FACT Abu Dhabi Dining Awards | 2017

We are honoured to be able to recognise and award the efforts of all the excellent food and beverage outlets here in Abu Dhabi.” Greg Hughes, CEO FACT Magazine

The movers and shakers of the capital’s food and beverage scene gathered at the enchanting Asia de Cuba waterfront terrace last week for the third annual FACT Abu Dhabi Dining Awards. A cross selection of the capital’s finest restaurants, bars, lounges and cafes were honoured in a celebration of the capital’s ever expanding dining scene, I was privileged to be on the judging panel again for the third year running.

One hundred and fifty venues were nominated in the categories that cover various cuisines as well as brunches, alfresco dining, in-mall and family orientated dining options. The ‘Best’ in category was selected by an independent panel of industry experts and Abu Dhabi bloggers (like myself) while the ‘Favourites’ were chosen via online public votes which topped an incredible 30,000 this year. Sixty-two awards were given out in thirty-one categories including the prestigious accolade of overall ‘Best’ and ‘Favourite’ restaurant in the city, won deservedly by Zuma and Tamba respectively.

The speedy and informal ceremony saw the two winners in each of the categories announced by Hughes as the nominees appeared alongside him on the large screen, the awards were collected by the respective winners after all the announcements were finished. Photographs were taken in front of the FACT wall to mark the occasion and shared across social media. The colourfully lit terrace was packed with over three hundred esteemed guests from media, hotel and industry professionals as well as many of the nominated chefs themselves who stepped out of their kitchens for the evening. Free-flowing drinks and canapes kept the lively crowd entertained until the wee small hours.

There were some surprise winners and it was good to see a bunch of newcomers getting some well-deserved recognition alongside some of my old favourites like Market Kitchen and Circo. The luxurious ‘Brunch in the Clouds’ at the St. Regis Abu Dhabi won Best Friday Brunch, this ultimate sky high brunch is pricey but an experience not to missed especially if you are looking to dine in a luxurious suite to celebrate a special occasion. The Four Seasons Abu Dhabi picked up a clutch of awards for various venues as did fellow newcomers Roberto’s and Nusr-Et located at The Galleria. Favourite newcomer went to Spanish tapas bar Puesta del Sol Zuma at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, and Morjana at the recently opened Bab Al Qasr hotel picked up the favourite tea room award.

FACT, Abu Dhabi’s monthly contemporary lifestyle magazine, covers everything from art, culture, fashion, hospitality, technology, motoring to travel as well as all the latest happenings in the dining scene, all wrapped up in eye-catching covers on every edition. FACT Qatar and Bahrain also hold annual Dining Awards. 

Here’s the list of this year’s Fact Dining Award 2017 winners should you need a recommendation of where to dine in the capital, maybe you want to try somewhere new or just check out if your favourite establishment picked up an award…. Happy Dining 🙂

CATEGORY BEST FAVOURITE
INTERNATIONAL
Market Kitchen Trader Vic’s
Le Royal Meridien Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi
FRENCH
Brasserie Angelique Bentley Bistro & Bar
Jumeirah at Etihad Towers The Galleria
ITALIAN
Villa Toscana Circo
The St.Regis Abu Dhabi InterContinental Abu Dhabi
MEDITERRANEAN
The Beach House 18 Degrees
Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Villas Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
LEBANESE
Li Beirut Byblos Sur Mer
Jumeirah at Etihad Towers InterContinental Abu Dhabi
ARABIC
Barouk Hubbly Bubbly
Crowne Plaza Yas Island Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi
SEAFOOD
Finz Sayad
Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi Emirates Palace
CHINESE
Hakkasan Dai Pai Dong
Emirates Palace Rosewood Abu Dhabi
SOUTH EAST ASIAN
Sontaya Cho Gao
The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi
JAPANESE
Tori No Su Inakaya
Jumeriah at Etihad Towers Venetian Village Abu Dhabi
INDIAN
Angar Indigo
Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi
THAI
Pachaylen Benjarong
Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa By Anantara Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi
LATIN AMERICAN
Asia de Cuba Noche
The St. Regis Abu Dhabi Hilton Capital Grand
STEAKHOUSE
Butcher & Still The Foundry
Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi Southern Sun Abu Dhabi
EMIRATI
Mezlai Al-Fanar
Emirates Palace Venetian Village Abu Dhabi
FUSION
BU! Teatro
The Hub, The World Trade Centre Mall Park Rotana Abu Dhabi
ALL-DAY DINING
Rosewater Latest Recipe
Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Le Meridien Abu Dhabi
AL FRESCO
BBQ Al Qasr Li Jiang
Emirates Palace The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal
POOL BAR
Eclipse Nahaam
Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi Jumeirah at Etihad Towers
PUB
Belgian Cafe Heroes
InterContinental Abu Dhabi Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi
BAR
Stills Velocity
Crowne Plaza Yas Island Marriott Hotel Downtown, Abu Dhabi
LOUNGE
Stratos Barfly by Buddha Bar
Le Royal Meridien Venetian Village Abu Dhabi
CAFE
Nolu’s Downtown Leopold’s of London
The Galleria Nation Towers
COFFEE HOUSE
The Coffee Club Tim Hortons
Various Locations Various Locations
TEA ROOM
Alba Morjana
The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal Bab Al Qasr
IN-MALL
Carluccio’s Biryani Pot
Various Locations The Galleria
FRIDAY BRUNCH
Brunch in the Clouds Bubbalicious Brunch
The St. Regis Abu Dhabi The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa
FAMILY-FRIENDLY FRIDAY BRUNCH
Giornotte Sofra bld
The Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal Shangri-La Hotel Qaryat Al Beri
INDEPENDENT WEEKEND BRUNCH
Andiamo Brunch Saturday Gochiso Brunch
Roberto’s Abu Dhabi Koi Abu Dhabi
NEWCOMER
Nusr-Et Puesta del Sol
The Galleria Fairmont Bab Al Bahr
RESTAURANT
Zuma Tamba Restaurant
Al Maryah Island The Hub, The World Trade Centre Mall

I was invited to attend the Fact Dining Awards. All views are my own. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2017. All rights reserved. Featured photo used with courtesy of www.fact-magazine.com/ and additional photos used with courtesy of Kaby Photography