A guide to the Asian restaurants in Abu Dhabi
Say Sawadi Ka, Ni Hao, Kon’nichiwa…
From street food to white cloth fine dining, if there is one thing that is guaranteed in Asian cuisine is that the food will always be top-tier.
Here in the capital, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to Asian restaurants. Unlimited dim sum, divine maki rolls, incredible Korean barbecue – the list goes on as Abu Dhabi has it all when it comes to Asian restaurants. The only difficult thing you have to do is pick one.
99 Sushi Bar and Restaurant
A Michelin Star-awarded restaurant, and rightfully so. A Japanese fine dining establishment with roots in the culinary crucible of Madrid. The Abu Dhabi outpost is located inside the Four Seasons Hotel on Al Maryah Island. If you’d like a full breakdown, we recently indulged in all that the stunning venue had to offer and you can read about it here. Our verdict? The menu is a love letter to Japanese cuisine and the restaurant is one of very few in the region that deliberately dares to do things differently, and manages to pull it all off with an immaculate scoresheet.
Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island, midday to 3.30pm and 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 672 3333, @99sushibaruae
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. It’s 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 Dhs225 per person, and the award-winning Saturday ‘Spice Route’ brunch has packages from Dhs275.
Yas Bay, Yas Island, Mon to Fri 6pm to 1am, Sat and Sun 2pm to 1am. @asiaasiauae
This was your choice for the best Asian Restaurant in the What’s On Abu Dhabi 2021 Awards, and we absolutely endorse that decision. The stunning Thai restaurant offers authentic flavours in an exclusive setting. Guests are welcome to enjoy the culinary expertise with signature dishes such as tom kha prawns and pineapple fried rice.
Benjarong, Muroor Road, Abu Dhabi, Tel: (0)2 698 8137. @benjarongabudhabi
Din Tai Fung
If you’re a fan of Chinese food, there’s a strong chance you’ll already be well acquainted with Din Tai Fung. The brand began its journey in Taiwan, but the appeal was enough to see it spread to 14 countries worldwide. Two separate branches in Hong Kong have even been awarded Michelin stars. Din Tai Fung offers a range of Taiwanese and Chinese food, occasionally with an occidental twist. Dumpling devotees can knock chopsticks against meat, seafood and veg wontons, potstickers, shumai and juicy Chinese buns. But what really brings the boys and girls to the yard is the signature collection of XiaoLongBao, 18-fold puckered pastry wraps packed with juicy bundles of mutton or chicken and crab, served with a selection of dipping condiments.
The Galleria Al Maryah Island @dintaifungae
Dai Pai Dong
This Michelin Guide restaurant is an authentic and unforgettable experience. Boasting an opulent setting with design elements inspired by the mainland and an abundance of authentic dining experiences steeped in rich Cantonese heritage.
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At the helm is an entirely Vietnamese kitchen, which guarantees the most genuine experience. Hoi An offers a mesmerising blend of authentic and complex flavours from the land of the blue dragon. Guests can be delighted by all of the classic Vietnamese dishes such as oxtail soup, miso black cod or even wok-seared beef.
Hoi An, Shangri la Hotel, open Wed to Sun 6pm to 11pm. Tel: (0)2 509 8555 hoianabudhabi.com
You’ll find the Abu Dhabi outpost of this global chain of high-end Cantonese restaurants, at Emirates Palace. Hakkasan plates up artful servings of dim sum, seafood, spice and other food fire, often based on ancient Chinese recipes.
Hakkasan, Emirates Palace, Corniche Rd W Tel: (02) 690 7739, @hakkasanabudhabi
Mukbang Shows Restaurant
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If you’re wondering where you can satisfy that Korean BBQ craving in the capital — Mukbang Shows, puts on quite the performance. Their happy hours consist of unlimited Korean barbecue and start from as little as Dhs49. They currently have two branches, one in Muroor and a brand new branch in Elektra. Oh, and they also deliver.
Sultan Bin Zayed The First St-Zone 1, 10am to 1am. Tel: (02) 564 04 46 (Elektra), Tel: (02) 886 5150 (Muroor), @mukbangshowae
Niri Restaurant and Bar was originally located at Yas Mall, but like the cherry-petalled sakura, it really seems to have blossomed in the fresh sea air. The interior is dominated by, appropriately enough, a mock cherry blossom tree in full bloom; a long sushi bar; and sleek wooden finishes throughout. It’s restaurant is an excellent addition to the Saadiyat dining scene. It makes a respectful bow to haute Japanese cuisine and steps well beyond the well-trodden paths of sushi and ramen restaurants in the capital.
Mamsha Al Saadiyat, daily to 11pm. Tel: (02) 546 8886, @niriabudhabi
Chomp-sized pockets of pastry, stuffed with intense aromatic flavour combinations, that when pinched between a pair of chopsticks and dipped into some neighbouring soy, light-up a truly unique constellation of palate points. Putting the spiritual ‘yum’ into yum cha, Shang Palace knows how to do it best.
Shang Palace, Shangri La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, daily from midday to 3pm and 6pm to 11pm. Tel: (02) 509 8555, @Shangrilaabudhabi
Silk and Spice
Thai restaurant, Silk and Spice at the Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche is a popular pick for those that appreciate bold Bangkok flavours. There aren’t many places where you can get good Thai food in Abu Dhabi, but this is really good Thai food.
Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche, Corniche Road East Capital Plaza Complex. Tel: (02) 813 7777, sofitelabudhabicorniche.com
With one of the most attractive alfresco set-ups anywhere in the emirate, and an absolutely scintillating menu of Pan-Asian cuisine, beautifully presented, it should come as no shock that they were the winners of the What’s On Favourite Asian restaurant award for 2022.
Sontaya, The St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, open from 6pm to midnight. Tel: (0)2 498 8088 2 498 8088
Zuma always passes the hype check with flying colours. Whilst Japanese cuisine is often saddled with labels like subtle or delicate, their miso soup is both those things, the crudo fish dishes are anything but. They scream onto the palate with electric audacity, razor-sharp citrus, fragrant-earth truffle and balloon-pops of deeply-fishy flavour from the roe. The restaurant has been delighting diners since 2014, and if you haven’t visited, what are you waiting for?
The Galleria Al Maryah Island, midday to 3.30pm and 7pm to midnight. Tel: (02) 401 5900, @zumaabudhabi