If you finish your holiday without a phone full of gastronomic delights ready to set your Insta on fire, did you even go on holiday?
One place where said gastronomic opportunities abound is the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi. In recent years, the city’s food scene - from the sticky, baked and deep-fried to the elegant, refined and subtle - has boomed.
Peckish? Here’s our pick of six must-eat dishes from some of the city’s best eateries.
Who’s for hummus?
Where would we be without hummus? The creamiest, lemon, garlic and tahini fragranced dip, scooped up with warm, pillowy-soft flatbread... traditionally a starter or side dish, when it’s this good - as it is at the Rosewood’s Sambusek Lebanese restaurant (AED 48) - we say throw out the rule book and make it a whole meal. Lip-smacking snacking.
Sharp, fresh and ever-so-pretty: Peruvian food is a zingy delight. So, it’s no wonder that Coya Abu Dhabi has become a firm favourite in the city. The dish of choice here is a classic ceviche - raw seafood marinated in lime juice - and Coya’s speciality is their mixto plate - smoked prawns, mixed seafood and aji limo (AED 70). Muy bien!
You’re on holiday - so why not push the boat out? The fishing boat, to be exact, and pick up this wok-fried Canadian lobster with Italian truffle dish (AED 334) for a total taste sensation. It’s a signature dish at the Cantonese-cuisine restaurant, Hakkasan, and once it lands on your table, the ‘why’ is apparent.
A blinging burger
This may not be to everyone’s tastes, but the 24-carat gold camel burger (AED 130) at Le Cafe in the Emirates palace is certainly going to be a conversation starter. The all-camel patty tastes like a cross between beef and lamb and is topped with some truffle mayo and some gold-dusted chips for the last word in decadent dining.
Korean food is enjoying a boom right now in places like London, New York and San Francisco - and Abu Dhabi’s no different. And it’s Teatro restaurant in the Park Rotana hotel that excels in not only a wide array of Asian food, but some K-cuisine. Banchan are cute little side dishes to go alongside your main meal and this bowl (from AED 80) has all the greatest hits: kimchi, pickled cucumbers, bean sprouts, nori, a fried egg and a good splash of gochujang chilli paste.
Next-level cronut hype
Experts in the art of a decadent afternoon tea, Al Meylas at the Four Seasons, have not only created the most ’gram worthy sweets, but the most delicious, too. Their cronut ice-cream sandwich (AED 150, as part of their afternoon tea) is stuffed with their homemade baklava ice cream (great), drizzled with salted caramel sauce (greater) and garnished with some Kinder Bueno bars (greatest). So sweet, so snappable.