Three Abu Dhabi restaurants get Michelin star — check out the top dishes they serve

This quick guide also features four establishments that were recognised for offering good food at reasonable prices



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A Staff Reporter

Published: Fri 11 Nov 2022, 11:05 AM

Last updated: Fri 11 Nov 2022, 3:42 PM

Three restaurants from the capital have been awarded a Michelin star and 42 outlets made it to the first selection of the Michelin Guide Abu Dhabi, which was launched in a glittering ceremony at Emirates Palace.

While Hakkasan, Talea by Antonio Guida, and 99 Sushi Bar were recognised with one star for high-quality cooking, four establishments received a Bib Gourmand for offering good food at moderate prices.

As many as 42 restaurants covering 16 cuisine types made their debut in the Michelin Guide.

Here's a guide to the three Michelin-starred restaurants, plus the food they serve:

1. Hakkasan Emirates Palace

1. Hakkasan Emirates Palace

Hakkasan Emirates Palace won a star for offering traditional Cantonese flavours in sultry and chic oriental décor. The restaurant is renowned for dishes like Peking duck or Chilean sea bass with honey, as well as their celebrated dim sum.

Chef Lee Kok Hua, who has spent seven years with Hakkasan in London before serving the Abu Dhabi facility for 12 years now, said the recognition took a long time coming.

“It’s been many years already. From London until now, I think it’s already 19 years at Hakkasan. I thank my team, all of them, especially for Emirates Palace Hotel. And one thing, a very special mention for my wife, I love you my wife, I love you too much. She has been very supportive. It’s not easy, a job as a chef is not easy for everyone. I also want to thank, especially, my customer. It’s very important for us.”

2. Talea by Antonio Guida, Emirates Palace

2. Talea by Antonio Guida, Emirates Palace

Talea by Antonio Guida was awarded a star for its understated Italian sophistication. Overseen by chef Antonio Guida who made and cemented his reputation in Milan, Restaurant Talea celebrates “Cucina di Famiglia” or family-style cooking, offering guests simple but exhilarating flavours. Purity and vibrancy are evident in sublime dishes such as Maccheroncelli alla Genovese, turbot with Mediterranean Guazzetto and tiramisu that’s made right in front of customers.

The head chef was whelmed by the moment and couldn’t express his feelings in words.

3. 99 Sushi Bar, The Galleria Four Seasons – Al Maryah Island

3. 99 Sushi Bar, The Galleria Four Seasons – Al Maryah Island

99 Sushi Bar, a contemporary Japanese restaurant, won for its beautifully presented dishes, full of finesse and precision. Its Spanish owners import most of the seafood from their native country.

“We couldn’t have done it without our team. This is amazing. I wish I could have got my whole team here to see this moment. This is a dream come true,” head chef Thinus van der Westhuizen said along with executive chef Ruben Guerrero.

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Good food at reasonable price

Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guide, said its inspectors found a diverse and rich variety of cuisines.

“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. 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.”

Also, four establishments were awarded a Bib Gourmand, i.e., best value for money restaurants offering a three-course meal at a reasonable price. Almayass, Beirut Sur Mer, Otoro and Tazal received the inspectors nod.

There were three special awards. The service award went to Rawad Hamdan and team of Restaurant Li Beirut, the sommelier award to Marlon Nuque from Zuma Restaurant and young chef award to Luigi Stinga of Restaurant Talea by Antonio Guida.

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