Dubai’s ultimate dinner and show venue, this cabaret-style restaurant set high on the 42nd floor of the Shangri-La Hotel happily ensures its food is not overshadowed by the flamboyant entertainment. The sea bream from the new Peruvian menu is charcoal-grilled and comes whole, but filleted, with a generous helping of lime as well as yucca (cassava), huancaina (creamy potatoes) and the spicy balbina sauce. Tuck into the freshly grilled fish while marvelling at the dancers and acrobats around you. Dhs240.
While Zuma’s black cod is indeed superb, the original from Nobu has made it onto this list. The restaurant, still Time Out Dubai’s Best Japanese, has plenty of amazing seafood dishes to choose from. The Chilean sea bass, marinated in teriyaki sauce, lemon, chilli and garlic is cooked on a robata grill and drizzled with a zingy chilli, ginger, lemon soy and vinegar sauce. It’s deeply flavoursome and satisfying with every bite. Dhs185.
Jason Atherton’s Dubai outpost is expertly overseen by Tristin Farmer, formerly of Pollen Street Social and Maze, and boasts a range of innovative dishes served up against the twinkling lights of Dubai Marina. Among the fish offering from the new menu is a meaty piece of cod loin, paired with coco beans, mussel vinaigrette, Amalfi lemon and samphire, for a truly fresh taste of the sea. Dhs165.
Brand new to the menu at Play, a restaurant by chef Reif Othman of Zuma fame, is the aptly named sushi dish “Fire Up”. Prettily presented spicy salmon sits atop a sushi roll with more salmon and avocado that packs quite the punch thanks to jalapeño, spicy tenkasu, spicy miso, sriracha and sliced red radish. Fans of food with a kick will be in their element: fiery by name and nature. Dhs68.
There was no way we could leave the British favourite out of this round up and we’re quite taken with the version on offer at JBR gastropub JB’s. The batter is crisp and the cod is bright white and flakes nicely. The chips are also brilliant – golden brown and crispy on the outside, white and fluffy in the middle. That it’s all served with mushy peas is frankly the icing on the cake. Dhs85.
In a menu filled with artistic and creative dishes, R Trader’s scallops still manage to stand out. Served in the shell, the diced raw scallops are marinated in miso and draped with a thin film of pink grapefruit. Not only is it visually appealing, the combination of flavours and textures make this a real triumph of gastronomy. Dhs110.
Coya is Time Out Dubai’s Restaurant of the Year for many a good reason, not least because of its fantastically fresh and superbly innovative dishes. In a menu packed full of Peruvian flavours the atún chife has to be a highlight: yellowfin tuna with soy, sesame seeds and a delicate shrimp cracker perched on top. Zingy and delicious, a winner in our eyes. Dhs62.
It’s no secret that we covet this crustacean. As we’ve mentioned before in these pages, the Grand Hyatt’s Peppercrab restaurant knocks out a cracking pepper crab. You can pick yours from the tank, choosing between different types and weights. It can be pricey (though, the waiter should tell you how much it will cost), but it is absolutely delicious. Once the dark, sticky Singaporean signature sauce is drizzled all over it, you’ll be itching to crack open the shell and get stuck in to this messy, satisfying dish. Price varies.
With Hollywood star Robert De Niro among this dishes’ biggest fans, a fish list would be incomplete without Nobu’s famous black cod. In the Japanese restaurant’s signature dish, the cod is drizzled with sweet miso and baked. The result: a sweet and plump delight. The meaty cod is tender, rich and deliciously indulgent. At Dhs220, it’s one for after pay day, but certainly worth splashing out on. Dhs220.
Despite oysters playing a starring role in the restaurant’s name (and very good they are too), we just can’t resist a cephalopod here at Time Out Dubai. The chargrilled octopus at The Maine is a real treat; the octopus is meaty, tender and not even a fraction chewy. The tasty tentacles are served on a puttanesca sauce, where the rich sweetness of tomatoes is offset by the sharpness of capers, all topped off with a sunchoke purée. Dhs85.
A list of great seafood wouldn’t be complete without Catch, which has dozens of dishes that we could have included, but we love the simplicity and vibrancy of this one. Thin slices of raw salmon are topped with mango, avocado, orange and pomegranate, and a citrusy, yuzu dressing is drizzled over and around the fish. Fresh, simple, stunning. Dhs85.
This is one of those evocative dishes that transports you somewhere else – one whiff of the salsa verde stew and you could be in San Sebastian. The sea bass has enough bite and the clams add a touch of sweetness. Alain Devahive is a master of inventive Spanish food, but with this he has kept things simple. Perfect. Dhs200.