Table for Two – Abu Dhabi

Sophia reveals her gold list restaurants for romance in Abu Dhabi. You’ll find glamorous Hakkasan and Brasserie Angelique as well as stylish al fresco dining at Vasco’s, BBQ Al Qasr and Finz.

These venues have been hand-picked for their charm, intimacy or sensational setting; they are ideal for Date Night, Valentine’s Day and Anniversaries.

Brasserie Angelique

Glam Brasserie $$$

Brasserie Angelique restaurant in Abu Dhabi

French boudoir meets jewelry box: this is a glitzed-up brasserie for sure. Beneath its glamorous casing Brasserie Angelique is a robust operation which has rightly won Restaurant of the Year. It is charmingly retro in both its menu and delivery: order the beef tartare, salt-crusted bream or the crepes suzette and it will be prepared old-school style at your table.

I can never resist their freshly baked bread, served with proper French butter. Oh and their home-made petit fours.

Brasserie Angelique has one of the best wine lists in town. Himself’s favourite. What more can I say?

Dress: with a few embellishments to get into the vibe.
Request: booth table.

Podium Level 3, Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi
Website link »
+971 2 811 5666


Urban Waterside $$$

Catalan restaurant in Abu Dhabi

Finz is perched on a jetty, and is – not surprisingly – a seafood focused restaurant. Finz is best enjoyed in the evening when the modern metropolis of Al Maryah Island, on the opposite bank, becomes a contemporary scape of lights reflected in the water.

As for the food, it is consistently good. The tuna starter is always divine. And dare I say it – I love their fish and chips! They do an impressive chocolate fondant too.

Finz is an institution in Abu Dhabi and deserved winner of numerous romantic accolades. Thankfully they never seem to rest on their laurels and every time we return there is just as much energy as ever.

Dress: resort chic.
Request: outside table.

Beach Rotana Hotel, Tourist Club, Abu Dhabi
Website link »
+971 2 6979011

BBQ Al Qasr

Beachside Charm $$$

BBQ-Al_Qasr restaurant in Abu Dhabi

BBQ Al Qasr is a rare treat on the beach. It is nestled on the sand of Emirates Palace and is a collection of romantic pagodas – connected by wooden paths and lit with lanterns. Book your table early-ish so you don’t miss the sunset.

Indeed you’ll also be captivated by views of the majestic Presidential Palace and marina too.  As befits the regal setting BBQ Al Qasr has an a la carte menu, so your waiter will do the fetching for you.

When the weather is warm – and the wind is low – this spot is unbeatable.

Dress: like Giselle; glam maxi dress and sandals.
Request: all tables are good, be sure to book in advance.

Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi
Website link »
+971 2 690 7999


Seductive Shanghai $$$$

Hakkasan restaurant in Abu Dhabi

Hakkasan has a history of scoring high in romance. The original in London, earned the term ‘Date Central’ and Abu Dhabi’s Hakkasan is equally seductive.

Walk through the imposing doors at Hakkasan and you’ll be transported to a chic version of 1930s Shanghai. The wooden latticed screens, reminiscent of intricate carving, court an opulent intimacy. You’ll be seduced too by the fabulous food, which is perfect for sharing. The tofu and aubergine claypot is nourishing pleasure at its best, whilst the silver cod is pure decadence.

Hakkasan is a special venue for your intimate occasion.

Dress: like Cate Blanchett; contemporary and expensive.
Request: a booth table.

Lobby Level, East Wing, Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi
Website link »
+971 2 690 7730


Relaxed Rendezvous $$

Vasco restaurant in Abu Dhabi

Vasco’s terrace is hugely popular. And rightly so. You are close to the beach, there are trees (always a plus in the UAE) and water-features add to the convivial setting.

A classic in Abu Dhabi, Vasco’s offers an international menu with a notable focus on Indian fare as well as Portuguese regional dishes. You can be assured that the food is cooked with love and portions are generous here. We often share the black dahl, ordered with paratha – fried flat bread. Naughty but nice.

Dress: like Jennifer Aniston. Actually, anything goes here.
Request: a table on the terrace.

Next to the Hiltonia, Hilton, Abu Dhabi
Website link »
+971 2 6811900