Dubai: This winter, foodies in Abu Dhabi have Michelin Star-awarded restaurants to explore as three eateries in the Emirate were given the prestigious recognition, it was announced on Thursday, November 10.
Earlier in September it was announced that the guide will be coming to Abu Dhabi. Now, the prestigious food guide made its debut in Abu Dhabi, presenting 42 restaurants. Out of which, three restaurants were recognised with one Michelin Star for their “high-quality cooking”, according to a statement by Michelin, and four establishments received a Bib Gourmand for “offering good food at moderate prices”, the statement mentioned. A list of 35 restaurants were also “selected” to be part of the guide.
Earlier in March 2022, it was announced that the guide will be coming to Dubai. In June, the list of Dubai restaurants, which were recognised and awarded stars were announced.
Are Michelin Stars yearly awards?
Yes. Along with seeking out new Stars, we continually reassess existing Star restaurants to ensure the same high standard of cooking is being offered to guests.
Does service play a part?
Again, no. It’s entirely up to the restaurant to decide what style of service it wants to offer – and that has no bearing on a Michelin Star.
Can any restaurant qualify?
Yes, any restaurant of any style and cuisine can qualify for a Star.
Do restaurants have to apply for a Star?
If the restaurant is currently in the Michelin Guide then they don’t need to apply for a Star – all the restaurants in the guide are re-assessed regularly. And any restaurant can ask us to consider them for inclusion in the Michelin Guide.
Source: Questions answered by a Michelin Guide Inspector, guide.michelin.com
The guide also highlights the diverse culinary culture Abu Dhabi has to offer, with the listings in the guide including over 16 different types of cuisines.
Amongst the 42 restaurants recognised in the inaugural edition of the MICHELIN Guide Abu Dhabi, one MICHELIN Star is awarded to Talea by Antonio Guida, for pleasing diners with its “Cucina di Famiglia” or family style Italian cuisine; Hakkasan, a restaurant celebrating traditional Cantonese flavours; and contemporary Japanese restaurant 99 Sushi Bar.
“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,” said Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the Michelin Guide.
“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.”
Abu Dhabi is a melting pot of cuisines and cultures. A dynamic centre for sports, art and cultural exchanges, the Emirate is emerging as a gastronomic hotspot known for its rich yet diverse culinary scene, from local Emirati eateries to luxury dining rooms.
Restaurants awarded one Michelin star
This diversity is reflected in the selection of restaurants with one Michelin Star. The three restaurants that received this recognition are : Japanese cuisine-focused 99 Sushi Bar, Hakkasan offering Cantonese cuisine and Italian eatery Talea by Antonio Guida
Establishments awarded a Bib Gourmand
Four restaurants received the ‘Bib Gourmand’ recognition. Named after Bibendum, the friendly Michelin Man, and the official company mascot for the Michelin Group - it is a just-as-esteemed rating that recognises friendly establishments that serve good food at moderate prices.
The four Abu Dhabi eateries with a Bib Gourmand recognition are: Middle-eastern restaurant Almayass, Lebanese eatry Beirut Sur Mer, Otoro offering Japanese food and Tazal, which offers diners European-Arabic fusion cuisine.
Michelin Guide Special Awards
As Michelin Guide inspectors dine at and observe restaurants, they keep an eye on service professionals, who could be contenders for Michelin special awards.
The Service Award was given to Rawad Hamdan and team, at Restaurant Li Beirut.
“Our inspectors received a warm welcome when dining here. The service that accompanied their dinner progressed in the same vein, with the entire team professional and genuine in their hospitality: perfectly attentive yet relaxed and happy to engage. Whilst the cooking and views are impressive, the level of service is the final part of the jigsaw that makes dining at Li Beirut such a pleasure,” a statement by Michelin stated.
The Sommelier Award was given to Marlon Nuque, at Zuma Restaurant.
While the Young Chef Award was given to Luigi Stinga, at restaurant Talea by Antonio Guida.
Michelin Guide inspectors visited eateries across the city over the course of the past few months and based their ratings on five criteria, including the quality of the ingredients, the mastery of cooking, the harmony of flavours, the personality of the chef represented in the cooking and the consistency both over time and across the entire menu.
The full selection of the Michelin Guide Abu Dhabi 2023 will be available for free on the Michelin Guide website and app.