Namak by Kunal Kapur
The capital has its fair share of high-end Indian restaurants and with Namak by Kunal Kapoor, one of the most popular chefs from the subcontinent has brought his take on his country’s cuisines to the UAE. You should be grateful that he did. With a stylish dining room featuring bright colours, quirky decorations and sitar music playing you quickly get in the mood for an Indian feast. Take your seats on the left-hand side of the dining room and you can also peer into the kitchen to see the chefs work their magic crafting dishes.
The katifi prawns, plump and beautifully wrapped in crisp pastry, are simply a must-have. The charred paneer is another dish not to be missed. But the star of the show, falling off the bone after being slow-cooked for hours, is the nalli korma lamb shank. It’s so good you’ll want to high five the chef.
Open Sat-Thu 12.30pm-3pm, 7pm-11pm; Fri 7pm-11pm. Licensed. Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi, Sultan bin Zayed the First Street (02 698 8888).
Indian-inspired restaurant Tamba is hidden away above the capital’s most popular shopping outlets, and over the years it has earned an excellent reputation. If you’re after a cheap-and-cheerful chicken korma then this isn’t the kind of Indian restaurant your after; everything here is creative, beautiful and served with a touch of theatrics. Inside there’s a slick bar area surrounded by huge copper bells, while outside the spacious terrace is completed by the stunning views of the surrounding skyscrapers of Downtown. Make sure you save room for dessert, as the decadent Break-Up (layers of chocolate mousse, nuts and cream) and the Sticky Situation (a kind of sticky toffee pudding topped with banana), will have you coming back time and time again.
Sat-Wed noon-1am; Thu-Fri noon-3am. Licensed. The Hub at The Mall at World Trade Center Abu Dhabi (02 672 8888).
This Indian restaurant at the Venetian Village is a busy spot on any night of the week, and the wide outdoor terrace offers views over the Grand Canal. The friendly staff will keep your hunger at bay with an amuse bouche as soon as you take a seat, and the menu contains some creative plates as well as all the classics you’d expect from any good Indian restaurant. The chicken biryani is so huge that you’ll be eating the leftovers for days afterwards, and it’s full of tender chunks of marinated chicken.But whatever you choose there’s no doubt that it will be fantastic, and even the fresh naans and other bread varieties are a cut above the rest.
Daily 12.30pm-midnight. Licensed. Venetian Village, The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, Khor Al Maqta (02 449 9839).
Angar is a great place to go for a slap-up Indian meal. Forget fusion and elaborate presentation, here it’s all about big flavours and traditional recipes.
Sat-Sun and Tue-Thu 7pm-11pm, Fri 6pm-10.30pm. Licensed. W Abu Dhabi - Yas Island (02 656 0000).
Located at Khalidiyah Mall, this charming Indian restaurant is great place to try some traditional food.
Daily 10am-midnight. Unlicensed. Khalidiyah Mall (02 633 2100).
With cabana-like side tables and silk furnishings this a cool location for an evening meal and with a bounty of dishes from across te subcontinent.
Daily 12.30pm-3.30pm, 6pm-11.30pm. Licensed. Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiya (02 697 9011).
MYNT Indian Cuisine
This stylish venue is still relatively new to the city but has already established itself as a go-to. The intimate and dimly lit venue is great value for money too.
Daily noon-midnight. Licensed. Sheikh Zayed bIn Sultan Street, Al Zahiya (02 666 6400)
The food here is as vibrant as the setting, with contemporary takes on traditional Indian dishes.
Daily 6pm-midnight. Licensed. Yas Island Rotana (02 656 4155).
Signature by Sanjeev Kapoor
If you’re on the lookout for an elegant Indian restaurant from one of the subcontinent’s best-known chefs, Signature is worth a visit.
Daily noon-11.30pm. Unlicensed. Nation Towers, Corniche West (02 666 4343).
As a previous award-winner, we certainly rate this contemporary Indian restaurant. Bright, airy and with seriously impressive views of Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, this modern Indian restaurant is home to brilliant dishes and top-notch service. Well worth trying at least once.
Sat-Wed 12.30pm-11.30pm, Thu-Fri 12.30pm-midnight. Licensed. Souk Qaryat Al Beri (02 558 1769).