Can the InterContinental Abu Dhabi’s flagship success story still be going strong?

Amid endless grid systems and working-from-home life, it’s easy to forget that Abu Dhabi is a coastal city.

But if you go far enough in any direction, the faint briny breeze will remind you. And if you’re hungry for fruits of the sea, there’s one restaurant in the capital that’s reigned supreme for over 30 years, the 2019 What’s On Award-winning restaurant – Fishmarket.


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Ask any long-time resident and they’ll wax lyrical about InterContinental Abu Dhabi’s flagship eatery, famed for its freshness, huge central counter and unique setting by the sea. But does it still deliver the goods?

Lightly fried fish goujons would usually be a mediocre kids menu staple, but the golden batter encasing juicy white meat that arrived from the kitchen as a complimentary appetiser, were anything but.


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Alongside the goujons, we ordered a bowl of the prawn tom yum soup – a popular dish here at Fishmarket, which specialises in Thai-style seafood. The soup is served piping hot and the forward flavours are sour and spicy, thanks to generous squeezes of lime and strips of fiery Thai chillies.

For mains, we headed to the famous fish and vegetable counter to pick our preference. The huge central counter, which wraps around the cylindrical open plan kitchen, displays fresh seafood on ice plus a vast array of vegetables.

We’re given a basket, as if literally in a marketplace, and asked to pick what we wanted, before passing it to the chef, along with our cooking preferences (stir-fried, steamed, or Thai-style).


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Then we ordered the fish, a whole seabass ‘grilled, please with zaatar spices,’ which arrived beautifully seasoned and soft, and two enormous lobsters ‘with lots of garlic, butter and lemon pots, thanks’.

The latter was a messy love affair, as we crunched and cracked our way to the good stuff, resulting in sticky fingers and stained shirts – all signs of a tasty meal. Long may it reign for the next 30 years.

Marina Walk, InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Daily noon to 11pm. Tel: (800) 423463,

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