Rumours, facts and reveals: New Abu Dhabi bars and restaurants

We take a look at new, confirmed, and possible dining outlets coming to Abu Dhabi…

What are the best new bars and restaurants coming to Abu Dhabi?

It looks like 2021 will be a hungry year for Abu Dhabi’s dining story, despite the best efforts of a certain microscopic antagonist. We’re taking a look at some of the biggest, best and most exciting upcoming chapters, with a brief preface featuring some new editions already with us.

Already here

Montauk Boutique Cafe & Restaurant

Montauk Boutique Cafe & Restaurant is a self-described ‘Hamptons-inspired’ experience. The concept was developed by Emirati founder, Chef Mariam Almansoori, and aims to provide the capital’s cafe connoisseurs with a new place to choose their favourite brews in uncontrived luxury. It’s breakfast where this charming venue is really setting up its challenge to the Abu Dhabi dining scene. Items on the most important meal of the day menu include avocado, beetroot and cheese toasties; Turkish eggs with herb labneh; scrambled egg shakshuka; custard-soaked French toast; homemade granola with honey & berries; and cream cheese sesame bagels.

When open the cafe will be based in Al Bateen, open 10am to 10pm daily, @montaukabudhabi

Brunch & Cake

The Insta-fit food fiesta known as Brunch & Cake has landed in Abu Dhabi, with the opening of the city’s very first outlet in the appropriately picturesque district of Marsa Al Bateen Marina. The Dubai locations have become breakfast date spots of note, with a joyful mix of aesthetics on the walls and on the palate. Exclusive Abu Dhabi bites include the New York cheesecake style ricotta pancakes, pepperoni pizza with chilli honey jam, deep fried pizza bites, and burrata toast. This is of course in addition to menu favourites from the other UAE locations.

Marsa Al Bateen Marina, Shop 9, Abu Dhabi. Sun to Wed 8am to 10pm, Thursdays and Saturdays 8am to 10.30pm. @brunchandcakeuae

Coming soon

Ting Irie — Pon Di Beach

The Abu Dhabi version of Dubai’s popular Caribbean-themed lounge is not open yet, the interior is currently undergoing a thorough Jamaicafication, but when it does, you’ll be able to walk in off the beach at Mamsha Saadiyat. If you’ve already visited the Dubai location, you’ll have some idea of what to expect, and therefore are entirely forgiven for being more than a little excited. It’s all about those good island vibes, soulful reggae music, dancehall bangers, authentic Caribbean cuisine and comes pretty close to replicating carnival feels all year round. This new venture is a skank step closer to its spirit land, being just a few steps away from Saadiyat’s gorgeous Soul Beach. There’ll be no dress code (no pressed shirt, no shoes — no worries) and a terrace space offering island shoreline views, and Arabian Gulf blues. @tingirieuae

Asia Asia

Asia Asia

Solutions Leisure Group, the team behind Dubai mega hospitality projects such as Lock, Stock and Barrel, STK and Asia Asia has announced that the latter will open in Yas Bay. The What’s On Award-winning pan-Asian restaurant is known for its party atmosphere and excellent fusion of Asian and Middle Eastern flavours. Let’s hope for a gorgeous terrace overlooking the new Bay, too. asiaasia.com

The Central

Initial renderings of new entertainment destination The Central suggests that an arcade complex, complete with Pac Man, air hockey and simulators, is headed to the new Yas Bay development. There’s also a retro diner inside, which we predict will serve up a selection of American comfort food. There’s even been (and we stress: Unconfirmed) whispers that it might include a bowling alley.

Lock, Stock and Barrel

Another solid hit from the Solutions Leisure Group, Lock, Stock and Barrel has been the go-to party-into-the-early-hours venue for a few years now. Restrictions-permitting, we can expect live music, ample dancefloor space, and a menu of international bites, including its signature metre-long flatbread at this Yas Bay venture. lsbabudhabi.com

Mazaj Bab Al Bahr

Expected to open imminently, this Fairmont Bab Al Bahr restaurant specialises in dishing up delicacies from the library of Lebanese-Mediterranean cuisine, prepared with care and flame-grilled with flair. Signature dishes will include kebabs, manakish, kunaffa, baklava and an abundance of aromatic hot and cold mezzeh. Redevelopment plans have placed an important focus on the alfresco section of the restaurant. The beach garden area has space for 149 guests, in a chic wood-framed network of cabana-like structures. Expect comfortable low-set seating, atmospheric lighting and panoramic views of the sky. The restaurant’s celebration of refined traditional craftsmanship, quite literally begins at the door — the main entrance is framed by an ornate 3.3 metre high, three-century-old gateway. The impressive antique theme continues throughout the interior, amounting to a substantial gallery of objet d’art from the golden age of artisanal craft.

Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Khor Al Maqta, daily 8am to 1am, @mazajbabalbahr

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Disclaimer time, this isn’t the wild conjecture of a neon-lit fantasy. These names didn’t come to us in the form of a dream, nor were they found scribbled on washroom walls. The collection came from credible sources, and that makes them more than simple rumour — but we don’t have the full details yet, so into the mill they go.

Siddharta Buddha Bar Abu Dhabi

Capital Motion, the team behind Siddharta Lounge Abu Dhabi by Buddha Bar says that it’ll be a “dazzling rooftop playground complete with a Mediterranean menu, clever mixology, jaw-dropping views and state-of-art concept events.” Big statement. But judging by the success of its counterpart in Dubai, it should live up to the hype. We’ve also heard rumblings of two more exciting Buddha Bar concepts making their way to Yas Bay. More to come on WhatsOn.ae.

Cafe Del Mar

The original Balearic apres-rave hub, Cafe Del Mar (pictured) is the stuff of Ibizan legend. During its 40 year non-stop party manifesto, it launched an uncountable number of ‘chilled house’ playlists, hosted almost every DJ hall-of-famer, and established itself as an essential strand of the tapestry of the Ibiza music phenomenon. New Cafe Del Mar venues have sprung up in Phuket, Tenerife, mainland Spain, and there’s even one offering warm welcomes and fond farewells at Ibiza Airport. Back in 2015, there was a UAE location penciled in for Dubai, which sadly never got the greenlight, but our neighbour’s loss is likely our gain. The word on the grapevine is that its next Cafe Del Mar adventure will be right here in the capital, at the new Yas Bay development.

Images: Provided