When it comes to creative Japanese cooking, nowhere does it better than Zuma. This is where the classy and good-looking crowd in Abu Dhabi hang out, and the views from the sleek dining room over the waters around Al Maryah Island are tremendous. The highlights of the Japanese-inspired menu include the signature black cod, fresh tiger prawns squeezed with lemon, bao buns and super salads like sautéed spinach with creamy sesame paste. Even the simplest things like edamame beans are exceptional.
Al Maryah Island (02 401 5900).
99 Sushi Bar & Restaurant
This Japanese restaurant originated in Spain, and the super-stylish outlet specialises in immaculate plates of impossibly fresh sushi that are prepared with care and skill by the talented chefs at the sushi bar. It oozes class from every corner, and the business lunch is a good-value way of experiencing some of the best dishes. From the fresh tuna ceviche to the chicken dumplings, it’s all sublime.
The Galleria Al Maryah Island (02 672 3333).
Tori No Su
Stepping inside Tori No Su feels like you’ve been whizzed over to Tokyo for the evening. Both the feel and the dishes on offer are extremely authentic, and this modern restaurant at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers always manages to impress. The sushi, tempura and noodles are all unmissable, while the signature mains like soft shell crab are also really worth your time, too.
Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, West Corniche (02 811 5666).
Talented chefs show off their teppanyaki skills at this family-friendly place, where dishes from the flat iron grill rule.
Daily 6pm-11.30pm. Licensed. Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiya (02 697 9011).
With a smart and stylish dining room and a revolving sushi belt you get the best of both worlds in this restaurant with an intriguing blend of elegance and convenience.
Daily noon-4pm, 7pm-11pm. Licensed. Fairmont Bab Al Bahr (02 654 3238).
With an outdoor terrace by the Grand Canal, a fabulously cool Far Eastern-themed dining room and an open kitchen, Tokyo Grill is a beautiful restaurant.
Daily 12.30pm-1am. Licensed. Venetian Village (050 696 9503).
KOI Abu Dhabi
With dim lighting and a romantic and intimate vibe, this trendy Japanese restaurant is a perfect date-night spot. Plus, the food is also excellent, with a huge variety of classic and contemporary Japanese dishes all expertly served.
Sat-Wed 6.30pm-12.30pm, Thu 6.30pm-1.30am, Fri 12.30pm-12.30am. Licensed. The Collection, The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi (02 678 3334).
Sure, you wouldn’t always head to a golf club on the lookout for a great meal unless you were a member but with Matsu you’d be foolish not to. The traditional Japanese restaurant is something of a hidden gem but with fantastic food, a chilled and stripped-back dining room.
Sun-Thu 5.30pm-11.30pm, Fri-Sat 12.30pm-3.30pm, 5.30pm-11.30pm. Licensed. Yas Links Golf Club, Yas Island (02 556 0096).
Whether you’re new to sushi or are something of a connoisseur, SushiSan is home to an impressive array of the Japanese staple, and is great value too.
Mon-Sat noon-11pm. Licensed. Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi, Dhafeer Street (02 657 4890).
With quiet booths, an authentic feel and relaxed pace, Toki is a place you could easily unwind for a few hours. With a massive menu brimming with delicious dishes there’s a lot of choice here and it’s more than just a cool sushi spot. Keep your eyes peeled for unusual plates.
Daily noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm. Licensed. Radisson Blu Hotel & Resort Abu Dhabi Corniche (02 681 4151).