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Not be missed if you are a seafood lover
These days we do not have to wait too long for the opening of new fancy restaurants in town. However, if you want to experience authentic local culture and cuisine there is a place that needs to be added to your wish list.
Al Dhafra Restaurant is located in the area surrounding Mina Zayed Port and it is few steps away from the Abu Dhabi fish market. Al Dhafra Restaurant started his activity in the early 90’s and became popular when H.H. Sheikh Zayed visited it in 1993.
Once you walk in, on your left side you find an impressive display area in which you can pick your favorite fish, delivered daily by fishermen of trust, and have it cooked grilled or fried and accompanied by different sauces.
After that, you can have a sit in the main dining area facing a rich buffet of Middle Eastern food and local bites, including a wide selection of salads, rice dishes and desserts, well displayed in a giant dhow.
The staff has been trained to cook the food the way the Emiratis eat at home, and this is one of the reasons why the cuisine is so authentic and unique.
There is no menu, so ask the very attentive and polite staff and waiters about the different options at the very beginning! As the restaurant has a wide variety of fresh seafood, we usually concentrate on it and avoid the buffet and if you are a seafood lover you will be looking forward to visiting it again.
Before you start eating, the waiters offer you a cup of Arabic coffee with dates, as sign of hospitality.
At the end of your meal, they sprinkle your hands with rosewater to clean any fish smell and bring you a lovely glass of black tea with fresh mint to settle down your stomach.
A restaurant with plenty of options
If one day, you are looking for a large gathering, the restaurant has also two big rooms for groups as well as private dining rooms.
Moreover, if you are planning an alternative dinner at home, opposite to the main entrance of the restaurant, close to the boat cruise departures, Al Dhafra branch offers also the take-away option. Keep that in mind!
Finally, Al Dhafra also organizes dinner on board of a dhow which adds that extra flavor of authenticity, while you are admiring the city skyline sailing along the Corniche. Every evening from 8pm.
Not easy to find the place, so keep in mind that is after the Fish Market of Abu Dhabi and you have to pass also Steam Team car wash (see our map above).
AL DHAFRA RESTAURANT | Al Mina Port Zayed, behind the Fish Market | +971 2 673 22 88
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