Time Out Restaurant Awards 2016 - winners pictures
Time Out Dubai has the Time Out Restaurant Awards 2016 winners pictures from the celebration of Dubai's best restaurants, at JW Marriott Marquis Hotel
Time Out Dubai staff
Restaurant of the Year: Coya A new champion for 2016, but a deserved one. Coya not only serves the best food in the city, but some of the best dishes we've eaten anywhere. Ever. It's popular and has been since it opened. Staff are very cool and very nice, helping you order and navigate the menu if you like. They do that in other places of course, but here it feels very natural. It can be argued that Coya also kicked off the current Peruvian food trend in the city. It did it first, and still does it better than anyone else. To read a review of our last visit, turn to page 44. Open daily 12.30pm-3.30pm, 7pm-midnight. Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 316 9600).
Best Afternoon Tea : At.mosphere Lounge High tea gets a new meaning here. We're talking about the height, of course. Take the Burj Khalifa's lift up to the 123rd floor before descending down a flight of stairs to At.mosphere. The view is stunning, but what impresses just as much is the quality of the food and service. Cakes, sandwiches and scones are all perfect, and inventive. You can even throw a main course in if that's not enough for you. Drinks are excellent, and unlimited. There isn't an experience like it in Dubai. It is a place to take guests and show off the city. However, we can recommend checking whether your mother-in-law is scared of heights before booking. Daily noon-4.30pm. Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai (04 888 3828).
Best Bar Food : Tr!beca Kitchen + Bar We love the venue. Yes, it kind of bludgeons you over the head with the New York loft theme, but it works. The décor and layout is cool, and the fact that it serves mostly organic produce is a real winner in our eyes. Whether burger or salad, we've loved all we've tried. Open Tue, Thu 5pm-3am, Fri 2pm-3am, Mon and Wed, Sat-Sun 5pm-2am. JA Ocean View Hotel, JBR (050 345 6067).
Best Breakfast : Bystro Restaurant & Pastry House It has competition, not least from the places on the same stretch of Al Manara. However, Bystro won our first-ever Best Breakfast award because it's a fabulous all-rounder. Great for families, with a dedicated children's area (and pretty good for those without kids as a result), great for coffee and both healthy and indulgent dishes (we recommend the huevos rancheros). The cabinet of sweet treats that runs along the centre of the room is also awesome. Try the chocolate honeycomb slab. Open Sun 8am-5pm, Mon-Thu 8am-10pm, Fri-Sat 8.30am-10pm. Al Manara, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 336 8056).
Best Brunch : Zuma A classy afternoon gorging yourself on expertly prepared, tasty morsels, with top-notch service and a cracking drinks package. That's what you get at Zuma's brunch. Staples such as miso soup and edamame beans are brought to you, you can help yourself to sashimi and sushi of unbeatable quality, the live grill and noodle stations are superb, and you can order an à la carte main. We know how good Zuma is, the brunch is no exception. Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Gate Village 6, DIFC (04 425 5660).
Best Business Lunch : Zuma Of course the food is fantastic. But the strength of this business lunch lies in the service. Dishes are served quickly, but without haste. You barely even notice the staff are present, but they're always around, watching, making sure you have what you need. You will be in and out in an hour and won't feel rushed at all. Good value, too. Sun-Thu noon-3.30pm. DIFC (04 425 5660).
Best Café : Tom&Serg Keeping its crown from last year, this café is credited with starting the still-growing artisan coffee trend in Dubai. The team here still take their beans seriously, and the quality of the food on offer, too. We love how the menu changes constantly, keeping a select few favourites, but trying new dishes as well. It continues to be busy, which is really something given the amount of competition now. Tom&Serg have branched out, with The Sum of Us and Common Grounds, and more recently their first licensed venue, Brunswick Sports Pub, but their success is founded on this exceptional café in Al Quoz. Open Sun-Thu 8am-4pm Fri-Sat-8am-6pm. Al-Joud Center, Al Quoz (056 474 6812).
Best Pub Food : Reform Social & Grill Pub goers from the West won't be disappointed. Imagine if every time you went to a pub with a cracking garden you could actually sit in it? Well, here you can. And while you're there you can feast on some hearty, tasty grub. From pies to burgers to steaks, Reform has them all down pat. And when the barbecue is on, it's a beautiful thing. This makes it two in a row for Reform, making it the undisputed champion of the category, and the standard for all others in it to aim for. Open daily 8am-midnight. The Lakes, Emirates Living (04 454 2638).
Best Romantic : At.mosphere Restaurant Unless your wife/husband/best friend suffers from vertigo or has a fear of elevators, they will be blown away by a visit to At.mosphere. It's as classy as they come, with an unbelievably high level of culinary expertise on show. And then there's the fact that it's on the 122nd floor of the tallest building in the world. Who wouldn't be impressed with that? While the air on the outside is probably a little thin, the atmosphere inside is as wonderful as the cooking. Open daily 12.30pm-3pm, 6.30pm-11.30pm. Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai (04 888 3828).
Best Seafood: Ossiano Stepping into Ossiano from the corridors of Atlantis The Palm is like setting foot in another world. Gone are the crowds of families and bustle of the popular hotel and instead you get quiet, cool, class. That is the calm before the storm, and by storm we mean the best seafood in the city. Starters, mains and desserts are all presented beautifully and packed with flavour. The produce is superb, and treated with respect by a kitchen that lets the ingredients do most of the work. Open daily 7pm-11.30pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626)./em>
Best Steakhouse: JW’s Steakhouse A hugely evocative restaurant, JW's is everything you expect and want a steakhouse to be. It's dimly lit, the huge leather chairs make you feel like someone important and the excellent cuts of meat are high quality, cooked perfectly and full of flavour. The sides are great, too, and staff are happy to let you enjoy the occasion. And how could you fail to enjoy any meal served on a wooden platter with golden bulls' heads at either end? Open daily 5pm-midnight, Thu noon-midnight. JW Marriott Hotel, Abu Baker Al Siddique Road, Deira (04 607 7977).
Best Americas: Coya A restaurant that just works. Whoever is behind it deserves a pat on the back, and a pay rise (possibly). Coya is a cool, modern venue with a great, welcoming vibe, despite its fine-dining status. Meals are not cheap here, but that's not to say it isn't value for money. Ingredients are clearly excellent and are treated with respect – and a little playfulness. It's busy, buzzing and downright brilliant. Open daily 12.30pm-3.30pm, 7pm-midnight. Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 316 9600).
Best Asian: Mekong Being part of the Asian hotel chain Anantara should boost your credentials when it comes to the cuisine. Thankfully, Mekong delivers. On all levels. The restaurant itself is a well thought-out and exquisitely designed venue, and that attention to detail continues through to the food. Dishes zing with vibrant flavours and staff can make some truly wonderful, experience-enhancing suggestions. Open daily 6.30pm-11.30pm. Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort, Palm Jumeirah (04 567 8304).
Best Chinese: Hakkasan A name that guarantees quality, Hakkasan is always going to be there or thereabouts when it comes to the Chinese category. This year the kitchen stepped its game up a little, throwing down some truly stunning reimaginings of Chinese classics. The venue is very cool, too, with a slick dining room, terrific terrace and some of the best staff in the city. Open daily 7pm-2.30am. Jumeirah Emirates Towers Sheikh Zayed Road (04 384 8484).
Best European: Boca A relative new kid on the block compared to some of the more established names in this category. Nevertheless, Boca has become one of our favourite venues in the time it has been open. It has tough company in DIFC, but does something different, and therefore manages to stand out. This isn't stuffy fine-dining, but the kitchen is clearly spending time and effort getting these sharing dishes just right. A great place to pop in for a few bites and drinks, and an equally good place to gorge yourself on the Spanishinfluenced menu. Open daily noon-11.30pm. Gate Village 6, DIFC (04 323 1833).
Best French: La Petite Maison DIFC's classy French restaurant is still the one to beat. Staff here are perhaps the greatest in the city. And the food they're serving is equally good. This is one of the very best places to eat in Dubai. Whatever you choose, you're guaranteed a flavour explosion. We defy any meat-eater not to gasp after the first taste of the lamb cutlets. Turn to page 45 to find out what happened the last time we ate there. Open daily noon-3pm, 7pm-11pm. Gate Village 8, DIFC (04 439 0505).
Best Indian: Rang Mahal by Atul Kochhar The curry is taken to new culinary heights. Atul Kochhar turns something we all know into a style all of his own. For all the stunning presentation, there are actually very few tricks on show in this restaurant's cooking. Flavours and ingredients that you recognise are all there, just looking a little different. More pretty. More refined. More like an award-winner. Open daily 6pm-midnight. JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Business Bay (04 414 3000).
Best Italian: Solo Bistronomia & Vino Bar A real individual on Dubai's Italian culinary scene. That could easily apply to the venue or Solo's chef, Corrado Pani. A (naturally) passionate cook, this restaurant is his vision, brought to life by an exceptional team. Solo's décor is like no other in this category and there's an ability to make hearty meat and pasta dishes into something you want to eat over and over again. Among the prettier starters and desserts, the kitchen's eye for artistry is also apparent. From best newcomer last year to best Italian this year, Solo continues to impress. Turn to page 46 to find out what we thought of the restaurant's new brunch. Open daily 12.30pm-3.30pm, 7pm- 1am. Raffles Dubai, Oud Metha (04 370 8999).
Best Japanese: Zuma This makes it a hat-trick of trophies for Zuma this year, each one entirely deserved. There are others that come close to taking Zuma's crown, but each time we go back it seems to get better. With a team that really care about the restaurant and have a passion for improving it, the experience is always going to be hard to beat. The food is simply stunning, and with a newly revamped menu, things look like they're only going in one direction. Turn to page 43 to see what we make of one of the restaurant's staples. Open Sat-Wed noon-3.30pm, 7pm-1am, Thu-Fri noon-3.30pm, 7pm-2am. Gate Village 6, DIFC (04 425 5660).
Best MENA: Nusr-Et This restaurant, which is part of the frankly brilliant complex at the Four Seasons in Jumeirah, is one cool customer. Serving Turkish classics and some of the best cuts of meats in town, Nusr-Et has done wonders since it opened, managing to combine finedining with a no-nonsense approach. Go, take the suggestions from the brilliant staff on board and enjoy. Open daily noon-midnight. Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 407 4100).
Best Thai: Pai Thai Yes, it has been around a while, and yes, it's popular with tourists. But it's also absolutely fantastic. From the moment you step on board the abra that will take you to the restaurant, every element of Pai Thai brings a sense of occasion. Of course, the food has to be good too, and it is. In fact, it's excellent. Only the cold-hearted wouldn't love an evening here. Open Sun-Thu 6.30pm-11.30pm, Fri-Sat 12.30pm-3pm, 6.30pm-11.30pm. Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 432 3232).
Best Newcomer- Casual Dining: The Hide The standard of new restaurants was so high this year that we split the newcomer category into two awards. All kinds of things were taken into account, including décor, price, and style of food, but what isn't in doubt is the quality of cooking in both shortlists. The winner in the casual category is a stylish, modern American "meatery". The quality of meat is exceptional, the passion of the chefs unquestionable, and the overall experience, excellent. Open daily noon-3pm, 7pm-midnight. Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 432 3232).
Best Newcomer- Fine Dining: PLAY Restaurant & Lounge A restaurant that opened with an air of exclusivity, this new "Mediterrasian" eatery takes the two cuisines and puts together dishes to stunning effect. From chef Reif Othman, who set PLAY up after moving from Zuma, expect amazing sashimi (read about it on page 14), creative sushi, and meals without a single flaw. An unbelievably good new restaurant has arrived. Open Sat-Wed 7pm-2am, Thu-Fri 7pm-3am. The H Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 336 4444).
Outstanding Contribution: Mark Patten, Atlantis The Palm, Dubai
Best Budget : Bu Qtair We know, we know… We're not breaking any new ground here. But in a city that can often seem obsessed with the latest thing, it's important to remember the bits that made it great in the first place. This year, Bu Qtair went all fancy and moved into a slightly bigger space not far from the original. The queues are still there though, as are those spicy prawns and marinated fish. Simple, affordable perfection. Open daily noon-11.30pm. 4d Street, near Burj Al Arab (055 705 2130).