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Al Fresco Dining, Abu Dhabi Style
Posted on May 20, 2013 by Bethany
As the summer approaches, it's nice to dine out and catch some rays. UMI looks at al fresco dining in Abu Dhabi.
Sitting directly on the Persian Gulf, Abu Dhabi receives the best breezes, absorbs the sun’s shine and boasts absolutely spectacular views - which is probably why there are so many amazing dining establishments that offer outdoor seating. Al fresco dining options in Abu Dhabi are diverse; ranging from authentic Middle Eastern cuisine to popular Western style meals. Whether it’s a quick bite, a romantic dinner with that special someone, or an evening out with friends, Abu Dhabi has the al fresco dining for you; no matter what mood you may be in.
Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. (02 810 7777).
Dinner for two approximately Dhs 450.
Barrance is a fairly new establishment to Abu Dhabi, but it stands strong. This Spanish tapas and modern Mediterranean themed restaurant is located at the Yas Links Golf Course. Barrance is not the average clubhouse restaurant; it is made to look like a “distressed ocean-side chateau.” The menu at Barrance is outstanding with its extensive choice of tapas, classic Mediterranean favorites, house specialities, lavish desserts and a sizable wine cellar. Be aware that hours are limited - Barrance is only open Thursday through Saturday, from 6:30pm until 11:30pm. Finally, keep in mind that Barrance is a formal establishment, so change out of those plaid pants and polo shirts before enjoying the romantic elegance of this al fresco eatery.
Hiltonia Beach Club, Abu Dhabi. (02 681 1900).
Dinner for two approximately Dhs 300.\
Vasco’s is found at the Hilton Hotel in the Al Khubeirah neighborhood. It is one of Abu Dhabi’s more established restaurants, offering international cuisine and waterfront outdoor dining. Vasco’s meals can provide tastes ranging from Europe to India, and the establishment has been lauded for its delicious food and mid-range prices. However, Vasco is best known for having amazing cuts of meats. In terms of ambiance, the outdoor deck is extremely resort-like with green lawns, palm trees, curved pathways, plush cushioned chairs, and tables with blue and white striped umbrellas. If the deck doesn’t draw you in, there is always the terrace.
Beach Rotana, Abu Dhabi. (02 697 9000).
Dinner for two approximately Dhs 480.
Located amongst the Tourist Club vicinity of Abu Dhabi, Indigo is a contemporary Pakistani-Indian restaurant. Indigo offers a large assortment of appealing appetizers: pastries, kebabs, tikka, soups, salads, and a variety of naan. For the main dishes, Indigo has classic meat or vegetarian options such as tandoori and slow roast favorites. Indigo also has an exciting dessert menu. The hours are unique, with a midday break for dinner preparation. Indigo is open Monday through Saturday from 12:30pm until 3:30pm for lunch, and 6:30pm until late for dinner, making it the perfect place to enjoy a great al fresco dinner under the stars.
Mina Tourist Club Road, Abu Dhabi. (02 676 6615).
Dinner for two approximately Dhs 300.
The Riviera Restaurant is found in the Tourist Club section of Abu Dhabi. Between the hours of 9am to to one in the morning, you can stop in and have a delightful Lebanese meal while enjoying the fresh breezes of the sea. The Riviera has a selection of Western foods, but for diners feeling adventurous, there is a wide selection of savory pies, kebabs, tikka meats, veggies and a plethora of salads. For larger parties, special orders are available including the option of a whole or half stuffed lamb. Best of all, The Riviera is fairly inexpensive, so there is no guilt in indulging in a bit of culinary exploration.
Khalifa bin Zayed Street, Abu Dhabi. (02 672 2267).
Dinner for two approximately Dhs 150.
Ninar is an “eclectic little cafe” filled with bright colors, and located in the Al Markaziyah district of Abu Dhabi. The food has received mixed reviews, however, diners come back again and again for the atmosphere. Open from 8am until an hour after midnight, Ninar is usually filled with customers enjoying their surroundings along with a book, or friends and a hookah. So, for a nice break in the daytime or an evening spot to relax, Ninar is the place to be.
Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi. (02 509 8888).
Dinner for two approximately Dhs 750.
The Bord Eau can be found at the Shangri-La Hotel in the Bain Al Jessain Neighborhood, and is renowned for it exquisite Modernistic French Cuisine: the entire Bord Eau menu is flown in from France, with the exception of just two items. Due to their talent, techniques, and twists, Bord Eau has been granted the honor of becoming the 2010 and 2011 winner of Favorite European Restaurant in Abu Dhabi. And no wonder, with signature dishes like “le spectacle somptueux de chocolat.” This “chocolate extravaganza” is a delectable dessert consisting of a globe of chocolate, strawberries, chocolate mousse and ice cream, all drizzled with a warm chocolate ganache and accented by an edible golden leaf. Enjoying this tasty treat in the romantic outdoor setting with someone special is perfectly sublime.
Beach Rotana Hotel & Towers, Abu Dhabi. (02 644 3000).
Dinner for two approximately Dhs 550.
Finz, whose speciality is seafood, is nestled in the Tourist Club section of Abu Dhabi. Since its opening in 2004, Finz has become famous for being one of the best al fresco dining locations in Abu Dhabi, all thanks to its sand-side deck and ocean views on Beach Wing. Inside isn’t so shabby either, with triangular shaped windows offering indoor diners the same spectacular views. In fact, Finz was even ranked one of the fifty best restaurants in the world. This dining establishment embraces all styles of cuisine preparation, serving salt-crusted fish, dishes from a tandoori clay oven, and lots more. At Finz, fish is the focus, and may be prepared raw, battered, fried, sautéed, and even in a masala. It will be an adventure just choosing which mouth-watering dish to order.
With so many new and exciting restaurants popping up in Abu Dhabi, think of the previous picks as just a tempting taste of what the UAE’s capital has to serve you al fresco style.
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