Do you have a hankering for French food in Dubai? Check out Time Out’s selection of 10 of the best to try
Time Out Dubai Staff
Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire: Reflets is the latest restaurant in a string of international hits by six-time Michelin-starred French chef Pierre Gagnaire. It was also a triple-award winner at this year’s Time Out restaurant awards. When Michelin pays its visit to Dubai, we won’t be at all surprised if this gem is awarded a glittering treasure of its own.
Call 04 701 1111 for more information.
Rostang, the French Brasserie: The food at Rostang, a traditional French brasserie headed up by two-star Michelin chef Michel Rostang, is very good. The fare at Rostang is refreshingly understated, and in many ways the opposite of so much that Dubai stands for.
Call 04 426 2626 for more information.
Café Chic: The bourgeois decor smacks of renaissance France, the glassware is as crystal clear as an Evian spring, and the food could rival any café in Paris. All in all, Café Chic is a trusty comrade to any Garhoud-based business types looking to impress.
Call 04 217 0000 for more information.
Le Classique: By Dubai standards, Le Classique is an ancient institution. It opened its doors in 1988, and though the restaurant has recently been renovated and relaunched, it can’t shake its antique vibe. The air smells richly of butter, a sign that we are indeed dealing with ‘classique’ French cuisine – the type that was in vogue in the Paris of the ’50s. You can close your eyes and imagine how classy the wandering flambé stations seemed in the Dubai predating Gordon Ramsay.
Call 04 380 2222 for more information.
La Baie: The menu here reads like something pleasingly experimental, with offerings from the starters featuring the likes of foie gras custard and caviar parfait. They look impressive, too – beautifully arranged parcels and towers that, as the menu notes, could well be a nod to the fact that chef de cuisine, Umit Kaygusuz, studied architecture before the siren call of the kitchen led him to retrain as a chef.
Call 04 399 4000 for more information.
Margaux: There may not be a buzz surrounding the opening of Margaux – not yet anyway – but there should be. The chef, Julian Mercier, trained under the Michelin studded Alain Ducasse, the venue is perched on a balcony with a prime view of the increasingly magnificent Burj Dubai and there is an 800-bottle wine list. It’s the type of restaurant Dubai should fall for, and the only reason I can think of that it hasn’t is that Margaux has yet to appear on the city’s radar.
Call 04 439 7555 for more information.
Traiteur: Overlooking the creek and nestled in the underbelly of the Park Hyatt, Traiteur is a feast for the eyes. The menu – cleverly sectioned into all the major food groups – is quite ballsy in its approach, with blue fin tuna vying for attention over beef tenderloin and seafood platters offering every mollusc under the sea. Regular promotions are worth keeping an eye on.
Call 04 602 1234 for more information.
Verre: The French fare alongside the celebrity chef stamp, is good enough to continue pulling in the crowds to this former award-winner. Gordon Ramsay-trained executive chef, Matt Pickop, definitely has talent, and the service, like the food, remains thoroughly competent. Melt-in-the-mouth duck and a refreshing mint crème brulee are high points, while other dishes have the ability to render you speechless: the humble tomato minestrone is catapulted into new realms with a dash of basil pesto and a handful of langoustines.
Call 04 227 1111 for more information.
Tang: Tang is a strange beast. There’s something rather irksome about the Alice in Wonderland-esque chairs and poncy decor, yet the menu offers a glittering array of odd – yet refreshingly experimental – dishes. Tang is a great spot for a taste of something out of the ordinary with a vaguely French origin.
Call 04 399 3333 for more information.
Bistro Madeleine: Bistro Madeleine is a ballsy little entity. Situated down the hall from one of Dubai’s newest culinary goliaths, Reflets Par Pierre Gagnaire, the petite bistro faces some stiff competition. What it may lack in the way of big name sponsorship it more than makes up for in simplistic charm. A Time Out favourite.
Call 04 701 1111 for more information.