It’s Indian Republic Day. Which is basically just a good excuse to hit up any of these brilliant restaurants.
The warm smell of buttery naans. The sizzle of potato-filled samosas as they hit the oil. The indulgence of syrupy gulab jamuns. And the universal appeal of the humble butter chicken or, for vgetarians, dal makhni.
These are just some of a long list of delicious reasons to love and savour the vast range of Indian cuisine. Traipsing through any lane in the country is not just a lesson in culture, language, and sights, but also the chance to discover a new and even more sumptuous take on a different food.
From queues around pani-puri stalls to sweet smells wafting from the local sweet shops, food is a congenital part of what makes Indians tick. And aside from the traditional parades, an integral part of Republic Day traditions.
So if you’re feeling a little homesick today, here are nine restaurants to check out in the capital for a literal taste of home.
Namak, Dusit Thani
Few restaurants are able to recreate the authentic spirit and mood of India down to the ambience, colours, and feeling of community. Namak does it well, with a menu inspired by the traditional and regional recipes of India. You’re welcomed with an ornately carved wooden door to a bold colour scheme that will transport you right away to the vibrant and cultural feel of India. The food is largely North Indian, but most importantly, very delicious. And therefore, the perfect gateway to a culinary journey that’s adventurous from the moment you step in.
For reservations, please call 02 698 8137
Having won several awards, MYNT aspires to serve food that is authentic and traditional at heart, whilst representing the many culturally diverse regions of India. And of course, the vibes of 21st-century. Located at the Heart of Abu Dhabi, MYNT aims to consistently create and reinvent new dishes adding modern twists to conventional Indian recipes. Some of their best-sellers you can’t miss are the Chicken Dum Biryani, Gosht Khada Masala, and the Masala Jhingri Poppers, their take on dynamite shrimp.
For reservations, please call 02 666 6400
Indigo, Beach Rotana
Traditional tastes and modern palates pretty much sum up the mood at Indigo. The doors open to a world of aromatic modern Indian cuisine, where expert chefs have perfected the art of twisting classic dishes. While contemporary favourites such as biryani, kebabs and chaat are definitely unmissable, their signature dish is a sight to behold. The Sikhandari Raan – a sumptuous pot-roasted leg of baby lamb – will have you experience exciting new flavours with a comforting familiarity.
For reservations, please call 02 697 9334
Rangoli, Yas Island Rotana
Style meets flavours at Rangoli, a stylish dining venue serving North and South Indian cuisine. The food is also complemented by an extensive grape and beverage menu. With its modern décor, chic tableware, freshly-cooked dishes from the Tandoor and aromas from the show kitchen, Rangoli transports you to a faraway land. The perfect combination of luxury and simplicity leaves diners with a feeling of warmth.
For reservations, please call 02 656 4000
Moti Mahal Delux
A regular for most Indians, Moti Mahal Deluxe claims to have invented staples such as the Butter chicken, Dal Makhani, and even Tandoori chicken. Whilst that may or may not be true, they have continued to provide stellar food to the country since 2007. It’s the quintessential Indian experience for anyone who wishes to combine fun and enjoyable ambience with skilful cooking into one extraordinary dining experience.
For reservations, please call 02 674 2121
Tamba, World Trade Center
Tamba, at The Mall World Trade Center, is all about vibrant colors, bold flavors, advanced Indian cooking techniques, and memorable plating. The venue is sleek and luxe to say the least, but the food remains the star of the show. The tapas-style menu expertly blends non-traditional dishes with traditional spices to create a one-of-a-kind culinary journey. We love that they encourage sharing and experimentation, retaining the social aspect of traditional Indian dining.
For reservations, please call 02 672 8888
Punjab Grill, The Ritz-Carlton
Should swanky settings be your thing this Republic Day, Punjab Grill is the place to be. The sophisticated Indian eatery is located in the beautiful Venetian Village and offers a wide-ranging menu with contemporary takes on Indian classics. Butter chicken is definitely a big hit at the place, but there’s a lot more waiting to be explored.
For reservations, please call 02 449 9839
Angar, W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island
This one’s for those looking to experiment with their idea of Indian food. From sauce-laden syringes to liquid nitrogen, the food is definitely out there and comes with a heaping serving of flash. It’s all backed by fantastic flavours though, evident in their rendition of lamb vindaloo, colourful chaat, and lots more.
For reservations, please call 02 656 0688
Ushna, Souk Qaryat Al Beri
Having been around for a decade now, Ushna offers Indian comfort meals with a stellar view of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. And then, of course, you won’t get enough of their signature delicious takes on classic Indian street food. Add to that some of the most mouthwatering chicken tikka masala you’ll ever have, and it’s the best time.
For reservations, please call 02 559 9747
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Image Source Canva Mynt Beach Rotana Ushna Punjab Grill Tamba Rangoli IG