Time Out Dubai is the definitive voice on Dubai's best restaurants, including European. Here's a guide to the best of the world's best culinary continent.
Whether you’re looking for Spanish paella, French onion soup or flavours of the Mediterranean, the food of Europe is renowned for a very good reason. Classic cuisine and fresh flair go hand-in-hand as Time Out has found out by putting every restaurant through their paces, assessing factors including quality of food, ambience and service. Popular or relatively unknown, we’ve gone undercover to find out what you’re getting for your money at each venue.
Set in the idyllic surroundings of One&Only The Palm, reachable by boat and jutting out into the tip of the Palm's furthest reaches, 101 Dining Lounge &Bar starts spreading smiles pretty much as soon as you're strolling down the jetty to get to it. Once there, the warm and unobtrusive staff and stunning decor '“ it's like a sort of high-end floating shack with sail ceilings blowing in the wind out in front of you as you gaze into the deep blue distance '“ keep up the high standards. And then comes the food. A mix of top-drawer European, though weighted more toward the Spanish, so packed with temptation is the menu that it can be hard to choose. Thankfully, coming back to try more will most definitely be on your agenda. As a start point, however, we would most heartily recommend the octopus cooked on the josper charcoal barbeque. It is, frankly, a delight.
Elia could be classified a rare gem even if it were not for the fact it's one of just a handful of restaurants offering Greek food in Dubai. Given the quality on display here, perhaps it's as simple as any potential competitors not having the appetite for the fight. A cute, romantic, none-more-Mediterranean hideaway with friendly service and set within the bustle of the Majestic Hotel in Bur Dubai, it's an oasis of calm. The menu includes an intriguing mix of Greek classics '“ the cheese saganaki and lamb morsels being must-tries '“ and modern spins '“ such as seafood yiouvetsi '“ given a modern twist courtesy of chef Baxevanis (the Greek celebrity and proprietor). True, some diners will find a few of the dishes bordering on heavy, but our recommendation would be to get yourself onto the lovely terrace and while away a long and relaxed afternoon with shared plates among friends.
El Sur has a good atmosphere, great food and excellent service. The staff are more than happy to recommend dishes and assist should there be any allergy requirements. Recommendations will arrive in appealing fits and starts '“ a sharing platter of incredible meats here, a perfect octopus Carpaccio there, and the best garlic prawns we've had this side of San Sebastian. The steak, meanwhile, is so good that you'll want to take a picture of it.