Salama’s Restaurant Abu Dhabi: An elegant and inspiring gem in the UAE capital

Salama’s Restaurant is the brainchild of you guessed it: a lady called Salama. Salama Al Shamsi to be exact. It is also quite possibly one of the most elegant restaurants The Huntr has ever had the pleasure of visiting, in the whole of the UAE. And as you probably know – we’ve been to our fair share of restaurants.

At Salama’s, every tiny little detail has been considered. From the striking reception area and couches scattered with Hermès’ signature ‘H’ pillows, to the picture-perfect marble plates and table tops and the gold-stained-leaf that contains the check at the end of the meal. There is also a lovely outdoor seating area with views of the water and boats, and ample indoor seating options for small and large groups. Modern art pieces are scattered in every corner, together with cosy greenery and a breathtaking installation on the ceiling called Gazelle of Eden by Ahmed Said AlAreef Al Dhaheri – making this a gem that is as much a feast for the eyes and soul, as it is the mouth and stomach.

Salama told The Huntr: “With the rise of globilization, global citizens and blending of cultures, comes the inspiration behind Salama’s – offering a fusion of international cuisines from all corners of the world.” Adding: “I’ve always envisioned opening a restaurant that reflected the values of the UAE’s cultural openness and tolerance, and it took me 5 years to perfect the vision and bring it to life. Derived from my interest in the Silk Road, where East and West meet as a cultural bridge – is the core of our principals. Salama’s doesn’t only take you around the world, but also into new worlds of cosmic flavour.”

Open daily from 1pm until 11pm, Salama’s menu features lunch and dinner dishes that fuse together international cuisines and flavours. From the Boston Lobster Tokyo Salad to the Ramadan Rice, which is an ode to Salama’s grandmother.

The Huntr visited Salama’s for a weekday lunch. We were treated to complimentary bread whilst perusing the menu. Warm and fluffy and served with salted butter, an Emirati spices dip and a labneh and peanut dip, it set the standard for the delicious plates to follow. With suitably whetted appetites, we selected the Gulf Squid (55AED) and the Kibbeh Hamees (62AED), the latter of which was charmingly served on hot pebbles. For the main event we had to try Salama’s Signature Machsotto (75AED) – a classic Emirati dish with Salama’s twist and a combination of Italian risotto and local machboos spices. Plus the Korean Style Wagyu Beef Short Ribs (95AED), which literally slid off the bone and melted in the mouth.

Drinks-wise, Salama’s is alcohol-free and offers a wide range of soft drinks, mocktails, coffees and teas.

Insider tip: Look up and appreciate that artistic and inspiring ceiling. Bookings recommended. 

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