What's open at Yas Bay, and what's still to come
The best dining adventures available at Yas Bay…
Located on Yas Island, the new waterfront district of Yas Bay is now open and represents a significant booster shot to the capital’s culinary credentials.
The central staging point, Pier 71 is fully operational with an overwater boardwalk lined with a diverse collection of exciting eateries. But there’s still more to come.
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Now open at Yas Bay
You don’t see too many restaurants serving fusion food built from the from culinary traditions of Italy and Japan. And that’s a shame, because at Akiba Dori, those gastronomic worlds collide in the most spectacular fashion. The result is a shockwave of outrageously tasty Japanese pizza and a collection of Tokyo street bites that have been given a lightly Roman remix. This is the second UAE location for the brand, which this time comes with its own bar, alfresco seating and the return of its soul-binding wagyu gyoza dish. @akibadori
Muscling into Yas Bay, full of Eastern promise, Asia Asia Abu Dhabi has been replicated from one of Dubai’s most popular Pan Asian restaurants. Its characterised by epic Eastern feasts, immersive decor, and special promotions that have a loyal following of their own. Sundays are sushi nights (unlimited sushi and a bottle of grape for Dhs330 per couple, 2pm to 6pm); Tuesdays are ladies’ nights — a special three course menu and three drinks is Dhs200 per person; and the award-winning Saturday ‘Spice Route’ brunch has packages form Dhs250. @asiaasiaabudhabi
The Trilogy by Buddha Bar
Good things, come in threes we’re told, and whilst that is not a universal constant it does seem to be holding strong at Yas Bay. The Trilogy by Buddha Bar is a three-tier bar complex comprised of Siddharta Lounge Bushra and Zeera. It’s perhaps fair to say that the spear prong of this bang-on-trend trident is Siddharta Lounge, the Dubai version of which enjoys a reputation for effortless class. This new Capital Motion venture repeats that same lightning strike of laidback luxury with charismatic rooftop views and a menu filled with big contemporary flavours (including the new Saturday brunch). And because it’s part of the Buddha Bar community, you get edge-surfing, cool-as-funk beats guaranteed. Zeera offers a chic enclave to enjoy modern Indian food, whilst Bushra’s menu, conceived by Chef Greg Malouf, celebrates the rich aromatic legacy of the Middle Eastern food traditions. @thetrilogybybuddhabar/
Cafe Del Mar
Straight from the Baleric beat factory of Ibiza, Cafe Del Mar has landed on the waterfront next to Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island. There’s an infinity pool, a cheeky little manmade beach, a swim-up pool bar, and appropriately slamming soundtrack. Access is free for the adjacent Hilton guests, for everybody else day passes are available for Dhs250 between Monday to Friday (with Dhs150 back as F&B credit), weekends its Dhs350 (also with Dhs150 back as credit). We’ve been told brunch and ladies night will arrive shortly. @cafedelmarabudhabi
The latest venue from hospitality heavyweights Solutions Leisure Group – who also brought Asia Asia and Lock, Stock & Barrel to Yas Island – Central is a first-of-its-kind venue for Yas Bay, described as a ‘family entertainment and dining concept.’ It’s inspired by the Big Apple – and we’re putting emphasis on the big. Across 1,700 square feet, there’s a state-of-the-art arcade, bowling alley, live music stage, plus a restaurant and bar, all designed to blur food and fun into one epic destination. By day, there’s more of a family-friendly feel as Central invites kids and those young at heart to enjoy a game of bowling, or challenge their mates to some healthy competition at the gaming arcade. After dark, Central is set to become the place to bust some moves in Yas Bay, with the beats spinning till late and a roster of live music acts set to grace the stage. @central_uae
Just when you thought Yas Bay was all out of fresh culinary concepts, out pops – Drop, a cafe that specialises in quality, gourmet coffee. But it’s not just fancy percolation methods, and a premium bean scene, there are big reasons foodies will fall in love with Drop too. The menu was created in collaboration with Dubai cheffing legend, Reif Othman — who you may know from a number of hard-to-get-reservations-for dining establishments that include Reif Kushiyaki and Tero by Reif.
Yas Bay, Mon to Fri 8am to 11pm, Sat to Sun 8am to 2am. @wearedropcoffee
One of Dubai’s most popular ramen joints is now providing solicted noods for customers on Yas Bay’s Pier 71 location. Known for its hio, miso, and shoy broth rocking feats of noodle gloriousness, this authentic Japanese ramen-ya is an electric addition to the capital’s Asian cuisine scene. @daikanizakaya_ae
New York-based pizzeria Emmy Squared, making its way to Abu Dhabi’s Yas Bay. Set to open at some point early in 2022, this purveyor of fine carbs, deals in Detroit-style pizza — a destinct, square-shaped pizza with “a crispy bottom, fluffy focaccia-like dough, caramelised cheesy “frico” crust, and signature sauce stripes.” Despite being a little over five years old as a brand, Emmy Squared has 13 locations across the East and South East of mainland USA.
Hunter and Barrell
Aussie steakhouse Hunter & Barrel, was one of the most popular new ‘meating places’ in Dubai last year, and now the capital has its own destination for down under steak-ations. @hunterandbarreluae
La Carnita 2.0
Dubai Marina’s charismatic Latin street food cantina has been given a menu and wardrobe makeover for this, 2.0 Abu Dhabi incarnation, immediately visible in the matured edge to its interiors, menu and soundtrack. Aspects such as the mood lighting and hacienda-style terracotta living walls for example — conceived by Canadian designer Ian Rydberg of Solid Design Creative. This venue will also feature a raw bar; an outdoor terrace, overlooking the Yas Bay Waterfront; and a separate bar area devoted to degustation of that most polarising of agave-based tipples. Launching Tuesday January 18, they have a ladies’ night with three special beverages for Dhs99. On Saturday, January 29, they’ll be launching a three-course Saturday sharing brunch, with prices from Dhs199. @lacarnita2.0
Lock, Stock and Barrel
Another solid hit from the Solutions Leisure Group, the two Dubai Lock, Stock and Barrel locations have been the go-to party-into-the-early-hours and live rock music venues for a few years now. They’re also known for their raucous brunches, theme nights and genuinely tasty pub grub. They’ve got special promotions on every night of the week from daily buy-one-get-on select beverage deals, to the Saturday brunch (house package is just Dhs250), midweek madness drinks packages, a ladies night on Tuesday, a chicken wing night on Monday and more. @lockstockabudhabi
Paradiso is the globally-acclaimed Mediterannean restaurant from the Michelin-endorsed culinary double act of Nicole Rubi (the woman behind Nice’s La Petite Maison) and Chef Pierre Gagnaire (Fouquet’s). Their ‘medium’ is light gourmet dishes using local, seasonal ingredients — reinterpreting Mediterranean classics and giving them a taste renaissance. The man behind the mixology, Emanuele Balestra — has also ensured that the restaurant’s botanical theme carries through into the crafting of the signature drinks. Expect exquisite understated luxury for the interiors, extensive terrace and dazzling decor from the design minds of Italian architects Vudafieri-Saverino Partners. @paradisoabudhabi
There’s a space as soon as you exit the main underground parking area, directly in front of pier 71, that is serviced by an area of picnic tables and two pop-up bar units branded with the Phileas Fogg logo. It features exactly the same branding as the Phileas Fogg venue at the Address Montgomerie in Emirates Hills, Dubai. Is this the precursor to something more permanent or just a fun little temporary set up? We’ll have to quite literally “watch this space”. @phileasfoggs.xyz
The Lighthouse Restaurant & Concept Store is now open at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Bay. The Lighthouse isn’t your conventional restaurant, conceived by Hashem Montasser and Hany Bassiouny and launched in 2017 at Dubai’s D3, the brand blends a gastro dining experience with a boutiquey retail space. They’ve got a great selection of books, scents and objects of curiosity that make gifts for those people that are ‘really hard to buy for’. The menu is a little bit hipster, and we mean that in only the kindest sense. That guarantees you great breakfasts and top quality coffee, imaginative food creations, health and nutrition will be a strong part of menu identity, and you’ll be able to go vegan if you want. @thelighthouse_ae
One of the UK capital’s most covetous cafe experiences, EL&N London is set to launch in Dubai later this year, and via the budget investigative journalist method of us spotting some hoardings, it appears that a second UAE branch is headed for Abu Dhabi. EL&N is known for styling pink war paint, Insta-fresh menu items and an A-List celebrity following.
Images: Provided/What’s On Archive