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Time Out Dubai staff
Bussola Save 20% on all food
If you’re hankering for Italian food but can’t choose between a casual, rustic pizza or a more upmarket, fine dining affair, try our winner of Best Italian at this year’s Time Out Restaurant Awards. The venue, nestled amid lush gardens, boasts an open-air terrace upstairs, offering panoramic views of the ocean and Palm Jumeirah. In the mood for upscale pasta and meat? Opt for Bussola’s chic downstairs incarnation; if you still want open-air dining experience, there’s a large terrace boasting the same dramatic views. Service is efficient and the candlelit tables fuel the romantic atmosphere. Pasta traditionalists may be disappointed by the menu’s lack of bog-standard options, but the creative dishes on offer (from suckling pig to rack of lamb to home-made ravioli) should appease the most demanding.
Open daily noon-2.45pm; 7pm-10.45pm. The Westin Mina Seyahi, Al Sufouh Road, Dubai Marina (04 399 4141).
Karma Kafé Save 20% on all food
The service here is as slick as their mood lighting and crimson-laden interiors: waiters look after guests impeccably. The menu is impossible to pin down to one genre (Mongolian beef sits alongside filet mignon). Fusion is often a dirty word in this town, associated with below-par restaurants, but Karma’s food pulls off the whole global thing in style, which saw it walk off with Best Intenrational at this year’s Restaurant Awards. For mains the famous cherry salmon, which comes highly recommended is a wonder, its marinade (you can taste the cherry). The Kobe beef sliders will go down easily as the soft buns and perfectly medium-rare patties make for juicy and delicious mini-burgers. Diners will leave this bustling spot satisfied: go here for a good meal and a great atmosphere (and don’t miss the gorgeous terrace that boasts fountain views).
Open daily 4pm-1am. Souk al Bahar, Downtown Burj Khalifa (04 423 0909).
Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire Save 20% on all food and
Aside from the quirky, contemporary and rather romantic décor or the wondrous culinary creations that you’d have thought belonged in a children’s fantasy book, perhaps Reflets’ biggest selling point (if it’s not too louche to describe such a decadent demure restaurant as having a ‘selling point’) is the sublime service. Cuisine of such complication (as is Gagnaire’s want) needs translating and explaining, a task that is carried out with gentle politeness and genuine warmth by the maitre d’ – your guide to a memorable culinary journey. The sommelier is equally professional and the rest of the waiting staff exude a dignity that is rarely seen in Dubai’s restaurants. It’s menus such as the lamb based L’Agneaux du Quercy, and the oyster Les Huitres that saw Reflets walk off with three awards.
Open Wed-Thu 12.30pm-2pm,7pm-11pm. InterContinental Dubai Festival City, Festival City (04 701 1111).
Traiteur Save 15% off
on all food
In a city that has too long been reputed for excess and style over substance, it’s reassuring to eat at a restaurant that defies stereotypes with quality at every turn. The venue, boasts a wonderful alfresco terrace, which affords views of the yachts docked in the marina. The menu, meanwhile, features simple, yet sublime French fare. The duck is the freshest, juiciest specimen of a bird that you’re ever likely to sample here.
Open Sun-Thu 7pm-midnight, Fri 12.30pm-4pm, 6pm-midnight. Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira