The celebrity-inspired restaurants that have come (and in some cases, gone) to Dubai
It’s been clear for some time now that Dubai’s fortunes are firmly on the rise, and if there was any minor loss of momentum coming through the global financial crisis, the city is now firmly back in top gear. Look beyond the rounds of gleaming skyscrapers springing up and the mind-boggling attractions being announced daily, and it’s clear the food industry is keeping up with the pace – not least because of the fresh wave of celebrity chefs sizing up the emirate.
Most recently Michelin-starred Gordon Ramsay protégé Jason Atherton announced he would be mixing high-end cuisine with a trendy nightspot at his Dubai Marina Social and Social Room, to open in 2014. Earlier in the year UK chef Silvena Rowe, famous for her UK television appearances on Saturday Kitchen and This Morning, announced she would be opening an Ottoman-themed restaurant in the emirate.
Meanwhile Jamie Oliver is planning to launch another branch of his Jamie’s Italian chain, while Gary Rhodes, a longstanding fixture in Dubai, has announced plans to add to his empire with a second restaurant in Abu Dhabi.
While we eagerly wait for these venues to arrive, we’ve rounded up 20 celebrity-named restaurants to have landed in Dubai already.
Rhodes Mezzanine Preparing to celebrate its sixth birthday in September, Gary Rhodes’ first Dubai restaurant joins his empire of three UK restaurants – which between them pack a total of six Michelin stars. Open Mon-Sat 7pm-11.30pm. Grosvenor House Dubai, Dubai Marina, www.grosvenorhouse-dubai.com (043998888).
Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire Renowned three Michelin-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire serves up sensational French menus at Dubai’s Reflets. Open daily 7pm-11pm. Waterfront Level, Intercontinental Dubai Festival City (04 701 1127).
Rang Mahal Best known as the first Indian chef to receive a Michelin star for his native cuisine, Atul Kochhar’s young venue, based in the tallest hotel in the world, impresses with gourmet cuisine from across India’s culinary map. Open daily 6pm-1am. JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 414 3000)
Nobu World-renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa continues to redefine Japanese cuisine in Dubai with his renowned eponymous restaurant, which was co-founded in New York with Robert De Niro. Open Sat-Thu 7pm-11.30pm; Fri noon-3pm, 7pm-11.30pm. Atlantis the Palm, Palm Jumeirah (044260760).
Table 9 by Nick and Scott You’ve only got a few months to visit this restaurant from Dubai’s very own celebrity chef duo. Former Gordon Ramsey protégés Nick Alvis and Scott Price took over the space occupied by their mentor’s former Verve restaurant in 2011, but recently announced they will be moving on to new ventures themselves at the end of 2013. Open Sun-Fri 6.30pm-11pm. Hilton Dubai Creek, Deira (042271111).
Verre by Gordon Ramsay Before Table 9 there was Verre. Opened at the Hilton Dubai Creek in 2001, long before Dubai’s global ascent was noticed by many of his competitors, Gordon Ramsay was one of the first celebrity chefs to set up shop here, and played a hand in putting the emirate’s culinary scene on the international map. However Ramsay jumped ship in 2011, scaling back much of his international operations amidst the global financial crisis. Closed.
Maya Modern Mexican Kitchen Richard Sandoval opened his first Maya in New York in 1997, before introducing his fine-dining Mexican concept to Dubai back in 2006. In recent years this restaurant ran the risk of being overshadowed by the opening of Sandoval’s other big Latino restaurant, not ten minutes walk way, Toro Toro. Thankfully a February relaunch has kept Maya safely on the map. Open Sat-Wed 7pm-midnight; Thu-Fri 7pm-1am. Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa (04 316 5550).
Indego by Vineet India's prominent two-star Michelin chef Vineet Bhatia opened Dubai’s Indego way back in 2005, and is renowned for his London restaurant Rasoi. Open daily 12:30-3pm; 7pm-midnight. Grosvenor House Dubai (04 399 8888).
Ronda Locatelli Italien chef Giorgio Locatelli is best known for his two restaurants in London, each with one Michelin star apiece. Here he’s the chief consultant for Ronda Locatelli at Atlantis, and is soon to sign a new restaurant, Locanda, in Dubai. Open Sat-Wed noon-10:30pm; Thurs-Fri noon-11.30pm. Atlantis The Palm (04 426 2626).
Rhodes Twenty10 Gary Rhodes’ second Dubai venue is a specialist steakhouse, with suitable hype. Open 7pm-midight. Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa (04 316 5550).
Jamie’s Italian A fixture in every major British city, Dubai’s Jamie’s Italian, in Festival City, is only the second of the chain’s branches to be opened outside of the UK. And he’s bringing another branch to the emirates soon. Open noon-11pm. Dubai Festival City Mall (042329969).
Toro Toro A celebrity chef with more than 25 restaurants, Richard Sandoval visits Dubai twice a year. On one such visit he opened his latest Latin-American concept here, Toro Toro, which celebrates its second birthday later this year. Open Sat-Wed 8pm-2am; Thu-Fri 8pm-3am. Grosvenor House Dubai (043998888).
Options by Sanjeev Kapoor The first of two Dubai restaurant brands from India’s household name Sanjeev Kapoor. Open daily noon-3pm, 7pm-11.30pm. Convention Centre Office Tower, Dubai World Trade Centre (04 329 3293). Other location: Mövenpick Hotel Deira, Corner of Abu Baker Al Siddique and Salahuddin Road (044446444).
Rostang, The French Brasserie Michel Rostang, a two-star Michelin chef, brings Paris to Dubai with his restaurant Rostang. It’s in good company amongst the likes of Nobu and Ronda Locatelli at Atlantis The Palm. Open daily 9am-11am, 1pm-5.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm. Patisserie 1pm-5pm. Atlantis the Palm (04426 2626).
Frankie’s Italian Bar & Grill A collaboration between British chef Marco Pierre White and Italian jockey Frankie Dettori, this JBR hotspot is a renowned award winner. Open 12.30pm-3pm, 6pm-1.30am. Al Fattan Towers, Jumeirah Walk, JBR (04 399 4311).
STAY by Yannick Alléno French chef Yannick Alléno was awarded three Michelin stars for his Paris restaurant Le Meurice, before parting company earlier this year. He brings his expertise to The Palm’s STAY – which, appropriately enough, is an acronym for Simple Table Yannick Alléno. Open Tue-Sun 7pm-11pm. One&Only The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 440 1010).
Signature by Sanjeev Kapoor This newer, classier joint from Indian celeb Kapoor offers an unexpected fusion twist. Open daily noon-3pm, 7pm-11pm. Melia Dubai, Bur Dubai (043868111).
Carluccio's Gregarious Italian restaurateur Antonio Carluccio has brought his familiar UK chain of quality Italian eateries to three locations in Dubai. Open daily 9am-11pm. The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai (044341320). Other locations: Mirdif City Center (042843728), Dubai Marina Mall (043997844).
Wheeler's of St James's Dubai Opened in the autumn of 2012, Wheeler’s is a stylish revival of the world’s oldest and finest fish eatery, which was established in the heart of London in 1856, and is now owned by celebrity chef Marco Pierre White. Open noon-3.30pm, 7pm-11.30pm. Gate Village, DIFC. Dubai (04 3860899).
Titanic by Marco Pierre White Marco Pierre White’s other big Dubai dalliance has fared less well. Opening amid a flurry of obvious ‘sinking ship’ jokes last spring in the then-new Meliá Dubai hotel, Titanic sunk beneath the surface with little trace little over a year later. Closed.