From the acclaimed chefs to the most daring of dishes these are Abu Dhabi’s MICHELIN-starred restaurants.
Abu Dhabi has received the MICHELIN seal of approval. With the unveiling of the first-ever MICHELIN Guide Abu Dhabi, the city received a total of three MICHELIN Stars. However, all the restaurants received one star, and there were no two or three-star restaurants in the capital.
So, if you’re looking for a meal to remember – and one that got the inspectors excited, no less – here are Abu Dhabi’s MICHELIN-starred restaurants.
One MICHELIN Star
99 Sushi Bar & Restaurant
We’ve got 99 Problems but sushi ain’t one at this Al Maryah Island hotspot. Nevertheless, there’s no shortage of finesse and precision in the beautifully presented dishes at this Japanese restaurant specialising in haute-cuisine. The restaurant’s primary goal is to underline the quality of the ingredients, but even the contemporary touches are executed with subtlety and care. The Spanish owners import most of the seafood from their native country; the red shrimp is particularly noteworthy. Don’t miss the luxurious king crab au gratin (crab leg stuffed with wasabi, tobiko and yuzu mayonnaise) or the aptly named golden bricks (warm nigiri constructed from tuna tartar, avocado, tobiko and gold leaf).
Hakkasan Abu Dhabi
Regulars of this exclusive international brand will instantly recognise the sultry and chic oriental décor within this branch, located within the iconic Emirates Palace. Guests enter into a bustling dining room of electric blue hues, ornate wooden screens and a glass-fronted show kitchen that is always buzzing with activity. All the time-honoured classics are on the menu, like Peking duck, Chilean sea bass and their celebrated dim sum. However, if there’s one thing you have to order, then make sure it’s the jasmine tea smoked wagyu beef ribs, boasting robust flavours from the beef and the subtle yet aromatic nuances of the tea.
Talea by Antonio Guida
This beautiful Italian restaurant at the Emirates Palace, which is under the direction of chef Antonio Guida celebrates family-style – or ‘cucina di famiglia’ – cooking. Dishes may appear quite simple but the flavours are exhilarating. From handmade ravioli, authentic spaghetti alla carbonara and artisanal pizza to osso buco and vitello tonnato (a chilled veal dish that forms an indispensable part of the Assumption Day feast in Milan), the menu fuses traditional techniques with an innovative edge, which is essentially the signature of Guida. Save room for the delightful tiramisu, which is made right in front of you. It’s easy to see why this chic Italian restaurant was recognised as one of Abu Dhabi’s MICHELIN-starred restaurants.
The Bib Gourmand category is a distinction awarded to establishments that provide an excellent value-for-money three-course meal. The MICHELIN Guide Abu Dhabi Bib Gourmand selection featured four restaurants.
Almayass is where Lebanese and Armenian cuisine meets influences from around the Mediterranean. The original was founded in Beirut in 1996 and this large Abu Dhabi branch inside The Galleria is where the circular booths are the prized seats. The extensive and appealing menu of richly flavoured and carefully prepared dishes, features Kibbeh karaz, a wonderful marriage of lamb and cherries.
Beirut Sur Mer
The name says it all – this is about enjoying Lebanese food by the sea. With an experienced team occupying the open kitchen, you can expect all the classics, from mezze to mashawi. Enjoy a culinary escape to the Levant inside a dining room filled with natural light, where foliage hangs from the ceiling or retreat onto the beachfront terrace. An ideal spot for post-cultural refuelling after visiting the nearby Louvre Abu Dhabi. Portions are generous and prices are reasonable.
Al Qana witnessed many restaurant openings in 2022, including this contemporary Japanese spot. Under the guidance of consultant-chef Akmal Anuar (who saw MICHELIN success in Dubai with 11Woodfire), fresh produce from various prefectures of Japan (Wagyu from Kagoshima, Otoro from Tokyo, and Uni from Hokkaido) has been key in the creation of its highly tantalising dishes. Signatures include yellowtail carpaccio, tuna tartare with yuzu dressing, Wagyu striploin with magnolia leaf and truffle jus, and the titular otoro nigiri. The relaxed Otoro has a funky feel and is dominated by a large open kitchen.
Tazal is dedicated to cultivating culture and relationships through global cuisine with an Arabic touch that reasserts Arabic heritage through the origin of coffee and a fusion of fine dining food experiences. Dishes such as tanja short ribs and zaatar sea bream are as delicious as they are original; the crème brûlée kufana is another example. The modern dining room has an urban feel and diners have the option to relax on the outdoor terrace with scenic views of the marina.
The MICHELIN guide selection also includes Al Mrzab, Butcher & Still, Byblos Sur Mer, Cafe James, Café Milano, Catch at St. Regis, Cipriani, COYA Abu Dhabi, Dai Pai Dong, Finz, Fishmarket, Fouquet’s Abu Dhabi, Grand Beirut, Hoi An, Li Beirut, Li Jiang, LPM Restaurant & Bar, Market Kitchen, Martabaan by Hemant Oberoi, MAZI, Meylas, Mijana, Moksh, Namak, NIRI, Oak Room, Oii, Paradiso, Punjab Grill, Shang Palace, Silk & Spice, Tean, VaKaVa, Villa Toscana, Zuma.
GO: Visit www.michelin.com for more information.