Taking you on a tour of the next piece in the Mina Zayed puzzle…

Chef Faisal Al Harmoudi is well known in the UAE food scene, and for his latest opening, he’s turned his attention to a peaceful corner of the city, Mina Zayed, with new eatery, Ryba. When we arrive, Abu Dhabi’s own storm makes its presence felt intermittently, with strong gusts knocking over terrace chairs, potted plants, and more in the vicinity. Once indoors, however, things couldn’t be calmer. Friendly staff inform us the restaurant was named Ryba, Russian for ‘fish’, inspired by the chef’s travels.

Ryba is airy and spacious, dimly lit with a grown-up feel. With generous seating on the outdoor patio ideal for calmer days, we’re envisioning this as a spot for memorable afternoon lunches, with the vastness of the Arabian Sea providing the ideal backdrop.

An open cooking station on one side allows you to watch, film and be inspired by the experts that bring you Ryba’s menu. This concept caters to lovers of oceanic fare, and you can look forward to seasonal specials on their menu including the Canadian lobster, shrimp dishes and more.

For starters, we’re served the grilled octopus (Dhs75). Slow cooked and grilled with chimichurri sauce, the meat is tender, and the seafood is almost an aftertaste, once the tomato sauce dies down on your palate. Keeping with the theme, we also order the tomato rigatoni (Dhs75). With basil, dill oil and black olive powder, the storm is back, except it’s one of flavours we’re experiencing.

For mains, the grilled sea bass (Dhs150) arrives, a generous portion marinated with dill, ginger, and tamarind. As we perform the customary lemon squeeze, here’s a quick tip: as irresistible as the starter section of the menu looks, try to leave room for your main because it packs some might.

To conclude, we opt for the passionfruit cheesecake (Dhs35), served with mango and passionfruit salsa that you’ll want to take your time drizzling so you can get the perfect shot. Fruity, indulgent and with the biscuit base we’re such big fans of, this really hits the spot. As a sign-off, we’re served the Ryba brulee (Dhs45), topped with mixed berries and a ring of powdered sugar.

While foodies generally descend on emerging concepts on Abu Dhabi’s incredible islands, Mina Zayed is a calm nook overlooking the vastness of the Arabian sea, where a trove of dining concepts opens their doors to connoisseurs of cuisines aplenty. Ryba looks set to further add to the reasons to come by this side of town.

What’s On verdict: When you need a break from island indulgence, dig in to wholesome portside fare at Ryba.

Ryba, Souk Al Mina, Mina Zayed, Abu Dhabi, daily, 12pm to 11am. Tel: (0)2 584 5645. @ryba.ae

Images: supplied