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FACT Review: a gastronomical awakening at Paradiso

Dive into that French Riviera feeling.

Abu Dhabi’s Yas Bay Waterfront opened with much fanfare at the end of last year and has seemingly become the dining destination of choice in the capital.

Combining licensed dining with sunset vistas and recognised brands such Akiba Dori, Asia Asia, Hunter & Barrel and La Carnita, one restaurant on the waterfront bucks the trend in not being a concept brought to the capital from neighbouring Dubai.

Yas Bay Waterfront

Paradiso is a renowned Mediterranean restaurant helmed by Nicole Rubi (the woman behind La Petite Maison) and acclaimed Chef Pierre Gagnaire, originating in Cannes. The chic restaurant pays homage to Italy, the Mediterranean and the world of cinema, extending its welcoming ambience from the famous Croisette to the shores of Yas Bay. With an extensive terrace and sun-drenched décor, Paradiso has fast become the must-visit dining destination on Yas Island.

The restaurant comes to the capital from Groupe Barrière, who are also responsible for the FACT award-winning Fouquet’s at Louvre Abu Dhabi. Aside from sharing the culinary talents of triple Michelin star Chef Pierre Gagnaire, both restaurants offer diners in the capital a memorable and undeniable chic dining experience. 

Paradiso Abu Dhabi

Paradiso’s a la carte menu has been created in collaboration with French Michelin Star Chef Pierre Gagnaire and Nicole Rubi – geniuses in the kitchen who require no introduction. Testament to their unparalleled creativity and flair, the imaginative menu features Mediterranean classics injected with an inimitable Gagnaire twist. With spectacular flavours and flawless presentation, dishes remain faithful to the restaurant’s modern Mediterranean heritage, with particular attention to sourcing only the finest ingredients. 

Paradiso Abu Dhabi

To begin, our entrees are the epitome of French cuisine. Six Burgundy Snails (AED 75) dressed in flavourful garlic butter are a true indicator of the real gourmands. Put your mental hang-ups of slimy garden creatures aside because here the snails are delicately chewy – similar to other molluscs like clams and oysters – but without an unpleasant aftertaste. No doubt, this is thanks to the irresistible savouriness of the garlic butter sauce. Elsewhere a delightfully creamy Burrata (AED 85) is served on a bed of arugula salad and topped with a sweet tomato jam and rosemary.

Paradiso Abu Dhabi

The mains are just as gorgeous in presentation and taste and we dive into the meticulously prepared Sea Bass Steak (AED 130), cooked with fennel, pepe bucato pasta and a spritz of grilled lemon. The fish is the centre of the dish, and at Paradiso, it’s a quality fillet that we finish with zest. We also devour a beautifully rare beef tenderloin (AED 160) smothered in crushed hazelnuts and Parmesan cheese for an earthy flavour that complements the robust flavour of the beef. 

Paradiso Abu Dhabi

Dessert is an intensely delectable soiree. The much-anticipated Frosted Lemon Paradiso (AED 60) is a Paradiso signature, prepared with limoncello and served within the skin of a vibrant lemon. The Biscuit Soufflé (AED 90) is another winning dish that we will remember for years to come, made from 72% Venezuelan chocolate, pistachio ganache and frozen parfait.

Paradiso Abu Dhabi

Paradiso Abu Dhabi is the epitome of statement dining, offering a gastronomical awakening for anyone looking to broaden their horizons on the food front. Paradiso brings a unique Mediterranean ‘dolce vita’ flavour to Yas Island, paired with waterfront vistas and perfumed cocktails. 

GO: Visit www.paradisoabudhabi.com for reservations and more information.

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David Tapley - Editor-in-Chief
As editor-in-chief of the region’s most fiercely local lifestyle publication, David is a self-proclaimed hip-hop aficionado, championing all things food, travel, street art, and streetwear across the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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