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The Hot List: New Abu Dhabi restaurants to try in 2024

These are the new restaurants in Abu Dhabi that you need to visit – if you can get a reservation…

Keeping track of all the new restaurants in the capital is a full-time job. But if you love finding the latest hotspots for dinner and drinks before anyone else, these are the culinary hotspots to see and be seen at this month. Here are the best new Abu Dhabi restaurants to try in January 2024.

March 2024

Bord Eau by Nicolas Isnard

Celebrity chef Nicolas Isnard is opening a new restaurant in the capital at Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri. Born in the south of France, Chef Nicolas is known for his innovative dishes inspired by his culinary explorations. He is behind L’Auberge de la Charme, which earned him a MICHELIN Star in 2009. His travels have taken him around the world to Beijing, Dubai, Jakarta, Moscow, and Singapore. Bord Eau by Nicolas Isnard showcases fine-dining French flavours, along with dishes inspired by his travels. 

GO: Visit www.shangri-la.com for more information. 

Bord Eau by Nicolas Isnard

SAL Saadiyat Island

SAL has expanded from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. The first venue is in the iconic Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, and the second is now open at Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort. SAL Saadiyat Island is a sophisticated spot that draws inspiration from Capri, Mykonos, and Saint-Tropez. Bringing laidback luxury to Abu Dhabi, diners can soak up the uninterrupted water views and dig into a Mediterranean-inspired menu. Highlights include King Crab and Homemade Trenette Pasta, and Sea Salt Crusted Sea Bass. Plus, classics include Lobster Linguine, Pizza Margherita and Tirimasu.

GO: Follow @sal_saadiyatisland on Instagram for more information.

SAL Saadiyat Island

TOTÓ Abu Dhabi 

Sport and food might not sound like a catchy combination, but it appears to have worked for tennis’ Rafael Nadal and football’s Cristiano Ronaldo. The pair are behind the culinary concept, TOTÓ Abu Dhabi, which serves fine-dining Italian food. The concept draws inspiration from 1950s Italian cinema, cinematography, and the legendary Cinema Paradiso. The menu combines traditional and creative dishes, and guests can expect clay pot casseroles and stews, plentiful pasta dishes, and meat and fish prepared in the wood-fired oven. 

GO: Visit www.totorestaurants.com for more information. 

TOTÓ Abu Dhabi

February 2024

Barbossa

Situated in the pulsating heart of Yas Bay, Barbossa brings modern Mexican and Latin American cuisine to the capital. Spearheaded by Chef Mina Mouris Zaki, the menu features Barbossa Ceviche, Carne Asada Tacos, Guac & Chips, OG Sizzling Fajitas and Tuna Ceviche Tostada. With a lively bar scene that transitions the venue for daytime dining to after-dark revelry, Barbossa takes over the space formally occupied by La Carnita in the capital.

GO: Follow @barbossa_auh on Instagram for more information.

New Abu Dhabi restaurants

Jones Social

Jones Social has opened at InterContinental Residences Abu Dhabi. With its stylish decor and views of Al Bateen Marina, the restaurant serves shared plates infused with international flavours alongside artisanal cocktails. Here, guests can indulge in dishes such as Fire Roasted Tiger Prawns with a fermented chilli sauce and pineapple salsa, Gochujang Lamb Chops accompanied by charred cucumber and smoked labneh, or the beautifully Charred Harissa Cauliflower. Featuring outdoor seating overlooking the marina, it’s a place (as the name suggests) to socialise.

GO: Follow @jonessocialabudhabi on Instagram for more information.

New Abu Dhabi restaurants

Mr Kim

Chef James Soo Yong Kim has been wowing Abu Dhabi diners with the FACT Award-winning fine-dining restaurant Les Dangereux. Now, he has opened a Korean steakhouse in Yas Mall. Mr Kim boasts a monochrome aesthetic and an industrial chic feel, including countertop dining and long tables for groups. The menu features Kimchi Pancakes, Rice Cake Soup, Scallop Corn Cheese and Stone Pot Bibim Bap. However, those looking for an interactive dining experience should opt for the Korean BBQ 101 (AED 350), which allows you to fire up the tabletop barbeque and cook Angus Brisket, MB4 Wagyu Ribeye and Marinated Short Ribs at your leisure.

GO: Follow @mrkim.ae on Instagram for more information.

New Abu Dhabi restaurants

R&B Grillhouse

Located in Marsa Al Bateen Wharf, R&B Grillhouse has been created by the team behind the superb steakhouse, Hunter & Barrel. Designed by the Australian architectural firm Design Partnership, R&B Grillhouse is inspired by architectural monuments in North Africa and the Persian Gulf. The space includes clay breeze blocks, mud finishes, stone floors and wattle weaves. As the name suggests, the menu features Cloud Chicken, Flame Grilled Chicken Wings, Grilled Prawns Brochette, and Southern Style Chicken. 

GO: Visit https://rnbgrillhouse.ae  for more information.

New Abu Dhabi restaurants

January 2024

Amalfi Beach Lounge

A touch of the Amalfi Coast has swept up on Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi’s private beach, bringing magical Mediterranean vibes to the capital. Amalfi Beach Lounge is located on the Khor Al Maqta creek. The menu offers a modern take on traditional Italian food and drinks, from Charcoal Grilled Octopus and Fried Anchovies to Porcini Mushroom Arancini and Amalfi Lemon Tart. The setting is superb for a sundowner and boasts beautiful views of the sun, sea and sand, which are Instagram-ready and double-tap-worthy. Visitors can choose from chairs and sofas by the shore, which are in shades of blue and white, feeling like something out of the film Mamma Mia! 

GO: Follow @amalfibeachlounge on Instagram for more information.

February in Abu Dhabi

Bella Vita Restaurant by Labelle

Nestled in Khalifa City, this cosy haven blends chic modern vibes with the comfort of your favourite hangout spot. Expect powder-pink soft furnishings, potted vegetation and a pair of Insta-worthy angel wings lining the walls. With pretty pastries displayed behind glass, the ambience is an open invitation to linger, be it a casual catch-up with friends or a more intimate dining affair. Imagine starting your day with savoury breakfast delights and ending it with an indulgent, hearty dinner. Signature dishes at Bella Vita Restaurant by Labelle include juicy beef burgers, glazed lamb chops and squid ink risotto topped with caviar.

GO: Follow @bellavita.ad on Instagram for more information.

Bella Vita

Entrecôte Café de Paris

The culinary scene in The Galleria Al Maryah Island just received a significant upgrade with the opening of Entrecôte Café de Paris. This Parisian-style restaurant, rooted in the legacy of Geneva’s Cafe de Paris invites diners to embark on a journey through the annals of culinary history with its secret sauce meticulously crafted by Chef Boubier in 1930. The centrepiece of Entrecôte’s menu is the indulgent 180-gram Entrecote Steak, generously bathed in the world-renowned Cafe de Paris sauce. This beef is paired with a crisp Green Salad and homemade French Fries, elevating the dining experience.

GO: Visit www.entrecote.me for more information.

Entrecôte Café de Paris

Ergon Deli & Café

Ergon Deli & Café has opened in Abu Dhabi, bringing a casual yet chic experience to the capital. Located in Erth Hotel, the restaurant celebrates Greek food and drink. The menu draws inspiration from Greece and the Mediterranean and is a superb spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The cosy café boasts natural tones and textures, and the décor includes palm trees, soft cushions and wooden chairs and tables. The café is located by the water and offers stunning sea and sunset views. The concept has been created by a small, independent team aiming to champion local artisans and ingredients. It serves a breakfast and all-day menu featuring Bougatsa Pie, Croque Madame on Brioche, Greek Salad, Moussaka, Peinirli Shakshuka and Seafood Orzo. 

GO: Visit www.ergonfoods.com for more information. 

New Abu Dhabi restaurants

INCA Pool & Bar

Enjoy fun in the sun and indulge in a casual poolside dining experience at Inca Pool & Bar Restaurant inside Millennium Al Rawdah. This vibrant South American oasis offers a menu of tacos, tortillas, tostadas and marvellous Margaritas. With vibrant decor and a relaxed poolside setting, it’s a great spot to top up your tan amidst a lush tropical garden setting.

GO: Follow @incapoolbar on Instagram for more information.

New Abu Dhabi restaurants

Porto Gina

Perched elegantly overlooking the marina at InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Porto Gina serves simple Italian food with a modern twist. Porto Gina replaces Circo at the beachfront property, offering a day-to-night dining experience. The menu’s signature Italian dishes include the Burrata di Capri, Pizza Burrata e Tartufo Nero, Ravioli di Gamberi, Risotto alla Milanese, La Divina Cotoletta Milanese, and the timeless classic Tiramisu. Set in a cosy ambience, featuring tableside dish preparations and both indoor and outdoor seating options, guests are invited to embark on a culinary journey through the diverse regions of Italy to celebrate the true essence of La Dolce Vita.

GO: Follow @portoginaabudhabi on Instagram for more information.

Porto Gina

Ryba

Located in the heart of the capital on Al Marabi Street in Souq Al Mina. “Ryba” is the Russian word for “fish,” so it’s safe to assume that seafood is going to be a star attraction on the menu at this cosy restaurant. Expect platters of the freshest catch, from succulent shrimp and crab to flaky fish and buttery lobster. Whether you prefer it grilled, steamed, or lightly fried to crispy perfection, Ryba, with its enviable seafront setting, seems poised to cater to all your seafood cravings.

GO: Follow @ryba.ae on Instagram for more information.

New Abu Dhabi restaurants

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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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