East meets West on your plate at Dubai’s best fusion restaurants
In an international hub like Dubai, it’s no surprise that fusion cuisine is in high demand with restaurants mixing and matching cultures on menus that are as individual as each establishment. These seven restaurants are excellent choices for those wanting to dip into the cultural melting pot of Dubai.
A recent addition to Jumeirah Lakes Towers’ thriving gourmet stomping grounds, Couqley tries to please both British and French tastes, thanks to its mash-up menu of favourites from either side of the ditch. Part cosy English tavern, half French bistro accueillant [welcoming], diners can order steak et frites and onion soup, or house-made truffle and brie burgers.
One of Dubai’s better kept secrets, Nina is perfect for a romantic evening for two. Follow the staircase down to a lush candlelit den, intimate conversation, and a rich Indian-European menu. Blending North Indian spices with European cooking techniques, Nina specialises in buttery curries, melt-in-the-mouth chickpea pastries, and a divine spiced duck breast with cinnamon polenta and caramelised apple puree.
You can’t discuss fusion food without paying tribute to Nobu, Dubai’s master of gourmet hipster fusion. The outpost of a now very international portfolio of Nobu Matsuhisa, Nobu attracts its own high-profile crowds here, with glam people-watching almost as engaging as the luxury Japanese-Peruvian menu. The seamless service team will whisk to your table shareable plates of grilled langoustine with chilli shiso salsa, tacos (spicy wagyu with ponzu, anyone?), quinoa and lobster ceviche, and Nobu’s signature yuzu miso black cod.
Dressed in gold from top-to-bottom, this upmarket restaurant celebrates two of the most prominent contributors to Dubai’s contemporary dining scene. Emirati and Levantine cooking styles meet, with a shared enthusiasm for hearty rice-based dishes, stuffed pastries and rich, slow-cooked meats. With Mediterranean influences, the salads refresh the palette ahead of generous helpings of saffron mouhalabiya, a traditional milk pudding garnished with 24-carat gold flakes and Turkish-style cotton candy.
Dubai’s love of Peruvian menus shows no sign of slowing down, with new restaurant Zoco taking staples such as ceviche and charred steak and adding Mexican spices and herbs to create a menu that’s full of flavour. The popular ceviche still stars, but with the addition of a lime-spiked spicy tomato sauce, while Baja-style tacos taste even better topped with generous spoonfuls of pumpkin seed and tomatillo guacamole.