This vibrant and pulsating city rich with Emirati heritage and history, but it is also quickly modernising, taking staples of modern city dining by storm. Abu Dhabi is fast becoming home to world-renowned Japanese restaurants. Here are a few of our favourites...
The Yacht Club
This long-time Abu Dhabi favourite is a hotspot for drinks, sushi and live music. The menu, devised by Sushi-Samba’s celebrity chef, Koji Kagawa, is an adventure for your palate. There are no California rolls here, but instead deliciously authentic makis that will rock your taste buds. This excellent venue is situated on the water, with a myriad of boats and yachts right outside. From a quiet after-work drink to a group lunch or dinner and an all-out party, this is one of Abu Dhabi’s prime spots.
LUXOS Recommends: Maki rolls and Agedashi tofu
Boasting some of the best sushi in the capital, Toki is located in the Hilton Abu Dhabi and offers excellent and knowledgeable service in addition to its delicious Japanese fare. Choose from salmon sashimi, maki rolls, grilled gyoza starters and wonderfully-executed katsu curries as well as a wealth of noodle options – there’s plenty traditional cuisine here to appeal whatever your Japanese food preferences. The restaurant’s screened-offed rooms make it particularly authentic and perfect for a business meeting or friendly outing.
LUXOS Recommends: Miso soup and chicken katsu curry
With a smart red and black décor this hot spot is one of the best places for Asian cuisine in Abu Dhabi. Enter this refined setting complete with harmonious Japanese music and indulge in a delicious meal of traditional Japanese cuisine with a contemporary twist. Dine on maki rolls and delicious salmon mackerel on a bed of grated radish, while you sip on sake to your heart’s content.
LUXOS Recommends: Sansyu sashimi
Zuma’s acclaimed Abu Dhabi location is found what is considered to be the city's business district, Sowwah Square, and offers a truly unique experience of Japanese dining. The restaurant features Izakaya-style dining in which dishes are brought to the table continuously throughout the meal and are placed in the centre of the table, to be shared by all those present. The result is an elegant yet informal dining experience marked by the bold flavours and simple presentation effortlessly achieved by Zuma’s premiere chefs.
LUXOS Recommends: California maki and one of their signature cocktails
The restaurant’s first location opened in Roppongi, Tokyo in 1970 and has since expanded to several locations across the globe, Abu Dhabi included. While considered to be a traditional aspect of Japanese cuisine, Robata-yaki-style cuisine (Japanese barbecue) is still quite novel to foreign audiences as restaurant-goers enjoy both their meal and the elaborate performance that is the preparation of their meal. Inakaya’s classically trained grill masters utilise ancient techniques as the ingredients included in each dish are engulfed in flames and served to guests with long wooden paddles.
LUXOS Recommends: Salmon and cold soba noodles