Time Out Says
But it really is hard to believe how blue the waters are and how white the sand is until you see it in person.
Full of greenery and beautiful pink flowers, it feels like we’ve arrived in the Maldives as we step off the transfer boat from Saadiyat Island. It blows our minds to think that we’re only ten minutes from the bustling capital, and by the time we take a seat at Levantine seafood restaurant Hooked, we’re feeling very giddy.
Grabbing a table right next to the still waters of the Gulf, we’re in a perfect position to take some snaps of the trademark ‘love’ sign on the beach and the endless expanse of azure aqua. The seaside-themed terrace is lovely, with hanging seashells, wicker chairs and a rustic, understated feel to the place.
The menu is full of Levantine specialties such as hot and cold mezze and mixed grills, plus a selection of fresh seafood.
We start with the trio of hummus (pesto, beetroot and classic), a fattoush salad and a selection of fatayer.
The scoops of dip look almost like ice cream when they first appear, but they’re all equally brilliant with the soft Arabian breads. Meanwhile, with crunchy vegetables and a sweet tangy dressing, the salad is the perfect dish for enjoying on such a gorgeous day. We can’t resist mopping up the bowl with the endless supply of warm bread.
Finally, the fried kibbeh, spinach fatayer and meat sambousek are pleasant enough, but given the success of the other mezze it’s definitely the weakest plate of the three.
Given that it would be physicalIy impossible to be any closer to the sea, it seems like a crime not to try some fish.
So we also go for a butterfly roasted sea bass, rubbed in chilli and served with harra sauce.
It’s served fully deboned and carefully presented, and the slightly spicy sauce and chopped vegetables go wonderfully with the light white fish.
When you’ve finished your meal you will no doubt be tempted to linger on the terrace, admiring the view. But with the rest of the resort just as stunning, it’d be a shame not to explore.
WHAT IS IT...
The seafood restaurant on the blissful resort of Zaya Nurai
For an excuse to live out your long-held desert island fantasies
By Time Out Abu Dhabi staff | 29 Apr 2019
Recommended for you in Restaurants
We speak to the Indian masterchef about his newest venture
The Tastemasters Series has another top chef in town
The Arabic Kebab Festival is offering some huge sharing platters
Time Out has teamed up with Abu Dhabi Culinary Season to bring you delicious set