Time Out rounds up 5 of the most stylish restaurants in Dubai
Time Out Dubai staff
Dining in Dubai is as much about where you are as what you eat. Luckily for the city’s more discerning diners, many classic spots have discovered a newfound maturity, and many trendy new options have popped up on the scene, making the city an increasingly exciting place to eat out. We look into five of the city’s restaurants that not only provide customers with sustenance, but do so in style.
La Petite Maison A celebrity magnet on the Côte d’Azur, La Petite Maison has now become a globally recognised and revered chain, with venues in London, New York and Dubai. Luckily, this globalisation hasn’t deprived the restaurant of its distinct Niçoise style, and the outlet in DIFC still upholds the principles of social and sophisticated dining. Every night, without fail, La Petite Maison’s bonhomie environs are packed, meaning that dining here is as fun as it is filling: you can’t help but overload on dishes such as glistening green beans dotted with smooth chunks of foie gras, carpaccio of scallops, salt-baked fillet of sea bass and divine desserts. DIFC (04 439 0505).
Karma Kafe Inheriting its trendy-zen image from Buddha Bar, Karma Kafe goes one better than its sister venue by boasting fantastic views of Souk Al Bahar and serving fantastic Asian-fusion food. The laid-back vibe is accentuated by regular guest DJs spinning chill-out and ambient tracks, rendering Karma Kafe as much a dinner joint as a place to mingle with mixed drinks. This diversity is reflected by the upwardly mobile, alternative crowd, many straight in from the galleries of Downtown and DIFC. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Burj Khalifa (04 423 0909).
Almaz by Momo Any restaurant with the ‘Momo’ suffix is bound to have style in spades. Algerian-born Mourad ‘Momo’ Mazouz is the man behind celebrity-saturated Sketch in London, one of the city’s most visually arresting (and expensive) restaurants. In 2006 the then 43-year-old returned to his roots with Almaz – more low-key in contrast; think traditional Arabic design principles, coupled with sleek modernity. But there’s substance to the style, and as well as looking pretty, fine food is served amid the deep reds, Moroccan lanterns, and zellige tiling. Take a seat and order the harira (a full-bodied chickpea, lentil and lamb soup) or the kefta tagine of tender lamb with tomato, potato and egg. Harvey Nichols, Mall of the Emirates (04 409 8877).
Armani/Hashi Healthy, sociable, and sophisticated (there’s something so much cooler about chopsticks than a run-of-the mill knife and fork), sushi is the fashion set’s food of choice – and there are few better places to eat it than Armani/Hashi. Of course, it’s a given that any restaurant bearing the name of one the world’s greatest fashion designers will boast a modicum of style. Armani Hotel’s award-winning Japanese restaurant has managed to muscle its way into Dubai’s already packed high-end Japanese restaurant scene thanks to fantastic food and sleek service. Indeed, any venue staffed with waiters and waitresses clad in Armani is going to bring out the best in its patronage, which explains why Dubai’s beautiful people frequent the restaurant on a nightly basis. Armani Hotel Dubai, Downtown Burj Khalifa (04 888 3444).
Zuma Zuma has had its ups and downs over the years, but as Dubai’s dining scene reaches new levels of maturity and sophistication it’s undeniable that this DIFC stalwart has stood the test of time. During the day, sunlight pours through the floor-to-ceiling windows, making lunchtime at Zuma a light and airy experience. Come evening, the lights are dimmed, the music’s turned up and the mood is sophisticated yet cool. Enjoy a drink at the bar before taking a low-slung seat at a table and ordering from an ever-changing menu. DIFC has established itself as the hub of high-end dining in Dubai – evident from Zuma’s clientele. DIFC (04 425 5660).