Hooked Zaya Nurai: A Lebanese seafood restaurant in Abu Dhabi that transports you to another world

Say hello to Hooked Zaya Nurai – a beautiful, picturesque seafood restaurant with a Lebanese twist situated on Zaya Nurai Island. This stunning eatery overlooks the Persian Gulf sea and will transport you to another world…

Hooked’s decor and vibes will literally have you hooked… to your camera – just you try not to snap a picture (every single guest was snapping away the day The Huntr visited). Hooked wouldn’t be out of place if it suddenly found itself in a small, pretty town in Europe and upon entering you are immediately filled with vacation vibes. Think pretty little Edison light bulbs, wooden beams, mismatched chairs and quirky little trinkets to catch the eye: It’s definitely a 10 out of 10 for atmosphere here.

Hooked is situated on the sea-edge of Zaya Nurai Island in Abu Dhabi and it’s accessible by boat transfer from Zaya Nurai’s welcome centre, which is a stone’s throw from Saadiyat Beach Club on Saadiyat Island. The boats run every hour and booking is advised to ensure a smooth transfer experience for all guests.

Open for dinner and lunch, The Huntr visited for the latter and ordered an array of Lebanese and seafood small plates to share. Our favourites were the fattoush salad (which comes encased in a fried bread bowl – yum), the batata harra (fried, diced potatoes smothered in garlic, coriander, lemon and cayenne), the rakakat cheese straws and the grilled halloumi. We also tried the grilled octopus and the whitebait. There were too many tempting small plates for us to try the main fish dishes (which feature a variety of fresh seafood options, cooked to order, how you like it) but we did manage to find room for dessert and the Umm Ali was simply divine. One of the best we’ve had.

Hooked is the ideal place to visit for a special occasion such as a birthday lunch or an anniversary dinner. It does take a little forward-planning thanks to its location on a private island, but for the vibes alone – it is worth it. The service we experienced wasn’t the best we’ve ever had but it wasn’t the worst either, and to be honest: we’d visit this place again for the photo ops/vibes alone.

Insider tip: Hooked closes for the summer so be sure to check opening times. You can also enjoy Shisha here.

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