The Shortlist

Nominated for Best Thai
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Thiptara should be one of the most romantic restaurants in Dubai. This Thai restaurant has so much going for it – not least, a prime spot on the edge of Souk Al Bahar, with one of the best views of the Dubai Fountain in town. It feels special. Staff offer a warm welcome and the atmosphere is set with dim lighting and dramatic torch fires flickering away in the twilight. But that atmosphere can be instantly smashed by the booming house-pop beats that are piped straight from the sound-system of neighbouring bar Fai. While strictly a Thai restaurant, there are daring fusions that vary in success – a Thai take on dim sum underwhelms. However, more traditional dishes such as som tam and curries are spot on – although expect to pay handsomely for them. But really it’s the peerless location and intimate vibe one forks out for – if only they’d sort that pesky music out.
Open daily 6pm-11.30pm. The Palace Downtown Dubai, Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai, (04 428 7888).

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