Plunge into a new world of vibrant and mouthwatering delights.” Yas Bay

Yas Bay, which opened last month, has completely changed the face of dining and nightlife on Yas Island with lots of new venues making their Abu Dhabi debut. The variety of casual and fine dining concepts at Pier 71 and the adjoining Waterfront has significantly boasted the dining opportunities in this area which has been well received by local residents like myself.

There’s so many cuisines to choose from and I’m slowly making my way around the numerous venues. So far I have tried La Carnita (Mexican), Akiba Dori (Japanese street food & pizza) and Australian steakhouse Hunter & Barrel. There’s also been a couple of visits to both Daikan Izakaya (Ramen Bar) and the more casual Lock, Stock & Barrel.

If you like ramen and cool interiors then Daikan Izakaya is the place for you. Go here for hearty ramen bowls and tasty miso eggplant for those vegetarian among us. Save room for the naughty Nutella filled sweet gyozas with salted caramel sauce. I really liked Hunter & Barrel, good food and also veggie choices for non-meat eaters, the Wagyu burger was a firm favourite in our crowd. Mexican food is a family favourite and while the tacos were tasty at La Carnita they were small and pricey. I would definitely revisit to try the larger menu now the soft opening period has ended. 

Colourful neon filled Akiba Dori serves Tokyo-style Neapolitan pizza which I enjoyed but my fellow diners were less than impressed with their chicken katsu and sushi choices. Lock, Stock and Barrel serves pub style food so it’s a more casual experience. Their daily happy hour, chicken wings and tasty flatbreads make for a great combination. I’m eager to try their Sunday roast and looking forward to a regular live music schedule – read a full review HERE.

Next up on my list to try is The Lighthouse, a Mediterranean restaurant and concept store which has good breakfast options. Mediterranean flavours are also on offer at Paradiso from Cannes developed by LPM founder, Nicole Rubi and Chef Pierre Gagnaire. The new Saturday brunch menu at Asia Asia looks fab and a great way to try lots of dishes in one sitting. Other places to try are The Trilogy by Buddha Bar that offers Bushra (Middle Eastern), Zeera (Indian) and the rooftop Siddartha Lounge that offers panoramic views across the water.

The completion of the next phase will see the opening of Emmy Squared which I’m excited about. Originally from Williamsburg in Brooklyn, the concept serves Detroit-style pizza, that’s renowned in the US for its square shape, crispy bottom, fluffy dough, cheesy “frico” crust and signature sauce stripes. Their award winning double-stack burger, the Le Big Matt, should be making an appearance on the Abu Dhabi menu alongside their sandwiches served on pretzel buns plus a variety of salads. Reserve me a table for opening night.

Cafe del Mar, the chic Ibiza beach club, has opened its doors on the waterfront. It’s a perfect place for relaxation by the infinity pool or in a cabanas. Enjoy Mediterranean inspired food, cocktails with a background of well loved, atmospheric music. Family-friendly entertainment will soon be found at The Central once its doors open in the next phase of completion. Rumour has it there will be a bowling alley, an arcade, air hockey, simulators and a retro style diner. 

Yas Bay Waterfront is also home to the Etihad Arena that’s already hosted some top notch events like the UFC, Harlem Globetrotters, Fina World Swimming Championships and comedy nights. Look out for more events and shows on their upcoming schedule – click HERE for more details. The Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island, which opened in March 2021, offers more food and beverage options as well as a spa and large pool area but there’s still no sign of its novel floating beach. 

All the venues at the well designed Pier 71 offer waterfront views, something that enhances the overall dining experience. There’s also a 3km waterfront boardwalk with landscaped areas, parks and seating areas. Look out for the unique art installations like the oversized astronauts and the part submerged large bronze head and hand sculpture.

Yas Bay

Location: Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

Telephone: 800YASBAY (800927229)

Website: www.yasbay.ae

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Unless otherwise stated all photos © Jo Brett 2022. All rights reserved. First photo of used with courtesy of www.yasbay.ae