When it comes to group dining, few cuisines are better suited to it than Korean. Whether you’re tucking into hearty hotpots and sumptuous stews or grilling at the table K-BBQ-style, you’ll find Korean restaurants are perfect for feasting with your friends, family or colleagues. That’s why we’ve decided to round up the best Korean restaurants in Abu Dhabi, so you can ditch the lengthy research and get on with the fun part: eating!
To those less familiar with Korean food, there are a couple of dishes you need to know about. The first is bibimbap, a hearty rice bowl packed with meat, veggies, egg and gochujang (a fiery, fermented sweet chilli paste used in many Korean dishes). Next is japchae, which is arguably the country’s favourite noodle dish, comprised of stir-fried glass noodles usually laced with sesame oil and soy sauce. Bizarrely, these noodles are actually made from sweet potato starch, which makes them naturally gluten-free. Perhaps the most famous, however, is gogi-gui, AKA Korean barbecue or K-BBQ. This dish (or rather dishes) involves cooking meat at your own table, usually on a tabletop grill. Like a hotpot, the grill is built into the middle of the table, so diners can each cook their own food simultaneously.
We’ve made sure to include a range of Korean restaurants in Abu Dhabi for you to try. At the more affordable end of the list, you’ll find lively neighbourhood spots with tables crammed into small dining rooms. Here, the food is incredibly good value and you can easily dine for under 80 AED. Moving to the slightly more decadent end, you’ll find hotel restaurants that serve alcohol, alongside more refined Korean fare at slightly higher prices. All are delicious, which restaurant you go for is up to you. Just hit ‘book now’ once you find one you like to find out more and book a table quickly and easily.
If you want affordable, authentic Korean food in Abu Dhabi, then look no further than Hankook. This buzzy neighbourhood spot is the perfect place for those who want to try the cuisine for the first time as well as seasoned aficionados. The fried chicken wings are an absolute must, with the option to add a sticky, sweet and spicy sauce if you fancy it. The kimchi stew is another fan favourite, packed with beef, rice cakes and tofu, while the various hotpots are perfectly suited to social group dining. The restaurant doesn’t serve alcohol but does offer a range of Korean soft drinks and teas.
Where: Opposite Central Bus Station, Al Nahyan
Book now: Hankook
Well-known amongst connoisseurs of fried chicken, Korean Kitchen is one of the hottest spots in town. Choose between sweet and spicy, honey and garlic, chilli and soy or classic (or go as a group and try them all). Aside from fried goodies, you’ll find hearty stews like ramyun and lighter bites like kimbap, ideal for a quick lunch. If you can’t decide what to get, there are also bento-style meal boxes featuring beef or chicken, alongside rice, salad and kimchi.
Book now: Korean Kitchen
This particular restaurant is not for the faint-hearted. Mukbang Shows serves up some of the biggest portions in the UAE, including insane unlimited deals too. The friendly staff are happy to recommend dishes if you’re new to the cuisine, while experienced diners can get stuck in straight away. Kick things off with some dynamite tempura shrimp, kimchi pancakes or fiery tteobokki, before tucking into Korean fried chicken, wagyu stir fries and the like. The K-BBQ offering, however, is the main event, featuring unlimited meat and seafood to be cooked on the grill at the centre of the table. There are plenty of soothing juices to wash down your feast with too.
Where: Sultan Bin Zayed The First Street
Book now: Mukbang Shows
If Mukbang Shows has the biggest portions, Manna Land certainly has the biggest menu. There’s a ridiculously huge range of dishes to try, including familiar bites like bibimbap, dukbokki and ramyun, as well as lesser-seen dishes like gul jeon (pan-fried oysters) or nakji bokum (stir-fried baby octopus in spicy sauce). However, the Korean dishes are only half the story. Manna Land also has an equally extensive Japanese offering, including yakitori, karaage, miso soup and hundreds of sushi rolls too.
Where: Al Muroor Road (East Road), Al Nahyan Camp
Book now: Manna Land
The residents of Abu Dhabi are well and truly spoiled for choice when it comes to excellent Korean restaurants. BonGa is yet another example of this. It’s as authentic as a restaurant can be, serving up delicacies like galbi-tang (beef rib soup), naeng-meon (summer noodles) and even sweet noodles on rice. Smaller bites are available too, ideal for quick lunches or takeaway, including fried or steamed dumplings, kimchi or seafood pancake, or various kimbap.
Where: ME-9, Mussafah Community
Book now: BonGa
Taste of Korea
As one of the only entries on this list that serves alcohol, Taste of Korea is rather unique. This restaurant really does what it says on the tin, serving all the authentic Korean dishes you can think of, alongside a range of cocktails, beers, wines and spirits. Diners here can enjoy K-BBQ at the table, classic sides like kimchi and tteokbokki, cold dishes like sushi and kimbap or even chimaek (a whole deep-fried chicken with two draught beers to wash it down). The dumplings are excellent too, filled with beef, chicken or vegetable and steamed or fried.
Where: Cristal Hotel, Zayed The First Street
Book now: Taste of Korea
If there’s one thing Casavill is famous for, it’s kimchi. Choose between the classic fermented vegetable dish, a spring onion version or even white kimchi (a non-spicy version). Aside from kimchi, you’ll find a cracking range of seafood dishes like soy sauce shrimp, fried squid and octopus. At the meatier end of the scale, you’ll find niche delicacies like fried chicken gizzards, beef giblet hotpot or herbal medicine duck.
Where: Mohamed Bin Zayed City
Book now: Casavill
Finally, perhaps the most decadent on the list is Taon. This upscale restaurant serves both Korean and Japanese fare, and the interior design is modelled on Korean castles. Expect plenty of marble and bonsais inside, along with some of the best Korean food in the city. Yes, the restaurant serves fried chicken, kimchi and the like. But it also offers more extravagant dishes such as fresh oysters, otoro with gold leaf, whole crab and even a Ferris wheel of beef to be cooked at the table. The restaurant is also located in the Sofitel Abu Dhabi hotel and hence serves alcohol such as sake and soju.
Where: Corniche Road East Capital Plaza Complex
Book now: Taon
Once you've conquered this list, be sure to check out our guide to the best Italian restaurants in Abu Dhabi next.