The Shortlist

Thiptara, The Palace Downtown Dubai
Nominated for Best Romantic
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Overlooking the Dubai Fountain and the sparkling lights of the Burj Khalifa, with gentle amber lighting and softly-spoken staff, The Palace hotel’s Thai eatery certainly has all the ingredients of a romantic restaurant. Seating on the terrace gets popular during cooler months and the setting is delightfully relaxing and quiet. While service can be a little halting, with drinks and later parts of the meal arriving at different intervals, the menu is at least what you would expect from one of the swankier Far Eastern restaurants in town. Sadly, there’s little on the menu to suit vegetarians, though the kitchen is happy to rustle up a quick vegetable pad Thai or stir-fry, even if it is curiously reluctant to offer a tofu option. Overall, there’s the distinct impression the restaurant is banking on its location just a little too heavily, so while Thiptara no doubt shines, it seems to have lost a little of its sparkle.
Open daily 7pm-11.30pm. The Palace, Downtown Dubai (04 888 3444).

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