13 awesome new restaurants to try in Dubai
Real talk: Dubai is one of the culinary capitals of the world. There’s such a diverse range of eateries serving everything from steak and ceviche to seven-course menus of the highest order, you can always find a great meal. In 2018, the scene will be boosted by more great options, so here’s a look at the spots we can’t wait to eat at.
Opening in Al Fattan Currency House in DIFC – in the space vacated by Greg Malouf’s Clé – this is the latest in a franchise that already has restaurants as far as Monte Carlo, Hong Kong and Mexico City. Their blurb talks about diners having “meat to satisfy their carnivorous desire” which sounds sinister, but it’s a beef menu split into three, with street food to share, a “great meats” section including Australian Wagyu and the famed Japanese Kobe, and then a section with fish, risotto and pastas.
The new Renaissance Downtown Hotel has just opened but January will see the launch of Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s two-floor restaurant. The ex-Nobu head chef has starred on TV cooking show The Iron Chef for many years, while some of his restaurants in Japan have been awarded Michelin stars. The Dubai restaurant will also have private rooms you can hire with access via your own PIN.
Where: Business Bay
Contact: +971 4 512 5577, website
Le Petit Belge
Business Bay’s DoubleTree by Hilton in Bay Square will house a new branch of the Belgian restaurant that’s already popular in JLT as a reliable facsimile of Belgian cuisine. Expect mussels and frites with mayo, decent breads, and all the traditional Belgian dishes as well as a range of imported Belgian drinks that, with the new 5 percent VAT, will feel even more like a luxurious once-in-a-while treat.
Where: Business Bay
Contact: +971 4 521 5900
Stars ‘N’ Bars
It’s a bit of an institution in Monte Carlo and the Abu Dhabi branch has also been a success, so now Dubai’s new La Mer development is going to get its own Stars ‘N’ Bars. Largely American-style cuisine paired with sports coverage on big screens, it’s a little bit gaudy but usually pretty reliable if you want a decent burger, albeit costing up to AED85 for the privilege.
Where: La Mer, Jumeirah
Contact: +971 2 565 0101, website
Following on from the branch in JBR, the Address Dubai Mall will open another outlet of the Las Vegas steak restaurant. With seating for 240 inside and 100 outside overlooking the Dubai Fountains it’s going to be a big place, but their service is usually spot on. There will also be an opening in Abu Dhabi in 2018 but the venue is yet to be announced.
Where: Downtown Dubai
Pizza Express Live
The first outlet of Pizza Express Live outside the UK will open at the new DoubleTree by Hilton Business Bay. Bigger and more varied than the existing Jazz@PizzaExpress it’s essentially the Pizza Express you know, but with live music and comedy. The one in London is famous for hosting surprise big names like Cybil Shepherd belting out showtunes, and booking top names in comedy, too.
Where: Business Bay
Contact: +971 4 424 8076, website
Pret A Manger
The opening of a sandwich chain in Dubai Mall may seem like a small matter, but there are currently a lot of Brits looking forward to this one. It already has an outlet in Dubai Airport – ideal for stocking up before the flight – and with a saturation of high-end restaurants (covering every cuisine) in the city, somewhere to finally get a good, hearty sandwich packed with great ingredients for a decent price will feel oddly rare and luxurious.
Where: Dubai Mall
Chalet Berezka Social Harbor
Set to open in Q1 and located on The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah’s new waterfront destination, this fully-licensed restaurant is being billed as an “epicurean taste adventure of Eastern Cuisine.” The two-level restaurant overlooks the offshore fountains and Atlantis Hotel and will have a stage for a full schedule of live entertainment on the ground floor and will hold a shisha license.
Where: Palm Jumeirah
Taking over the space of the sadly-departed La Luz will be a Greek restaurant from Natasha Sideris (Tasha’s Café and Flamingo Room). Meaning “courtyard” in Greek it’s going to be a more casual outlet, licensed and focused on Mediterranean cuisine. Also open for breakfast and lunch the owners stress it will be more “relaxed and fairly priced”. Perhaps La Luz didn’t die in vain after all.
Contact: +971 4 359 7777
London’s original Italian fine dining restaurant is set to land at Four Seasons, Jumeirah in January. The much-lauded haunt is known as much for its delectable cuisine as it is for welcoming high-profile celebrities through its doors such as The Beatles, Johnny Depp, Kate Moss, Jude Law and Simon Cowell. Trust us, you’re going to absolutely adore this place when it finally opens.
Where: Four Seasons Hotel, Jumeirah
Contact: +971 4 349 0068, website
Although there’s a plentiful and varied menu of seafood delights at Emirates Financial Tower’s latest restaurant, it’s the unique crustacean creations that will really hook you in. Their signature dishes include the melt-in-your-mouth flavours of Kamchatka Crab.
Seriously, with so many new eateries opening in La Mer, could we be on the verge of a new foodie capital in Dubai? Probably. The case is helped by SLAB – a gourmet deli that’s set to bring upscale sandwiches to a whole new level by fusing their creations with fine dining ingredients. Consider our interests thoroughly piqued.
Where: La Mer
Contact: +971 4 298 8899
American/Indian chef Hari Nayak’s cookbook Modern Indian Cooking made him one of the figureheads of progressive Indian cuisine in North America. Having opened Bombay Bungalow on the Walk at JBR, he’s now about to open a two-floor restaurant on the new La Mer site. It’s going to feature the now ubiquitous “small sharing plates” idea, but in this case, it’s probably the best way to experience as many of the flavours as possible from his repertoire.
Where: La Mer
Contact: 800 62784, website