and Thermidor station add to the buffet experience.
Southern Sun Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, Fri 12.30pm to 4pm, Dhs275 with soft drinks, Dhs475 with house beverages. Tel: (02) 8184888. Taxi: Southern Sun hotel, near Corniche Hospital. tsogosunhotels.com
City Café brunch
This bargain, laid-back brunch offers breakfast and lunch favourites alongside surprise live stations. There’s also a children’s corner with games and toys to keep them busy while you eat.
Al Maha Arjaan By Rotana, Abu Dhabi, Fri noon to 4pm, Dhs110. Tel: (02) 6106666. Taxi: Al Maha Arjaan By Rotana. rotana.com/almahaarjaanbyrotana
Wind down brunch
Friday might be official brunch day in the UAE but sometimes, after a hard work week, a Thursday night chill is in order. At the Eastern Mangrove you’ll get just a relaxing pool deck with a barbecue and unlimited beer and wine for Dhs239.
Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, Thur 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (02) 6561000. Taxi: Eastern Mangroves. abu-dhabi.anantara.com
Thanks to panoramic views and a terrace, the Aqua brunch is inviting. It’s had a reboot over the summer with a Chocolate By Death station and a ceviche bar. The new highlight though is the Catalan station with dishes from new chef Francisco Sanabria, including paella.
Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, Fri 12.30 to 4pm, Dhs250 with soft drinks, Dhs500 with house beverages. Tel: (02) 8135552. Taxi: Rosewood Abu Dhabi. rosewoodhotels.com
A staple in Peru, ceviche is raw seafood marinated in citrus juices and it’s no wonder that many Japanese restaurants adopt and adapt versions for their menus. Popular Japanese joint Koi is one of them. Their new ceviche menu consists of five signature seafood dishes including Norwegian salmon, lightly cured and served alongside a Shiso emulsion of Kizami wasabi, apple, asparagus and cucumber.
The Collection, The St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi, daily 6pm to 1am. Tel: (02) 6783334. Taxi: St Regis Saadiyat Island. thecollection.ae
Fans of curry have a new selection of dishes to try at Spice Mela, Rosewood Abu Dhabi’s pan-Indian restaurant. The eatery has overhauled the menu, which now features a selection of tandoori dishes, street food-inspired starters, a tasting menu for Dhs215 and kebab platters for Dhs120. The dessert menu has been rejigged as well, and now features rasmalai fig carpaccio with yoghurt foam and mandarin sorbet
Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Fri 6.30pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 8135550. Taxi: Rosewood, Al Maryah Island. rosewoodhotels.com
Head to Traders Hotel in Qaryat Al Beri on a Friday for its revamped Friday BBQ Dinner, which takes place in its international restaurant Afya, and also on its lively beachfront terrace. Along with a new menu, there’ll also be a bouncy castle and face painting to keep the kids amused.
Traders Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, Oct 3, timings TBC, Dhs140 (excluding drinks). Tel: (02) 5108888. Taxi: Traders Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri. Shangri-la.com
Amalfi restaurant re-opened its doors in the earlier this year, after an extensive makeover including a brand new menu crafted by chef de cuisine, Pascal Sfara. There’s a lobster California inspired by Ferrari’s 2014 California and black and gold rice risotto with squid ink. Read our full review next issue.
Le Royal Méridien, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, daily noon to 3pm and 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (800) 101101. Taxi: Le Royal Méridien. leroyalmeridienabudhabi.com
Silk & Spice
The Sofitel’s award-winning Thai restaurant has a new business lunch deal available on weekdays. Thai chef Jatupol’s set menu offers a salad, a choice of a meat, fish or veggie main and a soft drink for Dhs89.
Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche, Corniche East Road, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Thur noon to 3pm, Dhs89. Tel: (02) 813 7777. Taxi: Sofitel Abu Dhabi. Sofitel.com
This steak and grill restaurant has had a brand new menu makeover. You can order a selection of meats such as block rib eye or a Tomahawk, which are cooked on their Josper Charcoal grill. For less hearty dishes, try the grilled salmon steak with French beans and potatoes.
Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Fri and Sat noon to 3pm and 6pm to midnight, Mon to Thur 6pm to midnight. Tel: (02) 5588990. Taxi: Abu Dhabi Golf Club. adgolfclub.com. adgolfclub.com
The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa recently launched its new restaurant, Sacci, serving Italian fare inspired by the regional dishes of Florence. The menu features favourites including antipastis, handmade pasta, a la piedra pizza and signature dishes such as Tagliata Florentin, a steak carved at the table.
The Westin, Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa, Abu Dhabi, daily 7pm to 11.30pm, lunch available Fri and Sat noon to 3.30pm. Tel: (02) 6169999. Taxi: The Westin Abu Dhabi. westin.com/abudhabigolfresort.com
Formerly Al Fanar, Stratos still rotates – great news for those who loved the spectacular views from the 25th floor. The refurbishment inside is impressive: cream sofas, golden drapes and black ceilings and tables create a very sophisticated dining experience. Expect grand food here including steak Americain topped with caviar and a quail egg, and foie gras with salted milk caramel, served with cinnamon and jam doughnuts. It’s not cheap, but it’s definitely one of Abu Dhabi’s new big-hitters.
Le Royal Méridien, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Wed noon to 2am, Thur and Fri noon to 3am. Tel: (02) 6742020. Taxi: Le Royal Méridien. leroyalmeridienabudhabi.com
With several venues in Dubai, More Café is somewhat of a breakfast institution and they’ve finally opened their first outlet in Abu Dhabi. Whether you’re in the mood for fluffy American-style pancakes, a classic English breakfast, or Arabic-inspired scrambled eggs with halloumi, olives and pitta, you’ll find it on the menu at this spacious, family-friendly café in Marina Mall.
Marina Mall, Breakwater Corniche Street, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Wed 8am to 10.30pm, Thur and Fri 8am to 11.30pm. Taxi: Marina Mall. Tel: (02) 4476325. morecafe.co
If you’ve missed your trip to Santorini this year, don’t panic: a taste of Greece is now available in the capital. Head chef Valsamis Konstantinos, who has more than 10 years’ experience in both Athens and Crete, will be serving a menu including favourites such as gyros, mousaka, and delicious Greek desserts. There’s also a Grecian live band playing music every evening until midnight.
Le Méridien, Al Zahiyah, Abu Dhabi, daily 1pm to midnight. Tel: (02) 6446666. Taxi: Le Méridien. acropolisabudhabi.com
Old school glamour is everything at this new Yas Viceroy venue, as you might have guessed from the name. Burlesque has a restaurant serving Mediterranean cuisines, a lounge and bar for light bites, and an outdoor terrace for after-dinner shisha. Turn to p93 for our review.
Yas Viceroy, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Mon to Wed 6.30pm to 4am, Sat noon to midnight. Tel: (02) 6560600. Taxi: Yas Viceroy. viceroyhotelsandresorts.com