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indulge in dining excellence
indulge in dining excellence
Feature Dining
Dining | May 2, 2017

indulge in dining excellence

All the sweets, treats, meats and general eats available on Al Maryah Island will keep any palate happy. Dining is arguably one of the best things about living in the UAE

Cafe Milano

This contemporary Italian cuisine with a political twist – the first Cafe Milano was conceived in Washington, DC, serving pundits, presidents and interns alike. The Abu Dhabi location was designed by visionary New York designer Adam Tihany, who gave the interior a bright, airy feel perfect for waterfront dining. The casual atmosphere is perfect for a business or mid-shopping-trip lunch, with two courses costing Dhs95 and three costing Dhs128. Or swing by for the Cafe’s lively Saturday brunch, which is great value for money, starting from Dhs250 with delicious hand-made pasta, pastries and desserts, and bottomless bubbles. There’s even a private dining room which can accommodate larger parties of up to 16 guests.

www.cafemilano.ae; 02 333 2222; Location: Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island  

Almaz by Momo 

A relaxing environment with a dedicated juice bar, a separate shisha room with a huge variety of flavours and a fun menu, Almaz by Chef Mohamed ‘Momo’ Ourad is a great place to experience the best in Northern African, Maghrebin-style cuisine. It’s the perfect place to chill over a mocktail while you listen to the band play its blend of intoxicating Arabic and North African music. Or indulge in the lovely Moroccan, Tunisian and Algerian food on offer – all the classics plus some of Chef Momo’s twists. The restaurant is a blend of innovation and tradition, ranging from food to decor. In addition to being a great late-night chill spot, Almaz offers an attractive business lunch with three courses for Dhs89.

www.momoresto.com, 02 304 8379; Location: Level 1

Bentley’s Bistro & Bar  

Bentley’s is a haven of classic French recipes, comforting terroir cooking and a vibrant atmosphere full of joie du vivre. This beautiful open plan, restaurant serves from lunch until the early hours, with a DJ booth in a dedicated space; or opt to dine in a more relaxed area of the restaurant.Bentley’s serves the most comforting of comfort food. 

www.bentleybistro.com; 02 626 2131; Location: Level 1

NUSR-ET STEAKHOUSE 

Already well known  on the dining scene in the Middle East and Turkey, Nusr-Et recently went viral, achieving worldwide fame in the space of about a week. Nusret Gökçe, the steakhouses co-owner and chef, was dubbed #saltbae by the world wide web when a picture of him went viral. But on top of that, Nusr-Et is genuinely home to some of the world’s best steak. Foodies, celebs and chefs worldwide hail the Turkish steakhouse, originally opened in Istanbul, as one of the best in the world. In fact it’s so popular that when Leonardo Dicaprio visited the UAE, he had to pass by and meet the Bae of Salt himself. Nusr-Et offers a surprisingly simple, fuss-free dining experience which belies its truly excellent cuisine.

www.nusr-et.com; 02 679 9949; Location: Level 1

Dai Pai Dong

Dai Pai Dong, which literally means “restaurant with a big license plate” refers to the famed food stalls of Hong Kong’s street food scene. Dai Pai Dongs sprang up in Hong Kong from 1945, but now, there are only 25 authentic venues of this type left. Dai Pai Dong brings Cantonese street food into Abu Dhabi’s plushest mall, and is an absolute ‘don’t-miss’ on the dining scene here. Honest street food, homemade noodles, a huge array of dim sum and Chinese BBQ greet you, as you dine amidst groovy Chinese artwork and artefacts, or relax in the Hong Kong speak-easy style bar. The venue is laid-back and relaxed, perfect for a quick lunch or a long, lingering weekend meal with friends and family. Food is served from an open kitchen a la minute, meaning short wait times for the delicious grub. The beautifully designed bar area, with its leather ceilings is inspired by the 1920s Shanghai jazz revolution – an excellent addition to the restaurant’s authentic feel. 

www.rosewoodhotels.com; 02 813 5588; Location: Rosewood Abu Dhabi

Butcher & Still

A solid fascination with the history of the early decades of last century is still a huge part of the collective mindset, from Great Gatsby-themed parties to big band jazz and swing dancing shows. Indulge your inner Chicago Don and head down to Butcher & Still, a modern interpretation of a 1920s steakhouse. This themed era haven is fun, with sleek, dark wood and distressed leather adding to the vintage charm. We loved the bullet casing accented on the tile work in the bathrooms – a fun, authentic touch. Now let’s get down to the food – each prime-cut steak has been selected from special farms in the United States that meet Butcher & Still’s exacting criteria, then flown over to Abu Dhabi for your delectation.  In addition to being a great place for steak lovers, the joint has plenty of specials, such as the Blue Plate Special: fill your plate starting from Dhs75, Sunday-Thursday, 4pm-7pm.

www.butcherandstill.com; 02  333 2222; Location: Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island

Magnolia Bakery 

Magnolia is credited with starting the modern fascination with cupcakes.  There are no fusion feats here – just simple, quality baked goods that taste as if they’ve been homemade. Known for its banana pudding, ‘icebox’ (aka, refrigerator) desserts and even a savoury menu, Magnolia is famous worldwide, from its original New York City location to its outlet in The Galleria. All venues are decked out in charming, vintage American decor.  From cute cupcakes to beautifully decorated cakes, Magnolia Bakery has every occasion covered. 

www.magnoliabakery.com; 02 674 9380; Location: Level 2

Nolu’s

What do Kabul and Los Angeles have in common? It’s not a trick question, and the answer is: they both produce excellent cuisine. Chef Marjon Ajami grew up in California, a first-generation Cali Girl with Afghani parents, and is the first chef to combine the two cuisines so boldly at Nolu’s, which has three locations across Abu Dhabi, including The Galleria.

Fancy American-style French toast for breakfast? Or want to try something new, such as Afghani eggs? Or build your own Acai bowl. Unlike many venues that approach fusion cuisine, Nolu’s takes both sides of the plate seriously, employing an American chef and an Afghani chef, who work in tandem to create spectacular dishes. 

The American chef is none other than Gabe Kennedy, winner of ABC TV’s The Taste in 2015, where celeb chefs such as Nigella Lawson and Anthony Bourdain proclaimed him the winner of the contest. One of the best things Chef Ajami offers is her approach to brunches – rather than the lavish, stuff-yourself-silly affairs, she prefers to offer people what they need (and since it tastes so good, it’s usually what they want): a healthy, detox brunch to start your day. 

The D’tox Brunch is Dhs140 per person every Saturday and is chock full of healthy items to make you feel better and do your body good.  If you’ve never tried Afghani cuisine and want to dive in head first instead of dipping a toe in, try Nolu’s Afghani Brunch, which takes place every Friday. Recently launched, it features traditional Afghan dishes with a personal touch.

www.nolusrestaurants.com; 02 644 1516; Location: L2, near Rosewood Abu Dhabi hotel corridor

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