Looking to win over a potential new client? Have something serious to discuss away from the prying ears of the office? There are a number of reasons why you might be looking to book a business lunch, which is where our guide to the best business lunches in Abu Dhabi comes in. Whether you’re trying to build new relationships, or cement existing ones, there’s nothing quite like great food and drink to bring people together.
Much like its Dubai neighbour, Abu Dhabi has become a major hub for business, not least because it is home to the Abu Dhabi Global Market, an international financial centre located on Al Maryah Island just north east of Abu Dhabi. In fact, you’ll find quite a few of Abu Dhabi’s best business lunches are concentrated in this area, from globally-esteemed Zuma to Michelin-starred 99 Sushi Bar & Restaurant.
Work lunches come in all different shapes and sizes. In this round-up, for example, you’ll find an elegant three-course Italian affair, a Japanese tasting menu, a selection of Peruvian small plates and an omakase experience. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all offering, which means that the type of restaurant and menu you choose can significantly affect the vibe of your meal. They can be fancy or more casual, but they are usually confined to an hour or less so they can be accommodated within a working day. Ultimately, a business lunch is an effective and easy way to make a good impression on your guests.
Keen to try one out for yourself? Take a look at our curated round-up of Abu Dhabi’s best business lunches if you’re not sure where to start. These killer restaurants are sure to put you in your bosses' good books.
99 Sushi Bar & Restaurant
What: Step up your work lunch game at this Michelin-starred sushi restaurant, known best for its glitzy interiors and menu of haute Japanese cuisine. On weekdays, it serves an omakase business lunch between 12pm and 2:15pm, so we can only roughly predict what’s on the menu (omakase means ‘it’s up to you’ and the chef decides on the dishes served). However, with its regular menu including the likes of seared foie-gras nigiri and tiger prawn tempura, we expect only good things.
Where: The Galleria Four Seasons, Al Maryah Island
Book now: 99 Sushi Bar & Restaurant
What: Everyone loves Italian food, so treat clients to a meal at Café Milano for a lunch they’re bound to enjoy. Its business lunch menu changes daily in line with what’s fresh and seasonal, and includes three elegant courses with a drink (choose a soft drink, mocktail, glass of wine or beer). Starters feature the likes of a crispy fish cake with red pepper sauce, crunchy vegetables and salsa, while mains might include house-made rigatoni pasta with beef pancetta, onion, carbarino tomato and pecorino cheese. For dessert, you can't go wrong with gelato, but its torta della nonna (Tuscan lemon tart) with mixed berries is sure to provide an elegant and authentic finale.
Where: Four Seasons Hotel, Abu Dhabi
Book now: Café Milano
What: COYA is largely inspired by Latin-American culture and you can find its influence in everything from the décor and the music to the food and drinks. The stylish dining rooms offers an uplifting backdrop of mustard yellows and mosaic prints that is sure to inspire guests, while the dishes themselves are packed with punchy flavours drawing on Peruvian, Japanese, Chinese and Spanish influences. Take heed of its set lunch menu from Monday to Friday, which includes a choice of two appetisers and a main course. Start with the likes of potato croquettes with taramasalata, amarillo chilli and manchego; salmon tacos; or wagyu beef baos with passion fruit and pickled cucumber. Mains, meanwhile, include slow-cooked beef ribs with miso, chilli and soy glaze, and grilled tiger prawns with yuzu kosho and chimichurri sauce. You can choose to order dessert for an extra cost, if you like, which seems well worth it in our eyes just to try the churros with orange and lime, plus chocolate and dulce de leche sauce.
Where: The Galleria, Four Seasons Hotel
Book now: COYA
What: Located in the heart of Al Maryah Island, the capital’s luxurious retail and commerce centre, Zuma serves up modern Japanese dishes from its robata grills – all with a view of the water. You can choose a selection of your favourite sushi dishes off the a la carte menu, or opt for its set lunch menu, which is a reduced version of its regular tasting menu and includes plenty of Zuma’s most popular dishes. Think salmon teriyaki with pickled cucumber, crispy fried squid with green chilli and ginger miso dressing, and tuna tataki with chilli daikon and ponzu.
Where: Abu Dhabi Global Market, Al Maryah Island
Book now: Zuma
Byblos Sur Mer
What: Byblos Sur Mer is a stylish Lebanese restaurant inside the Intercontinental Abu Dhabi Hotel serving grilled meats and mezze plates in a split-level dining room. It serves a business lunch menu between 12-4pm, Monday-Friday, for those on a time limit, which includes a set selection of sharing plates. Think pan fried chicken liver with pomegranate molasses, a mixed grill platter featuring kofta, taouk and tikka, plus cheesy pastry with clotted cream and syrup for pudding. Warning: you might need a lie down after this one.
Where: InterContinental Abu Dhabi, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Street
Book now: Byblos Sur Mer
Taon Korean Restaurant
What: Taon aims to deliver authentic Korean cuisine in a luxurious setting at this modern restaurant in Abu Dhabi’s Sofitel Hotel. Handily, it offers a range of set lunch menus at an affordable price, too. One particular menu includes beef bulgogi, rice, a green salad and tofu soup, which is sure to make a light but comforting lunch.
Where: P2 Sofitel Hotel Corniche
Book now: Taon Korean Restaurant
What: Dining out doesn't get much fancier than at Fouquet's, a French fine dining restaurant at Louvre Abu Dhabi that follows in the footsteps of the original Parisian brasserie on the Champs-Elysees. The menu is designed in collaboration with renowned French Michelin-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire, and features plenty of decadent French classics. Naturally, we're most interested in its set lunch menus, from which you can opt for two or three courses. Start with the likes of pan-sauteed squid with chilli, a fennel salad and Parmesan cheese, followed by poached salmon with leek fondue. For pudding, you get to choose something off the dessert trolley!
Where: Louvre Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island
Book now: Fouquet's
The Sportsman's Arms
What: A warm and friendly option if you're after a more relaxed lunch setting, The Sportsman's Arms is a spacious gastropub with a large bar, plenty of seating and screens if you want to catch a match. Its set lunch menu is a steal, which includes a choice of salads and American-style mains, plus a drink, for just 65 AED. You can't go wrong!
Where: International Tennis Center Zayed Sports City
Book now: The Sportsman's Arms
What: Be transported to a traditional Tuscan villa for an hour or two at this beautiful Italian restaurant. Villa Toscana specialises in regional classics from Tuscany, Umbria, and Emilia-Romagna with a tempting selection featured on its business lunch menu. Choose between two or three courses, with dishes including the likes of homemade pasta, charcoal-grilled lamb chops, calamari, prawns with seasonal vegetables and more.
Where: The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Tower, Corniche
Book now: Villa Toscana
After somewhere that's guranteed to blow your socks off? Discover all of Abu Dhabi's Michelin restaurants for fine dining at its very best.