This stunning restaurant is based at the end of the beach at Beach Rotana, jutting out over the water. The terrace is one of the prettiest places to enjoy a meal in the city, with great views towards Al Maryah Island. Sitting out here, for dinner (or just for drinks and a few bites) is a real treat. We recommend trying one of the seafood platters or the incredible roasted sea bass, but either way, seafood doesn’t get any fresher than this.
Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiya (02 697 9011).
The trendy seafood restaurant at Nation Riviera Beach Club serves up beautifully presented, fresh seafood in a pretty setting right by the white sands of the Corniche. The dining room is well put together with a classy, nautical theme and the plates include fresh fish such as grilled Chilean sea bass, perfect sushi and some Insta-worthy shellfish, such as the king crab in a creamy spicy sauce. The business lunch is exceptionally good value, while the 15-course brunch is an absolute delight. The rooftop bar is great, too.
Nation Riviera Beach Club, West Corniche (02 611 0909).
The concept of this lovely restaurant is brilliantly simple. At the centre you’ll find a huge display of fresh fish and shellfish on ice, all set up to look like a fancy fish market (the name makes sense now, right?). Then all you need to do is select your catch, cooking method, sauce and side and wait for it to be delivered to your table. No menu, no fuss, just truly excellent seafood.
InterContinental Abu Dhabi, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street (02 666 6888).
It may be a lively nightspot most nights of the week, with a cracking ladies’night and top DJs playing regularly, but Aquarium is also a pretty special seafood restaurant, too. Choose from the fresh seafood display, from the sushi selection or one of the more substantial main courses.
Yas Marina, Yas Island (050 696 9357).
The legend of this place is quite something, but it wouldn’t be so memorable if the food wasn’t any good. The man nicknamed Bu Tafish was spotted roadside selling his goods by the ruler of Abu Dhabi and given the chance to open his own place. The rest, as they say, is history.
Al Marasy, Al Bateen (02 666 6108).
There’s a taste of the Levant at this pretty seafood venue overlooking the Eastern Mangroves. It occupies a picturesque spot, which only serves to elevate the food that comes from the kitchen. Head here in winter and take a seat outside and you’ll want to come back again and again.
Eastern Mangroves Promenade (02 441 8244).
Pick your seafood and get kitted up because this is a hands-on experience. The catch will be cooked and doused in a punchy sauce before being spread over your table. The apron and gloves are necessary, not there for show.
Electra Street (02 626 9918).
Off the Hook
Another place that offers the chance to get your hands dirty while tucking into your choice of seafood. The fish balls here are excellent, as are the crab legs. Be prepared to sample a Filipino-Louisiana mash-up and to like it very much.
Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed street (02 644 9494).
If you think Saadiyat Beach Club is all parties, DJs and beautiful people dancing around and taking selfies, think again. Well, it is all that but that’s just part of the reason we love it. Head to the cool dining room of Safina and you’ll be as impressed with the dishes coming out of the kitchen as you are with the beats coming from the DJ.
Saadiyat Beach Club, Saadiyat Island (02 656 3500).
With Sayad we’ve covered pretty much every price point in this list of nominees for Best Seafood restaurant. As you might expect for a place at Emirates Palace, the splendour and location come with a price tag, while you might find not every dish is worth it, most of them are special and this venue is perfect for a celebration. The outdoors area is particularly beautiful.
Emirates Palace, West Corniche (02 690 7999).