A! List Bars in Abu Dhabi

The Best in Abu Dhabi Awards take place next week and here we celebrate Best Bar nominees. To vote for your fave visit www.bestinabudhabi.ae
Thursday , 02 June 2011
The Jazz Bar & Dining
The Jazz Bar & Dining
PJ O’Reilly’s Irish Pub
PJ O’Reilly’s Irish Pub
Stills Bar & Brasserie
Stills Bar & Brasserie
Rush
Rush
Chameleon
Chameleon
Left Bank
Left Bank
Relax@ 12
Relax@ 12
Eight at the Shangri-La
Eight at the Shangri-La
Belgian Beer Cafe
Belgian Beer Cafe
Sho Cho
Sho Cho
Pearls & Caviar
Pearls & Caviar

Jazz Bar & Dining
Address: Hilton Abu Dhabi, Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi
Tel: 02 681 1900
Web: www.abudhabi.hilton.com
Dress code: Smart casual
Times: 7pm, Sunday to Friday
Price Range: $$$$    
FYI: Live six piece jazz band playing from 8:45pm
Signature Dish: Try the Gulf jumbo shrimps in green Thai curry with sautéed fennel and asparagus. There's also the free-range truffled Guinea fowl and squab with early spring vegetables. Yum!

PJ O’Reilly’s Irish Pub
Address:
Le Royal Meridien, Abu Dhabi
Tel: 02 674 2020
Web: www.leroyalmeridienabudhabi. com
Dress code: Casual
Times: 12pm to 1.30am, Sunday to Saturday
Price Range: $$
If you’re looking for a pub that’s imbued with Gaelic undertones but not doused in Irish cheer then PJ O’Reilly’s is the perfect haunt to try. So what’s on the menu? PJ’s pride themselves on serving Guinness in the heart of the desert but if you’re feeling hungry this place is all about the meat and potatoes.
FYI: PJ’s have enlisted the words of the Irish to stencil their walls in Gaelic verse, but deciphering their meaning? Now that’s another conversation...
Signature Dish: Steak and kidney pie and thick sausages with lots of gravy.

Stills Bar & Brasserie
Address:
Crowne Plaza, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
Tel: 02 656 3053
Web: www.ichotelsgroup.com
Dress code: Smart
Times: 6pm to 12.30pm, Sunday to Saturday
Price Range: $$$$
Yas Island may not be the most buzzing spot in the UAE, outside of concert weekends and the Formula One Grand Prix, but before you dismiss it as just an event-centred destination, head to Stills Bar and Brasserie at the Crowne Plaza. You’ll be quick to change your mind! Abu Dhabi’s longest bar is more than just a superlative, it’s a reminder of the capital city’s dedication to becoming a truly cosmopolitan place. Like something you’d expect to find in Manhattan or London, Stills is one sophisticated watering hole. At any given time, you can expect to find patrons schmoozing over cosmos and single malt scotch. Those who prefer to rest their legs while enjoying refreshing cocktails, can find refuge at the elegant dining room serving delicious brasserie-style dishes. But the real fun happens on Thursday nights when Stills welcomes the UAE’s fashionable females for three free cocktails, endless schmoozing, care-free conversation and a fun start to the weekend.
FYI: Don’t miss the mussels night! From 7pm to 11pm on Monday night’s the Stills Bar and Brasserie serves up unlimited mussels for Dhs99. Bargain!
Signature Dish: The fish and chips and the steak and ale pie.

Rush
Address:
The Yas Hotel, Abu Dhabi
Tel: 02 656 0760
Web: www.theyashotel.com
Dress code: Smart casual
Times: 6pm to 3am, Sunday to Saturday
Price Range: $$$$
Feel like you’ve been missing out on one of your cocktail favourites? Well Rush at the Yas Hotel is adamant they can whip up any creation, modern or traditional, fruity or exotic. Now that’s a tall order. But surprise, surprise, they actually live up to their word and with a range of premium spirits and liqueurs on hand to help we’re positive they can concoct something just for you too. So sit back, relax and chill to the relaxed house music and sip on those drinks.
FYI: Rush is the brain child of the designers behind the George V restaurants and Buddha Bars from around the world. This is definitely a place to see and be seen.
Signature Dish: Tapas and mezzes.

Chameleon
Address:
Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Bain Al Jessrain, Abu Dhabi
Tel: 02 654 3238
Web: www.fairmont.com/babalbahr
Dress code: Elegant casual
Times: 6pm to 1am, Sunday to Saturday
Price Range: $$$$
While its name may imply that it’s ever-changing, Chameleon is perhaps the most consistently impressive venue in the UAE. Incredibly plush and catering to a discerning clientele, the bar offers an upmarket alternative to a regular night out. From the snakeskin chairs to the diamante-studded sofas, there’s no mistaking what crowd they’re after. So if you’re looking for a place to show off your latest Harvey Nichs purchase while sipping on signature cocktails, then this is the just place for you.
FYI: The Chameleon gourmet bar shares the same kitchen as award-winning chef Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse, so you know you’ll be served up superb chow at this bar
Signature Dish: It’s not so much about the food at Chameleon but with a bar that boasts Brut Cuvee Bollinger, Moet , Grand Cuvee Krug and Cuvee Royal on the drinks menu, who cares about food?!

Left Bank
Address:
Souk Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi
Tel: 02 558 1680
Dress code: Smart
Times: 5pm to 2am, Sunday to Wednesday; 5pm to 3am, Thursday; 12.30pm to 3am, Friday; 5pm to 1am, Saturday.
Price Range: $$$$
The modern décor and cool tunes that float through Left Bank have the place pegged as a must-visit hot spot. The cool cocktails and tasty food have its customers coming back for more. The draw to this place coolness aside is the dining al fresco option (which we highly recommend) because the balcony looks directly onto the Grand Mosque. It’s all about food with a view.
FYI: Left Bank hosts a mix, mingle and dine brunch on Friday from 12.30pm to 4pm where you can choose as many dishes from the a la carte menu as you like. Yum! And it’s all for only Dhs250. Plus they also have 20 per cent off drinks after brunch until 7pm.
Signature Dish: The dishes at Left Bank are served ‘smaller’ and ‘larger’ but we suggest you try the smaller fish and chips and the larger spinach and ricotta tortellini.

Relax@ 12
Address:
Aloft Abu Dhabi, Al Safraat, Abu Dhabi
Tel: 02 654 5000
Web: www.relaxat12.com
Dress code: Smart
Times: 6pm to 2am, Sunday to Saturday
Price Range: $$$$
One look at rooftop hangout Relax@12 and it’s hard to imagine you’re just minutes away from the desert. The painfully trendy and incredibly urban bar located on the 12th floor of the sleek Aloft Abu Dhabi hotel offers one of the best views in the city and the Gulf with a fabulous outdoor terrace perfect for those cool winter nights. Head inside and the venue offers a more lively vibe with DJs spinning tracks all night. There is also a great selection of bar bites on offer from oriental snacks to tapas and sushi, it’s the ideal spot to drink, dance and dine. So whether you’re there to chill or to let loose, you’re sure to experience what Abu Dhabi nightlife is all about at Relax@12.
FYI: The Aloft hotel which is home to Relax@12 is the first Starwood hotel in Abu Dhabi.
Signature Dish: The sassy veggie platter, the toasted goma kaiso salad and the ungari and artichoke pesto maki are all worth a try.

Eight
Address:
Shangri-La, Souk Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi
Tel: 02 558 1988
Web: www.eightbeirut.com
Dress code: Smart casual
Times: 8pm to 2am, Sunday to Saturday
Price Range: $$$
Hailing from Beirut, Eight is a popular spot known for its fusion cuisine that is whipped into a delish menu. The chefs aim to use aural, visionary, and culinary skills to entice diners and it works every time.
FYI: Eight possibly has one of the best ladies nights in Abu Dhabi. Ladies get to drink free all Sunday night long between 8pm and 2am.
Signature Dish: The trio of mini burgers

Belgian Beer Cafe
Address:
Intercontinental Abu Dhabi
Tel: 02 666 6888
Web: www.ichotelsgroup.com
Dress code: Casual
Times: 5pm to 1am, Sunday to Saturday
Price Range: $
The Belgian Beer Café brings Brussels to Abu Dhabi for dinner. The pub serves up a tasty menu of Belgian treats including an amazing portion of creamed mushroom on toast and Belgian draught beers to wash it all down with. And if there is one standout that has people around town coming back for more it’s the chips, they’re legendary.
FYI: There are 19 beers and ales on the menu to sink.
Signature Dish: Steamy mussel pots and chunky frites with creamy mayonnaise.

Sho Cho
Address:
Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi
Tel: 02 558 1117
Web: www.sho-cho.com
Dress code: Casual
Times: 12pm to 3pm and 6pm to 3am, Sunday to Thursday; 12pm to 3am, Friday and Saturday
Price Range: $$$$
The chic oriental Sho Cho haunt is the place to go if your hunting good sushi. With master chef skills on show, the perfectly cut and dished delicacies are definitely worth a taste as are the seemingly simple Philadelphia rolls and salmon skin maki.
FYI: Sho Cho in Dubai often has award winning DJs playing on the decks so here’s hoping the Abu Dhabi haunt will follow suit soon.
Signature Dish: Sushi and sashimi

Pearls & Caviar
Address:
Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri. Abu Dhabi
Tel: 02 509 8555
Web: www.shangri-la.com
Dress code: Smart casual
Times: 7pm to 12am, Sunday to Saturday
Price Range: $$$
Abu Dhabi stylistas don their best Manolos when heading to this chic lounge meets glamorous gourmet-diner where the scene is definitely as much of a pull as the cuisine. Foodies love the fact that Gulf region ingredients reign supreme here; classic European dishes are given a fresh local perspective. Creamy lobster bisque served up with a divine, flaky lobster-meat filled sambousek, pita toast points accompany the silken scallop cerviche  and wild mushroom flutes are paired with truffled ricotta kebbeh. Those in the mood to make a night of it make their bookings on weekends when DJs get the party people pumping.
FYI: Pearl diving transformed the previously nomadic life of the UAE population at the turn of the century; over 22,000 people were involved in it with individuals diving to 40 metres, around 30 times a day, with no equipment, for up to a minute and a half at a time.
Signature Dishes: Tuna Carpaccio, grilled seafood bouillabaisse, yoghurt delights (chilled yoghurt parfait, baked yoghurt with wild honey).

To Vote for your favourite bar, restaurant, activity and all of the other amazing places in Abu Dhabi log on to www.bestinabudhabi.ae and vote! Hurry voting closes early June. The winners will be announced 8 June.

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