Sushi Soirée at Buddha-Bar Beach

A weekly deal serving unlimited platters of sushi and grape to go with it

Sushi Soirée at Buddha-Bar Beach
Sushi Soirée at Buddha-Bar Beach Image #2

Since the end of the summer, the Time Out Abu Dhabi team has been to Buddha-Bar Beach quite a lot. Too many times, probably, as there are lots of other places to check out after all. However, the dreamy views, super-cool soundtrack and really rather ace Asian food keeps pulling us back. It’s visitor season and we’ve had plenty of people to show the best of the capital to, and what sums up life here more perfectly than a chilled-out beach bar in a luxurious resort, overlooking the turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf?

This time we’re back on a Tuesday night to try the weekly Sushi Soirée deal. From 8pm, and for Dhs300, you’ll get unlimited platters of sushi and glasses of grape. There aren’t any soft drinks packages and no hops or shorts included, just a choice of red, white or rosé.

Our seemingly reluctant waitress disappears with a fairly grumpy sigh after the first order is placed and we never see her again. Thankfully, everyone else in the place seems very helpful and happier to be there, and following that early hiccup, service is excellent from here on in.

The venue is beautiful, as well. There are plenty of places to sit, from the lounge-style bar area to the pair of sushi counters and the elegant dining room, to the sprawling outdoor terrace, which flows over two floors.

We take a seat outside, where the daytime view of blue waters and sand has been replaced by darkness out to sea. It’s an atmospheric setting. Helping to set the mood is a DJ playing chilled beats from a raised booth. The music is brilliant on our visit, and we’re excited to see which big-name DJs come to play at the venue – it seems like the perfect spot for an all-day festival over the winter.

There are no decisions to be made when it comes to the food, three different platters of sushi are brought out and you can repeat any you like, as many times as you like. We end up calling it quits after the initial round is complete, having taken our time and enjoyed the tunes, food and drinks at a leisurely pace. Surely the way its supposed to be enjoyed.

We’re not blown away by the food on this visit, unlike on previous occasions. The choices of sushi are interesting, but a few fall flat for all of us, and we agree we’d have preferred sticking with the classics, and that a course of sashimi added in would make the deal seem better value and offer more variety.

The first course of maki rolls offers a surprise highlight – the karaage roll. It’s not often chicken sushi finds a place in our hearts, but the hot crispy bird, with spicy mayo and teriyaki sauce is a knockout.

A California roll with crab meat and sweet chilli mango purée is another hit, as is the crispy crab tempura option.

The second course of gunkan rolls is a game of two halves. The carrot option doesn’t do it for us, while the spicy tuna version with crunchy sprinkles is excellent.

A platter of three nigiri is a mixed bag, too. The sea bass offering is perhaps the highlight of the night, while the ebi (butterflied prawn) is a little bland. The third option, however, is also a surprise hit. We’re told it’s spicy tuna, but we soon work out it’s actually made with tempura vegetables. And very nice it is, too.

Despite a few niggles with service and not all of the sushi dishes hitting the heights, we have a thoroughly enjoyable night. And judging by the amount of people dining inside and out, we’re not the only ones who love what the people at Buddha-Bar Beach are doing. This really is a super addition to the capital.

A weekly deal serving unlimited platters of sushi and grape to go with it

For the music and vibe as much as the food

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