The pinnacle of fine Peruvian cuisine has two outlets in the UAE
This international success story – with venues in Miami and London, as well as here in the UAE – already has a Time Out Dubai Best Restaurant gong under its belt and is now turning up the heat on the competition in Abu Dhabi.
The cool spot helped to kick off the Peruvian food trend in the UAE and continues to go from strength to strength, with great events in addition to the excellent dishes on offer.
Brimming with Latin American flavour, we can’t get enough of the signature ceviches, tiraditos and anticuchos, to name just a few of the top dishes.
As well as being a great place to dine in style during the week, COYA brings bags of personality and colour to its Friday brunches, too, with a live band complementing the warm and welcoming staff and excellent spread of food.
Coya has become a UAE favourite – so why not find out just why for yourself? Coya Dubai: Open Sat-Tue 12.30pm-4pm, 7pm-11.30pm, Wed-Fri 12.30pm-4pm, 7pm-midnight. Four Seasons Resort, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 316 9600).Coya Abu Dhabi: Open daily 12.30pm-11pm. Four Seasons Hotel, The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 306 7000). www.coyarestaurant.com.
A decadent weekend pastime that has become an institution in the UAE
Remember those innocent times, when you thought brunch was simply a blend of the words breakfast and lunch? In some parts of the world it still is just that. We prefer it our way.
If brunch is a UAE institution, consider us well and truly institutionalised. For the uninitiated (what have you been doing with your weekend?), brunch is traditionally held on a Friday afternoon and is a feast of food and bottomless beverages served up in a stretch of three to four hours at the best restaurants in the city.
You may think you’ve got the hang of this eating and drinking lark by now, but until you’re a brunch veteran, we assure you, you haven’t scratched the surface.
Brunch can be enjoyed in many ways. From the classy affairs with the focus purely on food to dining spots for all the family and on to party brunches where having fun takes priority, all moods, appetites and tastes are catered for. Don’t just take our word for it though, find out foryourself. Check www.timeoutabudhabi.com and www.timeoutdubai.com for full brunch listings and reviews.
Cool, classy and full of authentic flavours, Zuma is hard to beat
Whether you are in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, you can explore Far Eastern flavours in style at one of the very best dining spots in either city – Zuma.
In fact, Zuma has become a byword for culinary quality in the UAE. The restaurant has won a stack of Time Out awards in both emirates, including the much-coveted Restaurant of the Year award for Dubai and Abu Dhabi, plus a string of other titles ranging from Best Business Lunch to Best Brunch.
The brilliant food is, of course, a big reason for the restaurant’s enduring popularity, from the beautiful miso-glazed black cod to the excellent array of sashimi, sushi and robata skewers. But both venues also have an easy sense of cool and sophistication that will keep you coming back for more. You really can’t call yourself a food aficionado until you’ve taken a closer look at either branches of Zuma. Zuma Dubai: Open Sat-Wed noon-1am, Thu-Fri noon-2am. Gate Village 6, DIFC (04 425 5660). Zuma Abu Dhabi: Open Sat-Wed noon-1am. Thu-Fri noon-2am. The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 401 5900). www.zumarestaurant.com.
A seafront stretch of restaurants and bars with top menus and great views
Go on a culinary journey at this beachfront Palm Jumeirah strip.
The pretty promenade is home to amazing sea views and cityscapes, not to mention seven restaurants bringing an international flavour to the stretch.
If you are planning on embarking on a tasting tour, we reckon the first port of call should be Nikkei (Japanese-Peruvian food fusion) restaurant, Aji. The eatery is still a relative newcomer, but we have already been blown away by the dishes on offer.
It’s not the only dining delight, though. Those with a love of Lebanese food should check out Abyat and Ibn AlBahr. Gursha is your go-to if you want to experience Ethiopian cuisine, and Simply Italian adds a touch of continental class. If you fancy catching the football after your feed, on the other hand, then the Tap House is a top pub with staff who know their way around the kitchen.
There’s plenty to satisfy all kinds of tastes here. Timings and contact details vary. Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai.
A bustling, colourful area of Dubai with loads of great Indian restaurants
If you fancy an escape from the glittering malls and fancy restaurants of Dubai, then you should really discover the earthy charm of Karama.
It’s still in Dubai, of course, but at times can feel like another world, never mind another city. As well as having an eye on the bargains available at the bustling markets, you can also seek out seriously good Indian food at rock bottom prices in Dubai’s curry corner.
We are big fans of Calicut Paragon, a spacious two-level restaurant serving delicious Keralan cuisine, which is always packed with diners. Don’t pinch yourself when you see the bill, either – you’re not dreaming, it really is that cheap.
It is just one of a host of top spots where you can enjoy authentic eats at prices you can scarcely believe. Manvaar is another one of our favourites.
Step away from the usual haunts and discover a vibrant part of the emirate. Calicut Paragon open daily 7am-midnight. 20 B Street, Karama, Dubai, www.paragonrestaurant.net (04 335 8700).
If you really want to live the high life when it comes to food, the world’s tallest hotel is a great place to look up.
The striking JW Marriott Marquis, right in the heart of Dubai, is always ripe for a luxury tasting tour.
The hotel has you covered from top to bottom, whether you want to indulge in the tradition of afternoon tea or freshly baked goods at classy French eatery La Farine or perfect pub grub at Bridgewater Tavern, both on the ground floor, or even enjoy a drink with stunning views of the city skyline from up on the 72nd floor at stylish bar Vault.
There are a host of quality dining spots in between, too, including superb steakhouse Prime68, Indian favourite Rang Mahal, Japanese eatery Izakaya (pictured, bottom) and Italian spot Positano.
And if that isn’t enough, there are also the hip Weslodge Saloon, Peruvian place Garden, and Eastern Mediterranean venue Morah to try out.
Wherever you end up eating, your dining experience will be taken to a whole new level with five-star quality on the menu at every turn. Timings vary. JW Marriott Marquis, Business Bay, Dubai, jwmarriottmarquisdubailife.com (04 414 0000).
A home-grown spot serving an ever-evolving menu of Asian-inspired food
This unpretentious spot is small but perfectly formed. Dining here is always an intimate experience, as there are only around 25 seats inside and a few tables outdoors, overlooking the calm waters of Jumeirah Fishing Harbour.
The menu is pretty brief, too, but everything is big on flavour. From beautiful sushi, to tasty sliders and fresh salads, to lamb ribs and a stunning fremantle octopus dish, you will want to get your hands on everything you can possibly manage.
The driving force in the kitchen is highly-regarded Singaporean chef Akmal Anuar, and he has a brought a touch of culinary class to the proceedings.
The relaxed vibe, superb service and lovely setting all come together in one brilliant package. The current holder of Time Out Dubai’s Best Newcomer – Casual Dining is here to stay. Open Mon-Wed 1pm-11pm, Thu-Sat noon-midnight (closed Sun). Jumeirah Fishing Harbour 1, Al Urouba Street, Dubai, www.3fils.com (056 273 0030).
Dine on the water at Sontaya
An Asian restaurant with a truly stunning setting and top dishes
Looking for a great place for an extra-special night? Or somewhere that shows off the country when the family come to stay? Well, look no further than Thai restaurant Sontaya, in Abu Dhabi.
An enchanting experience awaits at this gorgeous venue, set among a series of floating pavilions that look out onto pristine sands and the turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf.
It will be hard to take your eyes away from the idyllic views of The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, but the fantastic menu of South East Asian cuisine will ensure your gaze soon moves to the plates packed full of authentic fare.
The restaurant brings a great buzz to the afternoon, but it is at night that it really comes to life. Take a seat on a terrace overlooking shimmering pools and prepare to dine in style. Open daily noon-11pm. The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, www.sontayaabudhabi.com (02 498 8443).
A once-a-month special feast in the world’s highest suspended suite
Suspend your disbelief, as going to this monthly brunch at The St. Regis Abu Dhabi really is living the high life.
The lavish occasion is held in the world’s highest suspended suite, spanning the 48th and 49th floors of the luxury hotel in the Nation Towers.
The exclusive Friday feast seats just 50 diners. The grand event starts in the hotel’s lobby, where you’ll be escorted by one of the hotel’s butlers to a private lift, which takes you straight up to the suite.
Once there, you can roam the vast 1,120sqm suite (which would set you back Dhs150,000 per night) before sampling the gastronomic delights on offer, including a caviar ice-bar, an oyster room and a dedicated cheese and dessert room.
Once you’ve emptied your plate, take a break at the suite’s private spa for a relaxing shoulder massage by therapists from the five-star hotel’s Remède Spa. This is brunch on a whole new level. Dhs500 (soft drinks), Dhs750 (bubbly). Last Friday of the month. Noon-5pm. The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers, Corniche West, Abu Dhabi, www.stregisabudhabi.com (02 694 4553).
Dine in an elegant venue with a trendy crowd while overlooking Dubai Marina
Turkish food is all the rage in Dubai these days – and Rüya is the rightful leader of the pack. The elegant eatery celebrates the country’s rich culinary roots in its magnificent menu of authentic Anatolian cuisine served up with a contemporary twist. The foodie force behind the venue’s ongoing success is head chef Colin Clague, who has brought Turkish delight to the UAE. Along with a whole raft of delicious dishes, such as classic kebabs and pide, as well as excellent main course dishes including 24-hour slow-cooked short rib and whole grilled seabream, diners can also enjoy beautiful views that look out onto the Dubai Marina. You can even just sample Turkish beverages at the bar, but we suggest you go for the full Rüya experience and dine in style. Open Sat-Wed 6pm-1am, Thu-Fri 6pm-2am. Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina, www.ruyadubai.com (04 399 9123).
Drink a gold cappuccino
It doesn’t get more decadent than sprinkling your coffee with gold
You can drink in the decadence during a visit to one of the UAE’s most luxurious hotels, the magnificent Emirates Palace.
Savour the most indulgent coffee break of your life at Le Café by ordering the famous Palace Cappuccino, which is sprinkled with 24-carat gold flakes and comes served on a polished silver tray with a date and rich dark chocolate.
The superior blend of aromatic coffee – which costs Dhs60 – is a terrific treat fit for royalty and very much in keeping with the opulent surroundings of the landmark hotel.
This is the true gold standard for coffee-lovers in the UAE. The Palace Cappuccino is served from 7am to 12.30am at Le Café and costs Dhs60. Emirates Palace, West Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, www.kempinski.com/en/abudhabi/emirates-palace (02 690 7999).