10 of the best seafood restaurants in Abu Dhabi
Where to net that seafood fix…
With thousands of miles of coastline, an abundance of island idylls and a strong seafaring theme running right through its heritage story, it’s no wonder Abu Dhabi is a bit of a catch when it comes to seafood restaurants. And to save you from trawling the internet for reviews and recommendations, we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite places for a mari-old-time.
What are the best seafood restaurants in Abu Dhabi?
This nauti little Yas Marina restaurant comes from the same team of culinary creatives that are behind Cafe Del Mar, the Trilogy by Buddha Bar and Tiki Pacifico. On the menu you’ll find a poissonate mix of international fish preparations — from spicy Thai soups to crudo plates and ceviches, sashimi, salads, mussels, garlic prawns, paella, fruits de mer platters, baked fillets, pastas and a catch of the day section offering customisable options for marination and cooking style.
Yas Marina, Yas Island, 1pm to 2am. Tel: (050) 696 9357, @aquariumyasmarina
Catch at St. Regis
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Next up and dropping anchor on this list of the best seafood restauants in the capital is Catch. And if we’re putting restaurants on a scale (sorry) of one to super fancy, there’s no doubt this St. Regis stalwart would be at the cape and monocled end. We’re talking oysters of multiple provenance and preparation styles, Beluga caviar, 24 karat crustaceans, carpaccio, neo sushi, 48-hour marinated black cod, lobster sliders, seared scallops and more. And for the full romantic experience, the blanched terrace offers stunning sea views.
The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Tower, Corniche, midday to midnight. Tel: (02) 694 4553, @catchatstregis
Dampa Seafood Grill
The well-established Dubai location of Dampa Seafood Grill has earned a rightful seat at the head of the affordable dining scene. And although its younger sibling, the Abu Dhabi branch has only been dumping buckets of oceanic bounty for a little under four years now, it already has a pincer grip around the capital’s seafood fanciers.The signature dining experience at Dampa, comes via the medium of buckets or ‘dumps’ of seafood. Giant baskets of freshly grilled shrimp, crab, mussels, clams and sweetcorn cobs, with marinades that include ‘Cajun’, ‘Mexican’, ‘Mardi Gras’ and ‘Thai’ which after being cooked are theatrically heaved onto your table. The epic portion sizes invite you to eat shelfishly and Dampa is one of the few places you’ll ever feel truly at home playing with your food.
Fatima Bint Mubarak Street, open midday to 11.35pm daily. Tel: (02) 622 0096, @dampaseafoodgrill
One of the oldest and best loved seafood restaurants in Abu Dhabi also now enjoys the distinction of being Michelin Guide recognised. There’s no menu at this multiple What’s On Award winning restaurant — it, as the name suggests, operates on a market style basis, with a large central ‘stall’ showing off the day’s catch with associated pricing. You take your pick of the oceanic bounty, select a cooking method along with sauces and sides, with the dish then being delivered direct to your table.
InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen, Monday to Sunday, midday to 11pm. Tel: (800) 423 463, @fishmarketad
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Found on the green edges of Abu Dhabi’s Eastern Mangroves, this answer to your fondest fish dish wish speaks with a distinctly Middle Eastern accent. Flooka does shrewd business on maritime mezze, including fish houmous — honestly do not fight us on this, it’s an underrated classic. Elsewhere on the menu you’ll find the venue’s own version of fish ‘n’ chips, where a special batter is employed as a gentle remix of the classic British dish.
Promenade Dhafeer St, Eastern Mangrove, midday to midnight. Tel: (02) 441 8244, @flookauae
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Nurai Island’s outstanding natural beauty does an expert job of reeling people in — but it’s restaurants like this seafood extravaganza, that ensure they come back. They offer a mix of Arabian and Mediterranean influences to their dishes, seasonal specials, salt bakes, and fried calamari. One of their best sellers is the golden mixed seafood platter — available, allow us to set the scene, on the dreamy island shoreline terrace, with a cool condensation-speckled glass of rosé and a vat of tartar sauce.
Nurai Island, nuraiisland.com
This restaurant on the seafront of the stunning Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort is visited by two overlapping culinary waves — Italian food and seafood. With it’s romantic Saadiyat dune setting and signature dishes such as their seafood tower, risotto ai frutti di mare, tartares and carpaccios, spaghetti alla vongole and grilled octopus salad, it’s always a popular pick for those seeking the romance of a Mediterranean holiday, closer to home.
Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort. Tel: (02) 811 4444, @jumeirahsaadiyat
Mina Fish Market
The new, rebuilt, upgraded and fin-ally fin-ished fish market at Port Mina Zayed in Abu Dhabi has got seafood fans understandably excited. And it’s not just because of the incredible fresh-from-the-catch fish you can buy and take home, there’s a thriving community of restaurants around the port area serving up sea snacks.
Turtle Bay Bar & Grill
Located just a stone’s throw from the picturesque Saadiyat beach, the restaurant is known for its precision-grilled fare, with equal love being shown to both surf and turf. There are lobster dishes, a selection of sushi, there’s a raw bar, caviar, sharing platters, ceviche and Alaskan King crab legs. Turtle Bay Bar & Grill offers harissa prawns, a catch of the day special and a mixed seafood grill.
Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, daily noon to 11.30pm. Tel: (02) 6970000.