The Yacht Club

A swanky bar breathing new life into the Japanese food scene in the capital Reviews

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Entering this plush, funky bar by the InterContinental’s marina you could be forgiven for assuming that it’s all about the beverages and nightlife at this joint. Because oh, how wrong you would be. Something fantastic happened to the Yacht Club earlier this year, and that something was Sushi-Samba’s celebrity chef, Koji Kagawa.

Kagawa’s menu is a culinary adventure for the taste buds, with the sushi menu alone boasting eight varieties of mind blowing maki. You’ll find no California or Philadelphia rolls here – and frankly we’ve had enough of those, so feel no inclination towards raising a complaint. Instead, we go ahead and spoil ourselves silly by ordering four that tickle our fancy, and topping it with a starter of agedashi tofu. What arrives is three pieces of tofu covered in glutinous batter, swimming in a savoury dashi broth and topped with salmon roe. When we sink our choppers into the wonderfully firm (none of your silken half-hearted stuff here) tofu we’re in heaven. We’ve only had this kind of agedashi tofu on another continent entirely.

When the sushi shows up we first take a moment to appreciate the effort that’s been put into their appearance. The square Harbour roll, for example, looks like a panel from a stained glass window. The Sunrise roll looks like mini hand-rolls sitting in a pool of sunshine coloured sauce. But most importantly, it all tastes better than it looks. One of our orders was the Wagyu beef roll, which hits you first with a taste that combines the hearty flavours of tender and fatty beef strips, grilled to rare, and the exotic undertones of yakiniku sauce, shrimp tempura and sesame complimented sushi rice. Accompanying the taste is the texture; crunchy, chewy, and smooth. We thought this maki was beautifully executed, until we tried the Sunrise roll. This one marries crunchy tempura with a creamy coconut sauce that’s spicy and sweet all at once, and compliments it all with a woody nod from the smoked salmon. We had issues about eating smoked salmon in sushi until we met this Sunshine roll.

Yacht Club might be one of the more pricey options for Japanese food, but we find that most Japanese food in the capital is pricey any way. Whether it’s always good value for money though, is questionable. Yacht Club is excellent value for money and well worth bruising the old wallet to enjoy a night of good food, memorable food, in a nice stylish setting. And if you want to save on your bill, you could miss dessert all together. After the fantastic culinary trip we had, the green tea ice cream was rather disappointing and tasted not of green tea but of nothing at all.

The bill (for two)
Harbour roll
Sunrise roll Dhs65
Wagyu roll Dhs85
Agedashi tofu Dhs100
Ice cream Dhs45
Total Dhs425

By Time Out Abu Dhabi staff
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.


  • Location: InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 666 6888
  • Travel: King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Street
  • Website

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The Yacht Club On The Map

User reviews

  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Business lunch

User reviews:

Posted by: Antonio on 27 Apr ' 13 at 12:58
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

The food is sublime, very attentive staff. I had a very pleasant evening.

Posted by: Lambey on 08 May ' 12 at 08:34
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Terrible food and experience for All you Can You Eat Sushi (if you can get them). Very limited choice, not enough for such extreme price that they charge. Not worth, and even the taste are not good. Not even close to the so-so cheap Sushi Resto that I have been too. Very poor taste, they should be embarassed...

Posted by: Paul on 28 Sep ' 11 at 06:21
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Good atmosphere and excellent attentive service but let down by our meals. My partners Beef Teriyaki was too tough to eat and I had a long long wait for my prawn dish.
Thought all our drinks particularly the wine were overpriced.

Posted by: Paul on 25 May ' 11 at 08:38

The Business Lunch Deal no longer exists !!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: momo on 28 Oct ' 10 at 18:49
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Christina Heiser on 02 Mar ' 09 at 05:02
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

My father had the 3 course lunch special, which was fantastic, in quality,presentation and value! Started with the lobster bisque, followed by a nice beef medallion sans the aubergine mus (on our request, which was replaced by 2 potato cakes), and finished off nicely with a vanilla and chocolate cake, mmmhh! I opted for a mixed salad with marinated beef strips, which reminded me of The One's interesting salad combinations, with lots of vegetables and salad leafs, nicely wrapped in a spicy marinade! The dim sum basket unfortunately was boring, but then I have yet to find the perfect ones ( If anyone has found a place who does, please let me know) The only disappointment came with the bill, as we discovered that 1 bottle of perrier was charged with 40Dhs!! That is clearly outrages, but the
cheapest glas of wine was also around 45Dhs, upto 80Dhs(and it wasn"t a 1979 Chateau Neuf de Pape). Best regards Christina

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