From Armani to Vogue, six fashion-backed places to dine in style
Time Out Dubai staff
Armani/Dubai Caffè This hook-up with Italian fashion giant Giorgio Armani is set within the haute Dubai Mall shopping zone of Fashion Avenue – and the simple Italian selection on the menu is presented in the elaborate style you’d expect of a fashion eatery. The Armani trademark has in fact become prolific with branded eateries in Dubai, such as the Emporio Armani Café in Mall of the Emirates, as well as the Armani Hotel Dubai, which houses two of Time Out Dubai’s award-winning restaurants, Armani/Amal and Armani/ Ristorante. The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai (04 339 8396).
Cavalli Club and Restaurant This Italian restaurant, bar, lounge and club concept hit Dubai courtesy of Florentine fashion designer Roberto Cavalli and is a popular spot among Dubai’s glitterati. In signature Cavalli style, the restaurant space screams glamour, money and glitz, with curtains of Swarovski crystals dripping from the ceiling and a hefty nod to Roberto’s love of exotic prints seen in the heavy use of zebra-print upholstery. Fairmont Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 332 9260).
Comptoir 102 This tasteful French design store offers a cherry-picked selection of fashionable finds from around the world and the boutique’s café is no exception to this minimally wrought but thoroughly cool concept. The café is modest, but homely; between the hessian carpets, metal-frame chairs and tromp l’oeil bookshelf wallpaper, it feels like a cross between a sunny conservatory and cosy sitting room. Fashionistas watching their figure will appreciate the prettily presented, low-calorie and health-conscious menu, which changes daily. Jumeirah Beach Road (04 385 4555).
Studio F This 600-capacity restaurant-meets-club, towering above Dubai at the top of Jumeirah Emirates Towers, comes from the team behind Fashion TV. Punters enjoy the stylish vantage of fashion models sauntering down the catwalk that snakes its way through the space. Although owned and operated separately, Fashion TV is also involved in I Love Café on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, which serves simple café fare within an icy, diamond-themed design inspired by the channel’s logo. Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 330 0000).
The A/W collection at Raffles Dubai The Raffles Dubai afternoon tea takes place in the hotel’s lobby lounge, which looks more like the burial sites of ancient Egyptian princes than an art form that evolves with the sands of time. Yet the afternoon tea menu and concept itself is entirely inspired by the fashion catwalks with each season’s selection created in light of the current A/W or S/S collections, from stiletto-shaped chocolate pralines, to finger-food sandwiches decorated like a dress. Raffles, Salon, Raffles Dubai, Wafi, Oud Metha (04 324 8888).
Vogue Café Housed within Level, Dubai Mall’s concept store and temple to high-fashion footwear, Vogue Café sees one of the globe’s most influential fashion magazines attempt to feed Dubai’s passion for eating out and shopping in one fell swoop. Behind the sharp and dimpled cube that marks the eatery’s shiny entrance, Vogue Café serves up an on-trend selection of classic European bistro food with elevated, international twists. The company behind Vogue Café plans to open GQ bar by the end of 2013 at JW Marriott Marquis. Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai (04 501 6810).