A trio of new stars pour light on the Abu Dhabi dining scene…
Announced at a glitzy award ceremony in Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace this evening, Thursday November 10 – the decisions of the Michelin Guide’s team of inspectors have been weighed, counted, and verified and the names of which restaurants have made it into the inaugural Abu Dhabi Guide have now been made public.
A total of 42 restaurants have been selected, with three of them being honoured with the coveted ‘Michelin Star’ rating; and a further four venues receiving Bib Gourmand status, an award that recognises outlets that offer “good food at moderate prices”.
But who were the big winners?
The Stars are coming out tonight
Two of Abu Dhabi’s Michelin Stars will be lighting up the skies above the gracious hosts of the award ceremony, Emirates Palace — with innovative Cantonese restaurant, Hakkasan picking up one Star, and the exciting, masterclass of fine ‘Cucina di Famiglia’ Italian cuisine, Talea by Antonio Guida also adding a Star to its name.
The third Star of the night went to the also very deserving 99 Sushi Bar, found on Al Maryah Island — their delicate Japanese gastronomy has always felt destined for Stardom.
Talking about the list, Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the Michelin Guide said “The wonderful diversity of the cuisine proposed by these 3 restaurants perfectly illustrate the curiosity of local gourmets, as well as how Abu Dhabi welcomes international cultures to make them shine at their best level”.
As for the Bib Gourmand, which is an award given on the basis of good food at affordable prices, the selectees included a pair of restaurants at the new leisure and entertainment hub, Al Qana; another win for Al Maryah Island and a stunning restaurant from the Mamsha Al Saadiyat strip.
They are Chef Akmal Anuar’s first Abu Dhabi restaurant, Otoro and on-trend new Mediterranean x Middle Eastern marvel, Tazal’s — both can be found at waterfront beauty spot, Al Qana.
You’ll find expertly crafted Armenian-Lebanese at The Galleria’s Almayass, and the simply breathtaking Beirut Sur Mer (Mamsha Al Saadiyat) pairs its scintillating aesthetics with a very strong menu.
Talking about the list, Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the Michelin Guide “The wonderful diversity of the cuisine proposed by these 3 restaurants perfectly illustrate the curiosity of local gourmets, as well as how Abu Dhabi welcomes international cultures to make them shine at their best level”.
Poullennec continued “This first MICHELIN Guide Abu Dhabi selection is the beginning of a long journey for a city with unlimited gastronomic potential. Our inspectors discovered a rich variety of cuisines offered in Abu Dhabi, from creative dishes conceived by some of the world’s most renowned chefs, to traditional cuisines of the region: Middle Eastern, Lebanese and, of course, Emirati.”
The inspectors aren’t only focusing on food while they dine, they’re also looking out for shining stars among the service. In this year’s guide, there are three Abu Dhabi contenders for special awards. They are:
Service Award: Rawad Hamdan and team, Restaurant Li Beirut
Sommelier Award: Marlon Nuque, Zuma Restaurant
Young Chef Award: Luigi Stinga, Restaurant Talea by Antonio Guida
If your name’s not on the list, you’re not coming in
But who else made it into the inaugural Abu Dhabi Guide?
The other inclusions looked like this: Al Mrzab, Butcher & Still, Byblos Sur Mer, Cafe James, Café Milano, Catch by St. Regis, Cipriani, Coya, Dai Pai Dong, Finz, Fishmarket, Fouquet’s, Grand Beirut, Hoi An, Li Beirut, Li Jiang, LPM, Market Kitchen, Martabaan by Hemant Oberoi, Mazi, Meylas, Mijana, Moksh, Namak, NIRI, Oak Room, Oii, Paradiso, Punjab Grill, Shang Palace, Silk & Spice, Tean, VaKaVa Pan Latin Grill and Lounge by Richard Sandoval, Villa Toscana and Zuma.
See the full list at guide.michelin.com