Qbara, Wafi
Best Newcomer Winner
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Qbara sets the tone strongly from the outset, with an entrance that looks more like an exclusive nightclub, complete with carpet and bouncer. A hostess leads diners into an elevator up one floor, past a small bar area and suddenly the venue unfolds. It is an immense, multi-faceted space, with a large dining area downstairs, while upstairs diners can perch alongside a vertigo inducing glass balustrade (the barrier which stops you falling off the balcony). The food menu is based around small plates and larger ‘Qbara dishes’, all characterised by a fusion of wider Middle Eastern food culture with outside influences. Of the little plates, the lobster kibbe, stuffed with sweet and perfectly cooked chunks of lobster, is a hit. Also interesting is a salad of chunks of different heirloom tomatoes, combined with sweet watermelon and salty shanklish cheese, the simplicity of which is wonderful. A welcome addition to Dubai’s dining scene, Qbara brings Arabic flair in modernised measures.
Open Sat-Wed 6pm-2am, Thu-Fri 6pm-3am. Wafi, Oud Metha (04 709 2500).

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