There just isn’t any reason to say “no” to Yas Island. Do you dream of hurtling at high-speed on the world’s fastest rollercoaster? Yas you can. How about making an adrenaline-fuelled splash at a massive water park, staying at a hotel shaped like a spaceship overlooking an F1 track, getting into the cockpit of a racing car and hurtling around a world-famous circuit or watching international stars perform at one of the world’s best clubs, MAD? Yas, you can do it all. Right here.
All that island adventure will help build up a hearty appetite, so it is great that the glamorous entertainment hub is also home to a wealth of top-class eateries, serving up classic cuisine from all over the world.
It’s time to dig in...
1. Al Fanar Restaurant and Café
You can have the whole world on a plate in Yas Island, but don’t miss out on a chance to explore the UAE’s rich culinary roots. Al Fanar, which also has a striking outlet in Venetian Village, transports you to the UAE of the 1960s inside Yas Mall, with homely Emirati flavours served up with lots of loving care and a fair few spices to boot in a nostalgia-soaked atmosphere. Enjoy a taste of Emirati tradition in one of the city’s most forward-thinking spots. You won’t regret it.
Open daily 8.30am-10pm. Cascade Dining, Yas Mall (02 877 2272).
Make some new amigos at Amerigos, a sizzling Mexican hot spot that is sure to spice up your Yas Island stay. Chef Jorge Rodriguez dishes out some terrific tastes from his homeland, including fiery fajitas, flavour-packed quesadillas and enchiladas and succulent steaks in a typically lively Latino atmosphere. The cheery Park Inn by Radisson spot is a great place to get on the right wavelength with one of the most colourful cuisines available in the capital.
Open daily noon-1.30am. Park Inn by Radisson Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, Golf Plaza, Yas Island (02 656 2000).
Don’t look back in Angar, as there are some awesome views of the Yas Marina F1 track right in front of you. Sit in the pretty outdoor terrace and you can hear the roar of cars speeding across the track while you indulge in classic Indian tastes. Unlike many of its contemporaries, Angar is not a purveyor of the molecular gastronomy craze that has taken the cuisine by storm. So, if you don’t fancy an instruction manual to go with your knife and fork, just enjoy well-cooked Indian favourites, from curries to paneer and tandoori dishes all served with style.
Open Sat-Thu 7pm-11pm, Fri 2pm-11pm. Yas Viceroy, Yas Island(02 656 0600).
The catch of the day really catches the eye at this striking seafood spot. Not only is the freshly delivered menu on display, but you can also gaze at colourful sealife swimming contently in aquariums adorning the walls. There are wonderful Yas Marina views and plenty of fine flavours on the menu to enjoy while you take in this most memorable of dining experiences.
Open daily noon-1.30am. Yas Marina, Yas Island (02 565 0007).
The crowning culnary jewel of the Yas Marina dining strip is a dazzling success. The décor, designed by Florentine architect Michele Bonan, is a feast for the eyes, along with splended views of the glistening waters of the marina, occupied by luxury yachts. Ciprinai is a hit all over the world thanks to its sophisticated take on Italian favourites. While the food doesn’t come cheap. there is a high value placed on quality here.
Open daily 6pm-midnight. Yas Marina, Yas Island (02 657 5400).
6. Filini Garden
Now this is a very special night out. Enjoy the cooler weather outside in the newly-launched Filini Garden. The al fresco venue is comprised of an upper and lower deck. Head down below to enjoy tunes from crowd-pleasing DJ duo Cliff Townley and Paul Hamilton in a Mediterranean garden where you can take in a sunset and sample small plates of classy Italian food. Head to the upper deck to try out signature dishes and sip sophisticated mixed drinks in a super-cool bar area. All is rosy in the garden.
Open Sun-Wed 5pm-1am, Thu 5pm-3am, Fri noon-1am. Radisson Blu Yas Island, Yas Island (02 656 2000).
This place has been setting trends on the city’s nightlife scene for the past four years.
Alongside a funky atmosphere, top-class DJs and brilliant Marina views, this is also a spot to dine in fine style. Refuel for the party night ahead with fine feeds such as pan-fried foie gras, Australian wagyu mini burgers and Scottish salmon tartare. You can’t take your eye off Iris, especially during F1 season.
Open daily 6pm-3am. Yas Marina, Yas Island (055 160 5636).
8. Stars ’N’ Bars
If you fancy letting your hair down and having some seriously good fun, then plot a course for this American-style sports bar. Alongside the juicy menu of pub grub favourites, such as a huge supply of sliders, chicken wings, burgers and nachos, you can enjoy button-bashing fun on the bank of arcades, take your singing voice from the shower to the stage during karaoke and catch some live sport on the multitude of big screens.
Open daily 11.30am-3am. Yas Marina, Yas Island (02 565 0101).
The Crowne Plaza venue remains one of our favourite haunts for a quality meal or a few drinks at the handsome bar, reputedly the longest in the capital at a very impressive 26m (we wouldn’t recommend sliding from one end to the other). What we would recommend, however, is tucking into some excellent European gastro pub food, including a classic fish and chips, bangers and mash, a refined, pan-seared salmon as well as a grilled tuna steak.
Open Sun-Wed 3pm-1am, Thu 3pm-3am, Fri noon-3am, Sat noon-1am. Yas Island Golf Plaza, Yas Island (02 656 3000).
10. Y Bar
Y Bar? Well, why not. The cellar-like bar is a bustling port of call on the island thaks to its laid-back vibes, great happy hour deals, array of sports screens and a tasty menu, which includes fish and chips and wagyu burgers. The outdoor terrace is also a cool hangout now the heatwave is over. Give Y Bar a try.
Open Sat-Wed noon-2am, Thu-Fri noon-3am. Yas Island Rotana, Yas Island (02 656 4000).