DINING AT THE FOUNTAINS, YAS MALL | Best Bites
A staple in the UAE’s casual family-friendly dining scene, Chili’s specialises in Tex-Mex and American favourites, with the same big portions, refillable sodas, and service with a smile you'd get in New Mexico. The menu is broad and a house favourite is the sizzling fajitas, served with your choice of meat or shrimp on a bed of tasty fried onions and peppers with all the sauces and add-ons you could want. We loved the tender chicken which was well seasoned and great with the spicy rice. What would American cuisine be without the no-so-humble burger? Enter, the new big beef bacon BBQ burger: two juicy beef patties stacked high with melting cheese, house BBQ sauce, pickles, and SIX slices of crispy beef bacon. Don't miss the skillet apple tart to finish.
Time: 10AM - 11PM (12AM weekends)
Contact: 600 561 112
Bosporus is quite simply a must-try for Turkish cuisine: the food is incredible, the staff charming and there's some impressive food theatre to make your meal memorable! We started with the Bosporus salad, which was full of texture with a slight sweetness from the pomegranate seeds, offset by the beautifully smooth Tulum cheese. But it was the Testi kebab which really brought the experience to a new level. This unbelievably tender beef was cooked with Turkish spices, sauteed vegetables and potatoes inside a ceramic jar: you'll be wowed watching the talented chef catching the jar mid-air flaming it tableside. To finish, be sure to order the baklava ice cream sandwich prepared at your table, a sublime ending to an amazing Turkish experience.
Time: 10AM - 11PM (12AM weekends)
Contact: 02 575 5777
The bright pink/neon green decor of Menchi's is like a beacon calling you home! With ever-changing flavours, made from real California milk and a range of fabulous toppings to choose from, this dessert-on-the-go option is a great option for a cool treat or some healthy comfort food. We enjoyed the fruity mix of the blueberry and mango, tangy and refreshing and the creamy pink sweetness of the classic strawberry to which we added Haribo kisses - a marriage made in heaven! The American-style frozen yoghurt chain serves a “weigh and pay” experience where you pay by weight and at just AED13 per 100g it can be a pretty pocket-friendly option.
Menchie's is great for those with different dietary requirements serving non-fat, gluten free, no added sugar and dairy free options as well.
Time: Weekdays 10AM - 10PM, weekends 12PM - 12AM
Contact: 02 491 2228
Rasoi Ghar serves Indian vegetarian specialties with Rajasthani and Gujarati origins. Located on the ground floor of the Fountains just below the Ferrari World entrance, this family-friendly spot offers a value-for-money, three-course set thali menu that changes daily - what better way to try something new?! Your thali tray comprises a variety of fragrant curries and dals, rice and of course luscious roti and poori. Tantalise your tastebuds at Rasoi Ghar!
Time: 11AM - 10PM
Price: AED59 per thali tray
Contact: 02 550 0567
Al Fanar is the best place in Abu Dhabi for a real Emirati dining experience. Decorated like a traditional Emirati house, it features a resident camel, stone walls, Arabian artwork, patterned rugs and trinkets from a bygone era. In true Emirati style, this cuisine is great shared between family and friends, with pillowy fresh Arabic bread dipped in hearty stews, grilled meat and fresh seafood. Make sure you try the made-to-order luqaimat: these sweet doughy delights are oh-so-easy to eat and are the perfect bite-sized sugar fix at the end of your meal, especially served with traditional Arabic coffee. Also fantastic is the sizzling date pudding, served on a piping hot skillet and drenched in hot caramel sauce. Yalla, let’s go!
Time: 9AM - 10PM
Contact: 02 877 2272
Rainforest Cafe is the ultimate in family-friendly dining - where else can you eat dinner in the company of Siberian tigers, gorillas, naughty chimps and huge African elephants in the middle of a mall? Marvel at the sounds of the rainforest, see the animals come to life right before your eyes and even experience a (rainless!) thunderstorm. Sip on refreshing mocktails as you watch the tropical fish and learn interesting facts about the rainforest from Tracy Tree! With a large menu full of international favourites, there's something for everyone ... just watch that the snapping alligator out front doesn’t get it before you do!
Time: 12PM - 10PM
Contact: 02 566 1999
Berry Bang is a must-visit for frozen yoghurt, classic gelato, milkshakes and specialty Italian coffee. The gelato is made from scratch with fresh ingredients with waffle cones imported from Italy. 90% of the gelato is gluten-free and they have two dairy-free sorbets - perfect to stay refreshed in this UAE weather. The staff are very helpful and the best part is that you can try before you buy, which is great because they have so many amazing flavours to choose from. The Ferrero Rocher is a chocolate lover's dream and the mango gelato is a bestseller: it’s smooth and both sweet and tart. Berry Bang is definitely one of the most authentic gelato experiences in Abu Dhabi!
Time: 10AM - 10.30PM
Price: AED 22 for one scoop in a waffle cone and AED 20 for one scoop in a cup
SOUTH AFRICAN FLAME-GRILLED CHICKEN
Lemon and herb? Mild? Extra hot? How do you like yours?! If chicken is your jam, then Galito’s is your go-to. Galito's really knows chicken: recipes focus on bold simplicity and fresh flavours to create super tasty and tender chicken on the grill. We enjoyed the chicken and prawn combotada, which was incredibly good chicken and prawn skewers and a perfect sharing option. Mains come with a choice of 15 sides and whatever sauce and spice level you need in your life - the famous peri-peri sauce is dynamite but if you're not a lover of spice, lemon and garlic is the sauce for you. Galito's feels like a healthy option and you can go keto here if you prefer, but for those who want a larger meal, the burgers and wraps are excellent and portion sizes good. There's a kids menu which makes it an excellent family dining option in Yas Mall.
Time: 12PM - 11PM (12AM Thursday/Friday)
Contact: 02 565 1849
Italian Barrista is so much more than coffee! Well-known for its homemade pizzas and pasta, they've recently launched a new breakfast menu served from 9AM – 12PM. Grab a seat and tuck into big breakfast dishes including pancakes, eggs Benedict and loads of coffee to help you get going. The stacked pancakes served with banana, fresh berries, whipped cream and maple syrup are sure to power you through the day and if you enjoy something more savoury, the fluffy omelette topped with grilled mushrooms and fresh tomatoes is the way to go. This omelette is served with chili beef con carne that has a slight kick and cheese toast and at just AED35, is a great way to start the day without breaking the bank.
Time: 11AM - 11PM (12AM weekends)
Contact: 02 565 1771
There is nothing more comforting than knowing that you can go into any Starbucks and will always find genuinely friendly staff and top-quality offerings ... this fabulous branch near the fountains is no exception! Our go-tos are the frappucinos but whether you choose these funky drinks or go for a solid-shout latte with a vanilla shot or an espresso, you'll come away happy.
Time: 8AM - 11PM
Contact: 02 492 6676