For a city that is home to over 200 nationalities, it is little wonder that Dubai dishes up a veritable smorgasbord of outstanding world cuisine. With new restaurants being added to the menu every month, Dubai is increasingly capturing the attention of global gastronomes.
In fact, two of Dubai’s best-loved restaurants made it onto 2014’s ‘The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ list for the third year running: Zuma, which does contemporary Japanese izakaya-style sharing plates like no other, and La Petite Maison, whose outstanding French Mediterranean cuisine has won it a loyal army of fans. You’ll find both in DIFC, the heart of Dubai’s fine-dining scene. Also nearby is Argentinean steakhouse Gaucho Grill, as well-known for its chic cow-inspired décor as its butter-soft steaks, and Roberto’s, one of the city’s best Italian restaurants (go for a table on the balcony with views of the Burj Khalifa).
Over the road from here is famous London export, The Ivy, which serves up faultless British and French-inspired classics in a private members’ club atmosphere, and Hakkasan, which serves sophisticated contemporary Chinese cuisine and has a wonderfully knowledgeable head sommelier to recommend matched wines (not always easy with Chinese). Near the Dubai World Trade Centre, OKKU at The H Hotel Dubai, is another contemporary Asian gem, this time serving Japanese. Celebrity chef Marco Pierre White has also opened his latest culinary venture, Marco Pierre White Grill, at the Conrad Hotel close by. While over at Wafi Mall, Qbara has set the standard for contemporary Arabic dining in one of the city’s most stunning new venues. Don’t leave Dubai without booking a table here.
Heading across the Creek, three-Michelin-starred French chef Pierre Gagniere’s Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire at InterContinental Dubai Festival City will not disappoint even the most demanding food connoisseur. And for an elegant dinner experience afloat, book a table at Bateaux Dubai, a fine dining dinner cruise that lives up to expectations.
Over on the Palm, three Michelin-starred chef Heinz Beck is making waves with his new ‘deformalised fine-dining’ restaurant, Social by Heinz Beck. The perfectly executed Mediterranean menu and sophisticated dining room at the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah is fast gathering a fanbase. For a totally different take on Med cooking, try Ossiano, an outstanding fine-dining seafood restaurant at Atlantis, The Palm with views of sharks and marine life drifting past as you dine. For scrumptious-looking desserts and sublime French staples, look no further than STAY by Yannick Alléno at the One&Only The Palm.
A welcome addition to the Dubai Marina dining scene meanwhile, is Geales at Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort and Spa Dubai Marina. Established in 1939 in London, this upmarket seafood spot has amazing platters (and don’t miss the caviar with blinis). At nearby Grosvenor House Dubai, take your pick from Michelin-starred chef Gary Rhodes’ playful take on British classics at Rhodes Mezzanine or divine Indian cuisine at Indego by Vineet. And leave room for contemporary Spanish cuisine from chef Juan Carlos González Hernández, a protégé of Ferran Adrià, at the Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort next door.
Feeling peckish on your way home? Dubai has some fantastic late night eateries. Try a traditional shawarma (grilled meat) sandwich from one of the many stalls across the city, or visit the Lebanese Bakery for a cheesy bread pie!
There is an abundance of choice in Dubai – before you leave Dubai, be sure to discover some of the city’s street food. In Deira or Satwa you will find delicious freshly-cooked Indian curries, or dine on the freshest fish at Dubai’s beach shacks along Jumeirah Beach Road, and don’t forget to try some authentic Emirati food.