Bateaux Dubai: Amid the multitude of brightly-lit dhow dinner cruise ventures that line the creek in Bur Dubai, touting for tourist business, Bateaux Dubai stands out. For a start, the boat itself is a sleek beast. Built in Paris, it boasts glass walls and ceiling (for the ultimate city-viewing experience), and the interior is more akin to a five-star hotel than a dodgy tourist dhow. The restaurant offers daily dinner cruises that depart at 8.30pm, giving diners the opportunity to ogle the creek while they chow down on a four-course menu. First impressions are good: the staff are professional and welcoming, explaining the concept and timetable for the night.The European menu offers posh-sounding seafood, chicken, duck and lamb options with unusual sides (from polenta to fennel), which you order before the boat sets sail. Of course, the main attraction here is being able to gawp at the creekside buildings as the boat glides silently through the water; you can glimpse Sheikh Mohammed’s private residence en route to Maktoum Bridge, albeit with a few stern notices warning against photography. But don’t let the view distract you from the food. The cuisine here has borne the brunt of criticism in the past (not least from Time Out), but recent visits indicate that the kitchen has upped its game. The dishes are thoughtfully prepared, with complementary flavours and interesting accompaniments and, while it’s not cheap, the experience can’t be beaten.
Bur Dubai (04 399 4994).