Unsure where to start in the hunt for great-value meals? Don’t worry — we have done the legwork for you. Here are some of the best upscale-dining deals in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
The Forge, Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal
The Forge offers a weekly speakeasy promotion called RSVP, which includes a burger, a choice of lobster dish including Manifesto — a broiled lobster with tarragon leaves and Parmesan crust — and one US Prohibition-era inspired beverage, including mocktails. The dishes are main course-sized.
• Wednesdays from 7pm. Dh200 per person. Call 02 418 2572
Li Jiang, Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal
For an authentic taste of Chinese cuisine, head to the all-you-can-eat dim sum night every Thursday at Li Jiang. Choose from a selection including prawn, chicken and vegetarian options. Entertainment while you eat is provided by resident DJ Margo Sahara.
• Thursdays, 7pm to midnight. Dh80 a person. Call 02 818 8282
BOA Steakhouse, Eastern Mangroves Promenade, Abu Dhabi
This upscale restaurant is serious about its steaks, which range in price from Dh200 to Dh500. Take advantage of the early dinner menu, and you can enjoy a special deal that includes a striploin or rib-eye plus one side dish and unlimited select beverages.
• Daily, 6pm to 8pm. Dh215 for striploin; Dh230 for rib-eye. Call 02 641 1500
Hakkasan, Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi; Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Dubai
To soak up Hakkasan’s cool vibe any day of the week, check out the new Hakkatini Nights. In Abu Dhabi, you get three classic dim sum along with two signature beverages. In Dubai, enjoy two signature drinks plus a choice of grilled Shanghai dumplings; grilled vegetarian Shanghai dumplings or salt and pepper squid.
• Abu Dhabi: daily, 6pm to 8pm and all day Saturday, Dh80 a person. Call 02 690 7999. Dubai: daily, 7pm to 9pm, Dh118 a person. Call 04 384 8484
Asia de Cuba, Abu Dhabi Corniche
This chic Asian-Cuban concept, with prime real estate on the Abu Dhabi corniche, has launched a Bento Box Lunch concept. These generously portioned boxes are a bargain, priced between Dh65 and Dh95. There’s something for everyone, with a Vegetarian Box; a Turf Box; a Surf Box and The Cuban.
• Sunday to Thursday, noon to 3pm. Call 02 699 3333
Villa Toscana, St Regis Abu Dhabi
Villa Toscana, the Italian restaurant on the first floor of the St Regis Abu Dhabi, is the perfect spot for a special night out — but you can get a more affordable taste of chef Stefano Viola’s genius with the Espresso Lunch. The three-course deal includes a starter, a main course (or any pizza from the menu) and a dessert. It also comes with coffee.
• Sunday to Thursday, noon to 3pm. Dh105 a person. Call 02 694 4553
Circo, InterContinental Abu Dhabi
Circo’s half-price menu is one of the city’s best-kept secrets. The light-fare menu is available every day at 50 per cent off. The highlights include: tagliatelle with slow-cooked Wagyu Bolognese sauce, spaghetti primavera, seafood risotto, and three different pizzas. Select beverages are also available at half price.
• Daily, 5pm to 7pm. Call 02 666 6888
Stratos, Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi
Stratos offers the best views of any restaurant on our list. Next time you go, ask for the bar-bites menu, which offers good portions of tasty dishes that are affordably priced. Or try the Stratos Bombay Social Supper Club, a late-night dining concept that features unlimited authentic Indian cuisine (not the normal fare), unlimited select beverages and tunes by DJ Lola Nova.
• Fridays, 9pm to midnight. Dh200. Call 02 695 0490
Sho Cho, Souq Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi
Sho Cho, the Japanese restaurant with stunning views of the Grand Mosque, serves a special treat for sushi lovers every Sunday. The buffet has endless sushi, starters, a main course and desserts.
• Sundays, 6.30pm to 11pm. Dh125 per person. Call 02 558 1117
Nobu, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai
When talking about Nobu, “inexpensive” is not the first word that springs to mind — but you can eat there for less thanks to its Tails and Tapas concept. This includes two signature drinks and two tapas, which includes the choice of grilled langoustine with chilli shiso salsa; Nobu Wagyu beef sliders; Lobster tacos and more.
• Saturday to Wednesday, 7pm to 11.30pm. Dh125 per person. Call 04 426 2626
Coya, Four Seasons Resort, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai
Coya is a chic, trendy venue where the main courses can easily raise a bill for two to over Dh1,000. Try Coya’s lunch special instead, which includes a choice of two starters and one main. Main-course options include cornfed baby chicken, sea bream and tenderloin.
• Sunday to Thursday, 12.30 to 3.30. Dh130 per person. Call 04 316 9600
Marina Social, InterContinental Dubai Marina
Marina Social is the latest in rising-star chef Jason Atherton’s global Social portfolio. If you are on a budget, check out the pared-down early express dinner menu. You can enjoy two or three courses, including some inspired mains, such as tagliatelle with brown crab and lemon ricotta or pulled lamb sourdough pizza.
• Daily, 7pm to 8pm. Dh150 for two courses, Dh195 for three. Call 04 559 7862