Dine at the best restaurants in Dubai
While Dubai’s most impressive restaurants are yet to claim a spot in the world-renowned Michelin Guide – the last word in fine-dining – acclaimed chefs and celebrity cooks come from all over the world to set up restaurants here, and the scope of high-end dining on offer is enormous. Like most places, though, it pays to know where to go for the best meals in the city.
Melbourne-born Lebanese chef and author Greg Malouf opened his first restaurant in Dubai in 2014, where the star-studded launch welcomed stars such as Khloe Kardashian and the Hilton sisters. Malouf moved to Dubai after helping London’s Petersham Nurseries retain its Michelin star with an inspired Middle Eastern Menu. Clé is a modern Arabic affair with dim lighting, plush furnishings and muted decor with hints of lilac. Malouf has breathed new life into traditional Arabic dishes, such as lamb and rice-stuffed vine leaves with labneh, and the Instagram-worthy chocolate tart with sesame cream, orange Turkish delight and a wafer.
Social by Heinz Beck
Fine-casual dining is the aim of the game at Chef Beck’s restaurant, found at the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah. The world-renowned chef – who was awarded three Michelin stars for his Rome restaurant, La Pergola – brings familiar flavours of Italy to Dubai, via dishes such as spaghetti with lobster and zucchini, and grilled tuna in Mediterranean perfumes with fennel and red onions. In keeping with Dubai’s Friday Brunch tradition, Social’s Signature Brunch is an all-out Mediterranean affair with antipasti, an oyster and carvery station, and an à la carte menu with pastas and miniature desserts.
Celebrity UK chef Gary Rhodes has been a fixture in the Dubai dining market for so long that he’s practically a local. His latest venture, launched last year, is an ode to British culinary classics, set inside a crisp white interior that is decidedly proper, with elements such as delicate wallpaper, lattice screens and fake grass all adding to the English vibe. The Welsh rarebit with smoked haddock creates an air of nostalgia with each bite, and is served with a simple salad.
Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire
This romantic Parisian dining room is the home of French chef Pierre Gagnaire’s molecular mastery in Dubai. This purple-carpeted offering from the three-starred Michelin chef is as decadent as it gets. Baroque-inspired glass chandeliers matching the carpet hang overhead as a series of seven amuse bouches are served before the meal even begins. The menu is seasonal and the four- and seven-course sample menus might include everything from sea bass with celeriac ravioli to beef cheeks.
Indego by Vineet in Dubai
In 2001, Vineet Bhatia became the first Indian chef to earn a Michelin star for his restaurants in London and later Geneva. He lends his name to this Dubai-based outfit inside slick Grosvenor House, where he’s crafted a contemporary menu consisting of Indian dishes with Western influences. The smoked seas starter is the only way to kick off the meal; it includes honey-basted tandoori salmon, fennel scallops and chutney hammour. Make sure you save room for the refreshing desserts, including the rose petal and vanilla bean smoothie.
La Petite Maison in Dubai
This Provence import and share-style dining concept has come a long way since it opened as a bistro in Nice 20 years ago, where it was awarded a Michelin star. La Petite Maison now has branches from London to Istanbul, with two more set to open in Abu Dhabi and Miami this year. The menu is seasonal, the service slick and they manage to turn the stuffy reputation of French cuisine on its head, with contemporary share plates of everything from green breams with foie gras to scallop carpaccio.
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