Ahead of the summer we trawl the eating options around town
101 Dining Lounge and Bar With a menu of modern Mediterranean plates (devised with consultancy by top French chef Yannick Alléno) and an ambient seaside location, 101 is among Dubai’s most elegant yet accessible spots for European cooking. Since al fresco dining is part and parcel of this restaurant’s charms, each year 101 shuts down during the summer, and will be closed this year from Saturday June 28-Sunday July 27. One&Only The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 440 1010).
Antique Bazaar Tucked away in Bur Dubai, this longstanding Indian eatery is notable for providing nightly entertainment, performed by seated sitar players at the little stage area at the front of the restaurant. The dimly lit, wood-accented space certainly adds to the atmospheric effect. Does that sound intriguing? If so, pop down this weekend. The restaurant will be closing during the Holy Month. Four Points by Sheraton Bur Dubai (04 397 7444).
Bateaux Dubai While there is a plethora of waterborne dining options, Bateaux Dubai is arguably the best-known boat-based-restaurant in the emirate. It is also a little better equipped to deal with Dubai’s heat than the average dinner cruise or dhow option, since this modern vessel is fully air-conditioned. Nevertheless, the boat is due to take a break from Tuesday July 1-28, making this the last chance to set sail before the summer-hiatus. Bur Dubai Creek, Opposite British Embassy (04 814 5553).
BookMunch As the name suggests, this café in Al Wasl Square takes reading as seriously as it takes eating. Winner of the Time Out Dubai award for best family venue, BookMunch serves an imaginative kids’ menu (in part inspired by children’s literature), houses a colourful reading corner for little ones and hosts regular workshops, from painting to storytelling. The café is due to close at the start of Ramadan and reopen for Eid. Al Wasl Square, Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah (04 388 4006).
Brunch at Zuma Restaurant of the year 2014, this Japanese trail-blazer in DIFC will remain open during July and even continues to offer its award-winning business lunch menu on weekdays. However, the equally acclaimed Friday brunch is due to be discontinue for the rest of 2014 and Friday June 27 will be the last chance to experience the event until further notice. DIFC (04 425 5660).
Fire & Ice In this impressive looking two-storey dining space, exposed brickwork and mirrors create a distinctly New York worthy vibe. While the restaurant’s primary function is that of a steakhouse, serving a selection that includes wagyu, as well as premium cuts from Ireland and Australia, Fire & Ice also offers seasonal menu specials each month. The special for June is free range black-legged chicken or ‘poulet noir’. The steakhouse will however be closing during the summer months, starting from Saturday June 28 and reopening in Eid. Raffles Dubai, Oud Metha (04 324 8888).
House of Curry Seafood is an aspect of Indian cooking that is not often showcased in restaurants outside of the sub-continent, but it is a delicious and diverse aspect of many of India’s regional cuisines. Although House of Curry serves plenty of Indian classics there is something of an emphasis on fish and seafood, which is fitting for its ambient, beachside location. During the Holy Month, the restaurant will be open only after iftar, although you can still order takeaway. The Beach, The Walk, JBR, Dubai Marina (04 427 0758). Other location: Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai.
Indego by Vineet Headed up by London’s Vineet Bhatia (one of the first chefs to receive a Michelin star for Indian food), this fine dining spot is one of the best in the emirate for refined and innovative Indian cooking. It is in fact highly commended by Time Out Dubai in both the Indian and business lunch award categories. If you want to try out Dubai’s most elegant thali offering (served at lunchtime), we’d suggest you make a beeline for Indego by Vineet this week. The restaurant will be closing for lunch and Friday brunch during the Holy Month (although it remains open after iftar time). Grosvenor House Dubai, Dubai Marina (04 317 6000).
Massaad Farm-to-Table This Levant street food spot in JBR serves falafel, shawarma, shish tawouk and the like. Uniquely, however, it expresses a commitment to sourcing locally reared and grown produce to use on the menu, and considers itself to be the first Arabic concept of this type. This summer, Massaad Farm-to-Table continues to keep the (pretty miniature) indoor dining room open, but operating only from sunset onwards. The outdoor terrace, however, will remain closed throughout Ramadan. The Walk, JBR, Dubai Marina (04 362 9002).
Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire Three Michelin star French chef Pierre Gagnaire’s first Dubai outpost is like the jazz music of Dubai dining: improvisational, complex, and at times a little confusing. The restaurant will remain closed throughout Ramadan. However, if you are keen to try the signature Gagnaire style, but with a more accessible tone, the chef’s second Dubai concept Choix Patisserie and Restaurant will remain open from 11am-2am. InterContinental Dubai Festival City (04 701 1127).
The Act Dubai Expect Peruvian food, edgy live entertainment and a setting that looks more like a vaudeville theatre than a nightclub or restaurant, which are more than enough USPs to make The Act Dubai an intriguing haunt to seek out. If you like your ceviche with a side order of quirky cabaret entertainment, then get down now. The venue will be dropping the curtain soon and will remain closed during the Holy Month. Shangri-La Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 355 1116).
Tong Thai Stunning, imposing interiors, charming staff and a menu of Thai classics, prepared with plenty of care and flavour make this relatively new addition to the Thai dining scene in Dubai a must-try for fans of Asian food and flair. It is in fact, the best Thai restaurant in Dubai for 2014. The restaurant will be closing the doors (along with Japanese venue Izakaya and Italian venue Positano, in the same hotel) for the summer. JW Marriott Marquis, Business Bay, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 414 3000).
Traiteur Between the Creek-side location, vast open kitchen space and dramatic interiors (that look like they could have been designed for a new-age concert hall) the ambience and appearance of Traiteur can rarely fail to woo diners. Winner of Time Out Dubai’s best brunch category, the restaurant produces a strong menu of French cooking, focussing as much as possible on using local and sustainable ingredients. This week is one of the last chances to visit. The restaurant will be closed during Ramadan. Traiteur, Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira (04 317 2222).