The best places in Dubai to find great-value meals for two
UNDER DHS100 PER COUPLE Besh Turkish Kitchen This Turkish eatery, hidden away in the Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates hotel, is a hidden gem that may not be first on your list for a date night, but shouldn’t be sniffed at, thanks to a new deal especially for couples. For just Dhs99 for two, you can enjoy an authentic cold mezze platter and a traditional Turkish drink. And with change in your pocket from Dhs100 for two, you really can’t get fairer than that. And who doesn’t love hummus, anyway? Dhs99. Sun-Wed 6.30pm-11pm. Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Mall Emirates, Al Barsha (04 377 2353).
The Scene This quirky Marina location has two winning things when it comes to a date night – a celebrity chef behind it all and, even better, panoramic views across Dubai Marina. What’s more romantic than watching those super yachts and traditional dhows floating past amid the glittering lights and sparkling water? This one’s not just for dates though, as we think it’s just a good a deal for a mid-week night out with your (cheese-loving) pals. Bubbles and Squeak on a Wednesday isn’t remotely related to that old-school cabbage and potato dish your Nan used to make (although some of the furniture in this restaurant looks like it’s come from her living room). It’s a far classier affair than that – bottles of bubbly start at Dhs99, while for Dhs59 you can get a selection of cheese, biscuits, chutney and fruit. Fancy something, well, fancier? Opt for the truffle honey-baked Camembert with sourdough soldiers for Dhs99. Delish. From Dhs59. Wed 4pm-1am. Pier 7, Dubai Marina (04 422 2328).
DHS100-299 PER COUPLE Asia Asia If you’re after unlimited sushi and dim sum, with a side of Marina views, then Asia Asia is your go-to Saturday spot. Order up some platters of sushi (maki rolls, nigiri et al) and tasty dim sum (we recommend the chilli chicken ones) and wash it all down with a bottle of grape for just Dhs299 for two. Dhs299. Sat 2pm-7pm. Pier 7, Dubai Marina (04 276 5900).
Belgian Café Love mussels? It’s “Mussel Mania” at Belgian Café every Monday. Visit the Dubai Festival City branch of this Belgian eatery to unearth this top deal for two. For Dhs220 you’ll get two scrummy pots of mussels, in a choice of five flavours (blue cheese, Thai, hops, traditional marinière and creamy grape). Plus you’ll get a pint each of the hops of your choice. Mondays not for you? Fret not, head on down on a Tuesday instead to take advantage of the “Burgers and Brews” deal for two. Dig into a mini trio of burgers with Belgian fries, plus a draught hops each for Dhs220. Burger varieties include barbecue chicken with caramelised onion, black Angus beef with melted Swiss cheese and veal bacon and North Sea crab with tomato relish. Dhs220. Mon & Tue 6pm-11pm. Crowne Plaza, Dubai Festival City (04 701 1127).
Choix Patisserie & Restaurant Par Pierre Gagnaire So, this might not be a date “night” deal, but sometimes you might want to treat your better half to lunch. And that’s where this one comes in. This lunch might be masterminded by a Michelin-starred chef, but the prices aren’t sky high. “Dejeuner 99” is pretty much what it says (in French) on the tin – lunch for Dhs99 a head (that’s Dhs198 for two). You’ll get a choice of soup or dessert and a daily special. Dhs198. Sun-Thu noon-3pm InterContinental Dubai Festival City (04 701 1127).
Jazz@PizzaExpress One of our fave places for good-value dining, date night or not. Not only do we love the upbeat vibe and live music, we’re never going to say no to a slice of good, ol’ American Hot (plus doughballs and all their garlicky, buttery goodness). For Dhs199 you’ll get a bottle of house grape, sharing starter, two mains and two desserts from the special date night set menu. Our picks from the list include that aforementioned American Hot or Hawaiian pizzas. There are also leggera pizzas and salads on the menu, if you’re after a lower calorie date night dinner, as well as some tasty pasta dishes (hello, classic Bolognaise. It’s time to make like Lady and The Tramp and get slurping that spaghetti. Dhs199. Sat 6pm-midnight. Cluster A, JLT (04 441 6342).
Karma Kafé Remember the Sushi Saturday deal at Asia Asia? This one’s the same, just in a different location. You’ll dig into unlimited sushi and dim sum, plus get a bottle of grape, for just Dhs299 per couple. The difference? This one has stunning Dubai Fountain views. So whatever part of town you’re in you’ll get top Asian food and a good view every Saturday. Dhs299. Sat 2pm-7pm. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 423 0909).
Mezzaluna After a good old fashioned roast dinner? This one you don’t even have to wait until the weekend for. Head to Mezzaluna at Dubai Festival City on a Tuesday for a special roast deal for two where you’ll get a roast paired with sauces and all the traditional sides (including roasties) for Dhs198 a pair. Dhs198. Tue 7pm-10pm. InterContinental Residents & Suites, Dubai Festival City (04 701 1127).
Publique Cheese. That’s all we really need to say about this one. Cheese, cheese and more cheese. So basically, if you love cheese, you’ll love this one. Raclette, fondue, all the melted fromage you could ever dream of is on offer here. And there’s an excellent deal for sharing, too. Indulge in raclette and a carafe of grape for just Dhs180 or, even better value, fondue and a carafe for just Dhs140. And what more would you expect from a ski-themed chalet restaurant in the middle of Dubai. From the chairlift DJ booth to the wooden interiors you could (almost) be in the Alps. Cosy up next to the (fake) fire, dip your bread chunks into that melted cheese and enjoy your evening. Dhs140 (fondue and house grape), Dhs180 (raclette and grape). Daily noon-midnight. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 430 8550).
The Atlantic Dubai Looking for a romantic Saurday date? There possibly couldn’t be a more perfect location that this one. Take a seat on the terrace of The Atlantic Dubai, located right next to The Dubai Fountain, and take advantage of this weekend deal. As the name hints, this is a fishy deal (in a good way) and comes with a pot of mussels, a dozen oysters and a bottle of sparkling grape for just Dhs199 per couple. Yes, you heard that right – shellfish and sparkling for under Dhs100 a person. Great prices, great food and a great setting (that Dubai Fountain brings the wow-factor every time). Dhs199. Sat 2pm-11pm. Ongoing. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 442 5662).
ZOCO This Saturday deal at Al Habtoor City’s Latin American eatery is worth adding to your weekend dining list. Between 12.30pm and 5pm every Saturday you’ll get a three-course meal, plus a bottle of house grape for Dhs250 between you. Dig into a selection of tacos, burritos and smooth and tangy guac. Best of all? The homemade churros with chocolate sauce. You’ll be there quicker than Speedy Gonzales. Dhs250. The Atrium, Al Habtoor City(04 437 0044).
DHS300-499 PER COUPLE China Grill Served up on the picturesque al fresco terrace overlooking Dubai Marina, China Grill puts on an excellent deal for two people on a Monday night. Not only is the pretty location date night-worthy, you’ll get a good-value evening with top food, too (China Grill was highly commended in the Asian category of our 2017 Restaurant Awards for good reason). An inventive pan-Asian menu comes from newly appointed chef de cuisine, David Kikillus. You’ll enjoy a sushi platter to start, followed by grilled wagyu striploin and an Asian take on bouillabaisse. The whole meal is accompanied by free-flowing grape, too, meaning you’ll save a pretty dirham here. Dhs388. Mon 7pm-10pm. The Westin Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street (04 511 7333).
El Sur If you don’t have time to whip up a decent paella at home (really, who does?) then El Sur is here to save the day. A new deal at this Spanish spot is offering up a sharing dish of chicken and artichoke paella plus a jug of traditional Spanish mixed drink for Dhs350 a pair. Or you can get just the paella for Dhs199. Dig into the hearty, warming dish (winter is coming and all that) and make like you’re in Spain by sitting out on the terrace. Oh, and it’s every night, too. Dhs350. Daily 6pm-midnight. The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street (04 399 7700).
Gaucho If you’re after a roast dinner, but don’t really fancy cooking your own (and you want a steak rather than a traditional roast) then the Asado roast at Gaucho should be on your list. This meat feast comes with sides such as truffle chips, fried eggs and chimichurri. And you can top it all off with a two-hour unlimited beverage package if you fancy, too. Dhs350 (asado), Dhs180 (two hours of unlimited grape and hops). Prices exclude ten percent DIFC authority fee. Sat noon-11pm. Gate Village 5, DIFC (04 422 7898).
La Farine Best known for its baked goods and top afternoon teas (coming highly commended in that category at this year’s Restaurant Awards, in fact), this French restaurant at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai in Business Bay also throws a pretty good grape and cheese deal. Offering up a huge range of French cheeses and fresh grapes (and in this instance we mean the actual fruit, not the drink), there’s a light-hearted atmosphere for a pleasant Thursday night. Plus, there’s a good deal that saves you dosh if you dine as a pair, too, coming in at Dhs300 a couple. Dhs300. Thu 6pm-9pm. JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, Business Bay (04 414 3000).
Weslodge Saloon Winner of Time Out Dubai’s North American & Caribbean gong at the 2017 Restaurant Awards, Weslodge Saloon knows a thing or two about good US food. It also has excellent views perched high on the 71st floor of the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai. Combine the two, and you have a great night right there. Want to improve it further? Head over on a Tuesday and you’ll get a meal for two, plus a glass of grape each, for just Dhs300. Dishes on the four-course sharing menu include burrata, foie gras, tuna ceviche, herb-roasted chicken, cedar plank salmon and a delightful salted caramel dessert. Joyous. Dhs300. Tue 6pm-2am. JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, Business Bay (04 560 1700).
DHS500+ PER COUPLE Bread Street Kitchen Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant offers up a cracking deal to celebrate nearing the end of the week. And Wellington Wednesday is exactly what it sounds like – a giant beef Wellington to share. Packed with mushrooms and beef, it’s wrapped in perfectly buttery, flaky pastry and served up with rich and creamy truffle mash and spiced carrots. You’ll get a carafe of house grape for two, too. Utterly and deliciously indulgent. Dhs600. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).
Hoi An This Fresh Catch evening is perfect for all you seafood-lovers out there, providing your other half shares your passion for crustaceans, that is (and you have deep pockets). At this daily offering you can share a platter of fresh oysters, king crab legs, lobster, crab, mussels, king prawns and a crab salad between two. It’s fresh, it’s tasty and it’s Dhs575 per pair. Dhs575. Daily 7pm-11.30pm. Ongoing. Shangri-La Hotel Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 405 2703).
J&G Steakhouse Always wanted to visit an award-winning steakhouse but can’t justify the price tag? This is an excellent way to try Time Out Dubai’s Steakhouse of the Year. J&G Steakhouse has a special Thursday night deal, where you’ll get a Tomahawk steak to share, plus a bottle of house grape, two starters, two sides and a dessert. Put on your gladrags and treat your better half, but don’t forget you’ll want to come hungry for this one. Dhs850. Thu 6.30pm-midnight. St. Regis Dubai, Al Habtoor City, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 435 5577).
Vivaldi By Alfredo Russo This new pescatore night at Vivaldi by Alfredo Russo is perfect for seafood fans. Not only will you enjoy a four-course set menu, you’ll also get a glass of sparkling grape. Dishes include tuna tartare, seafood linguine, the catch of the day and a selection of Italian desserts. Who’s counting calories, anyway? Dhs400. Thu 7pm-10pm. Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers, Deira (04 207 1717).
NEARBY PRE-DINNER HAPPY HOURS Bridgewater Tavern If you’re off to Weslodge Saloon or La Farine, you can stop by this casual pub. Happy hour runs from 4pm and 7pm daily with buy one, get one free on drinks. Prices vary. Daily 4pm-7pm. JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Business Bay (04 414 0000).
Cargo Pier 7 date night (Asia Asia or The Scene)? Stop off at Cargo. There’s a daily happy hour from 5pm to 8pm where you can get a variety of drinks from just Dhs25. From Dhs25. Daily 5pm-8pm. Pier 7, Dubai Marina (04 361 8129).
Couqley Jazz@PizzaExpress your chosen venue? Couqley right next door serves up two daily happy hours. Drinks start at just Dhs19 at both, which run from 4pm to 8pm and 11pm to 1am, seven days a week. From Dhs19. Daily 4pm-8pm, 11pm-1am. Cluster A, JLT (04 514 9339).
folly By Nick & Scott If you’re dining in Souk Madinat there’s a range of happy hour options, but for a something special try the sundowners on the terrace at folly By Nick & Scott From Dhs25. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm SuqeIm (04 430 8535).