Where to eat, food and drink Abu Dhabi
A veritable Tower of Babel, the city, welcoming expatriates of all origins, offers a rare panoply of world cuisine.
In terms of small budgets, we are heading towards sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers, falafels, samosas, shawarma and kebabs, not to mention the full range of half, oriental, to spread on unleavened bread such as maneesh. The tabbouleh resembles its Lebanese model (with little semolina and plenty of parsley), the wara enab with Greek vine leaves stuffed with rice and / or meat, the hummus with all the Mediterranean hummus (cold chickpea puree with sesame and lemon). There is also eggplant caviar (moutabal), kebbeh (meatballs and bulgur), fried cheese, olives, shashkouka (eggs, tomatoes and peppers), etc., which we find a little among all Middle Easterners, in different variations.
Cheap too, Indian or Pakistani restaurants, sell beefy curries, dosa (filled pancakes), thali (assortments of dishes) - vegetarian or not - and biryani (rice and meat) to tear your mouth away with every bite. Adventurers of taste will also be interested in Filipino or Afghan restaurants. A bit more expensive, Western-style cafes offer healthy salads and pasta dishes. And what about chicken, (grilled) and pizzas, available at every street corner ?!
Can you afford to spend more? Abu Dhabi is home to many cuisines from all over the world,: maple syrup pancakes from Anglo-Saxon coffee-shops, French pastries, gourmet steakhouses and burgers, fine dining Italian or Japanese, fresh seafood and fish directly imported from Scotland or from Ireland by plane (hello carbon footprint)… Abu Dhabi's financial windfall has attracted a multitude of talented chefs from all walks of life - some who do not disdain, for some, to venture on sometimes surprising notes of fusion . Be careful though: the best tables can cost a small fortune.
There remains one (almost) absent subscriber: Emirati restaurants,. We advise you to head for Café Arabia opposite Mushrif Park, the very chic Mezlai at the Emirates Palace or the dhow at Al Dhafra (near the fish market) to discover the local cuisine.
The classic among the classics is majbous, a dish of saffron rice (or turmeric) accompanied by chicken or boiled meat (mutton), seasoned with the most diverse spices, or even dried lime. Rather linked to the period of Ramadan, harees mixes wheat, meat and clarified butter, simmered for a long time in a terracotta dish. You can also find seafood, the Persian Gulf obliges - for example at the Bu Tafish restaurant (on Hamdan St or in Khalifa City). Try the unmissable madrouba of rehydrated dried fish (like cod), prepared in a thick sauce. Here again, those who fear spices will not be at the party ...
For dessert, the whole range of oriental pastries is available to you, not to mention the essential dates (Iranian ones are as soft as you want).
If thetap water, is theoretically drinkable, it may in fact depend on the installations of each building; in addition, being desalinated, it does not taste very good. Most expatriates therefore have water delivered to their homes.
Stalls sell excellent Juice, fresh (exotic or not) and, everywhere, we drink coffee, central element of any meeting. Moreover, each Emirati consumes an average of 3,5 kilos per year, a record in the region! Traditionally prepared in a brass coffee maker, with cardamom and sweet, it is served in small cups - at the bottom of which you have to let the park settle. Many gentlemen take the opportunity to order a flavored shisha.
For the rest, no alcohol, here outside the restaurants and hotel bars authorized to sell it - at prices quite prohibitive for an often uncertain quality. And yet, legally, it would theoretically require a license to consume. Only problem: this can only be obtained by expatriates residing in the UAE over 21 years old ...
As long as the law does not change, therefore consume in moderation, or abstain: any inappropriate behavior induced by alcohol is likely to make you go through the box. prison - and more if you're driving.