A! List Arabian Restaurants in Abu Dhabi

Discover the tastiest Middle Eastern dishes in the capital
Tuesday , 03 May 2011
Barouk
Barouk
Diwan L’Auberge
Diwan L’Auberge
Mezlai
Mezlai
Atayeb
Atayeb

Barouk
Address:
Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
Tel: 02 656 3000
Web: www.crowneplaza.com/abudhabi
Dress code: Smart casual
Times: 7pm to 12am, Monday to Saturday; 12pm to 3pm Friday brunch; closed Sunday
Price Range: $$$$
With executive chef Danny Kattar at the helm, this subterranean Lebanese in Yas Island is bound to have the panache of authentic Lebanese food with the flair of contemporary execution. Add to this the mournful magic of the oud and the hiptastic moves of the resident belly dancer and you have a slice of Lebanon transported to Abu Dhabi. Chic muted greys punctuated with flashes of scarlet break the usually twee faux-Arabia interior mould; tasteful modern calligraphy hangs on the walls while simple table settings whisper elegance. Those wanting a taste of mint apple tobacco also have the option of puffing away on the terrace.
FYI: There are 35 options just for starters!
Signature Dishes: Batenjen el barouk (eggplant), koraydes mechweh (grilled tiger prawns), ithmaliyeh w ashat, (vermicelli dough, with honey and ashta ice cream).

Diwan L’Auberge
Address:
Emirates Palace, West Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi
Tel: 02 690 9999
Web: www.diwanlauberge.com
Dress code: Smart casual
Times: 12pm to 12am, Sunday to Saturday
Price Range: $$$
Those wanting to immerse themselves wholeheartedly into a complete Arabic-style experience should make a beeline to this little-known, lush, plush, Emirates Palace Lebanese extravaganza. You’ll see plenty of kandora-clad locals tucking into the various mezze dishes, succulent seafood grill and mountain of fruits and baklava served gratis. Stare at the stars from the terrace, or else opt for the air-conditioned comfort of the intricately decked out interior where traditional musicians - and a spectacular oud player - enhance the big-night-out style ambiance.
FYI: There are a staggering 128 kitchens and pantries at the Emirates Palace!
Signature Dishes: Tabbouleh, mixed grill, mahalabia.

Mezlai
Address:
Emirates Palace, West Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi
Tel: 02 690 7999
Web: www.emiratespalace.com
Dress code: Smart elegant
Times: 12.30pm to 3pm and 7pm to 11pm, Sunday to Saturday
Price Range: $$$$
Local celebrity chef Ali Salem Edbowa is firmly ensconced in the kitchen of Mezlai, the much-hyped restaurant specialising in authentic Emirati cuisine. Those out to impress, or wanting to have an eavesdropper-free pow-wow, should pre-book one of the three four-person private dining rooms (complete with royal purple and gold palm-tree motif interiors). Many also insist on sunset suppers on the terrace. Aromatic flavour-fests abound amid the exotic decor featuring soaring ceilings, heavy metal chandeliers, intricate latticework, traditional majlis area and ayyalah drums. Unadventurous diners yearning for more well-known regional dishes can find the usual suspects; superb mixed grills are a highlight. But we suggest you explore the more daring local options like shrimp hamsat, harees and threed that you won’t find elsewhere.
FYI: A whopping 5kg of pure edible gold is used at the Emirates Palace per year for decoration, mainly on desserts.Signature Dishes: Pan friend fish eggs with garlic and lemon, chicken medfoun, shebab (spiced, honey-orange crepe-style cake).

Atayeb
Address:
The Yas Hotel, Abu Dhabi
Tel: 02 656 0600
Web: www.theyashotel.com
Dress code: Smart casual
Times: 7pm to 1am, Sunday to Saturday; closed Monday
Price Range: $$$
Rub kandora-clad shoulders with the great and the good or else just bask in the serene marina views from the terrace of this new favourite that’s stealing accolades. You’ll soon forget calorie counting when you indulge in crunchy sajeeh (fried flat kibbeh stuffed with lamb and mixed nuts), the more healthy but equally delicious seafood mixed grill (with lobster, hammour and jumbo shrimps), and richly flavoured allosh (braised lamb shoulder with prunes and almonds). Or go completely local by opting for one of their Emirati dishes.
FYI: One of the only Pan-Arab restaurants, Atayeb’s menu spans Tunisia, Lebanon and Syia, and offers up Lebanese and Moroccan aperitifs to accompany your culinary trip around the region.
Signature Dishes: Roubyan (avocado grilled prawns), salona khodar (spring vegetables in tomato sauce), mahalabiya.

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