Each year the team at Time Out Abu Dhabi anonymously reviews more than 200 restaurants across the capital.
Taking into account factors such as atmosphere, service, value for money, location, setting and quality of food, each restaurant is judged by the team’s experts and considered for our annual restaurant awards.
The venues that come out on top in 20 categories such as Best Steakhouse, Best Italian Restaurant, Best Chinese Restaurant (and loads more) can lay claim be being the best of the best in Abu Dhabi – the pinnacle of dining in the city.
This summer, as part of Tastes of the Capital powered by Time Out Abu Dhabi, which we’re presenting alongside the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, more than 50 restaurants nominated for our awards are offering set menus giving you the chance to see what we rate them so highly, some for as little as Dhs99 per person.
Each one is offering something unique, and there are nine current Time Out award-winning restaurants among them, meaning you try never-to-be-repeated meals at each one of the brilliant venues until August 15.
“The Tastes of the Capital promotion takes in the cream of Abu Dhabi’s dining scene, so whether you’re a regular at one of the participating restaurants, or if you’ve been keen to experience their cuisine but haven’t got round to it yet, we would urge you to get involved,” says Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, Acting Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi.
“This promotion is in line with Abu Dhabi’s push to enhance summer offerings for both residents and international visitors as a complement to the wealth of activitites and activations across the city.”
BEST AMERICAS: COYA
This Peruvian restaurant is colourful and welcoming and, most importantly, serves truly excellent food. It specialises in Nikkei cuisine, which takes Japanese and Latin influences and comes up with a perfect fusion of both. Expect to be serves an amazing tasting menu of ten dishes here, including classics such as guacamole, burrata, beef ribs and churros, as well as red snapper and truffle ceviche and the restaurant’s signature dish Chilean sea bass and rice.
Dhs299. The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 306 7000).
BEST ASIAN: CHO GAO MARINA WALK
With a cool and atmospheric dining room, this is the perfect place to pretend you’re in Thailand this summer without having to fly for seven hours. The pan-Asian dishes are just brilliant and the four-course menu is a huge saving on the regular price. Wasabi prawns are an absolute classic and the laksa is a delicious, moreish bowl of delight. The sticky, punchy beef rendang and traditional mango sticky rice finish things off nicely.
Dhs199. InterContinental Abu Dhabi, King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Street (02 666 6888).
BEST CHINESE: HAKKASAN
This exceptionally stylish Chinese restaurant at Emirates Palace is one of the most glamorous venues in the city. It’s a multiple award-winner for a reason and is serving a ten-dish set menu during Tastes of the Capital, letting you sample some of the restaurant’s very best dishes, such as Peking duck pancakes, the Hakka dim sum platter, stir-fried black pepper rib eye and a glorious desserts array of desserts.
Dhs299. 7pm-8pm. Emirates Palace, West Corniche (02 690 7999).
BEST EUROPEAN: LA PETITE MAISON
This stylish eatery at The Galleria serves some of the most immaculate French cuisine in the capital. It was the well-deserved winner of the Best European title at Time Out Abu Dhabi’s restaurant awards in 2018, and we think this venue is just going to keep getting better and better. There’s a super three-course menu (with side dishes) available here including escargots, burrata, grilled lamb cutlets and grilled tiger prawns – each and every one a classic.
Dhs299. The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 692 9600).
BEST INDIAN: TAMBA
Found in The Hub at The Mall at World Trade Center Abu Dhabi, this creative Indian restaurant serves some of the most inventive dishes we’ve ever seen. There’s a sense of theatre to the presentation, and it’s a safe bet that you’ll adore every mouthful. There are two set menus available here, for Dhs199 and Dhs299, the more expensive one coming with an extra course. You’ll get breads and rice and a yoghurt dip alongside dishes such as spicy tuna with avocado and chu-murri, smoked chicken in tomato gravy, lamb chops and the brilliant Break-Up dessert.
Dhs199, Dhs299. The Hub at The Mall at World Trade Center, Abu Dhabi (02 672 8888).
BEST ITALIAN: VILLA TOSCANA
A classy restaurant at the stunning St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Villa Toscana is one of the most glamorous places to eat in the capital. Oozing with Italian class and charm, everything from the superb cheeses to the homemade pasta is absolutely sensational. There are menus for Dhs199 and Dhs299 here, including a buffalo mozzarella salad, handmade artichoke and ricotta ravioli, wild black bass and beef tenderloin as well as some delicious classic Italian desserts.
Dhs199, Dhs299. The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers, West Corniche (02 694 4553).
BEST MIDDLE EASTERN & NORTH AFRICAN: LI BEIRUT
When you dine here, you can expect all of your favourite Lebanese dishes served in a modern way. There’s kunafa, mixed grills and all the usual suspects, each given a signature twist from the restaurant’s brilliant chefs. Alongside a three-course meal where you can select one dish from each course, guests can also enjoy a drink with their meal. The dishes include moutabal, chargrilled chicken wings, a mixed grill, sea bass fillet and baked kunafa.
Dhs199. Until Aug 15. Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, West Corniche (02 811 5666).
BEST SEAFOOD: CATCH
The trendy seafood restaurant at Nation Riviera Beach Club serves up beautifully presented, fresh seafood in a pretty setting. Situated right by the white sands of the Corniche, this is one of the most picturesque restaurants in the capital. Be sure to call ahead for this one and mention Tastes of the Capital when you book, as spaces are limited each day. The dishes available include burrata, grilled sea bass, corn-fed baby chicken and coconut panna cotta.
Dhs199 (available noon-3pm, 6pm-7pm daily). Bookings must be made in advance. Nation Riviera Beach Club, Corniche Road West (02 611 0909).
BEST STEAKHOUSE: JW STEAKHOUSE
This sophisticated venue at Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi is decked out brilliantly with American-style decorations and comfortable seats. The cuts of meat are the very best in the city, and the staff always make you feel welcome. There are three courses available here including a jumbo lump crab cake, Loch Fyne salmon, USDA certified prime black Angus striploin and a terrific New York cheesecake.
Dhs299. Marriott Hotel Downtown Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street (02 304 7777).
Until Aug 15. timeoutabudhabi.com/tastesofthecapital