When chowhound was founded, the idea was for it to be a resource to find the little known diamonds in the rough, not the big, fancy, super expensive places. In Abu Dhabi, unfortunately, the resources I've been able to find, including chowhound, have focused on the high end, hotel based restaurants. I don’t need chowhound to tell me that I can have a decent meal at Butcher & Still at the Four Seasons Hotel, albeit at a price tag that likely will exceed $150/person. But the vast majority of the restaurants in Abu Dhabi are holes in the wall that serve absurdly inexpensive food to the Indian, Pakistani, Philippino, and other expat communities that comprise the majority of the population here. Surely some of them must be worthwhile. I’d also like to discover more local and regional foods. I had a very good and and reasonably priced meal at Saudi Kitchen last night; there must be other places like that.
Perhaps there’s not a sufficiently large community here on chowhound to have this discussion, but I thought I’d give it a shot. Dubai recommendations also are welcome.