The last year or so has seen a fair few restaurants pop up on the scene. We’ve got the details on how impressive these fresh outlets really are when pitted against each other and the older kids on the block. Time Out has visited each and every restaurant on this list, putting them through their paces and assess factors including quality of food, ambience and service. We’ve gone undercover to find out what you’re getting for your money at each venue.
Following the closure of Raffles Dubai's long-standing steakhouse Fire&Ice, this space has had a makeover and emerged as Italian restaurant and grape bar Solo Bistronomia&Vinobar.The restaurant itself is huge. A vast, cavernous, high-ceilinged, multi-functional space, all covered in exposed russet-coloured bricks. The food here is a two-tier affair '“ bar snacks (restaurant equivalents of street food) and deli classics (antipasti, charcuterie and so on) in the bar area and a wider selection of sharing plates on the restaurant menu. Broadly speaking, the menu is clearly Italian and yet far from traditional. You'll find pizza and pasta on this tight two-page list, but perhaps it will be a smoked eel and foiegras pizza.Although Dubai is awash with Italian dining, this new haunt manages to stand out as offering a menu that is creative, yet unfussy and unpretentious. Service reflects its relaxed vibe and, overall, it's an excellent new addition to the city.
The tsunami wave of modern Arabic dining in Dubai continues with the opening of Clé in DIFC, with famous Australian-Lebanese chef and cookbook author Greg Malouf at the helm. This bar and restaurant looks undeniably stylish, swanky even. Decorated overwhelmingly in black, the darkness is offset with pockets of shine. There is plenty of detail in the design, from the Chanel-esque padded leather chairs through to the gilded Kalashnikovs used as lamp stands. The menu at Clé is Middle Eastern food, lovingly couched in tradition, and creatively shaken up with new twists.
The launch of Gary Rhodes' latest restaurant concept Rhodes W1 wasa highly-anticipated new opening in Dubai in 2014. From the entrance, where a Kew Garden-esque mixture of fake grass and white butterflies covers the walls, through to the antique and bucolic-looking murals inside, Rhodes W1 creates a pretty, vintage and utterly English vision. Gary Rhodes' new menu is humble and uncomplicated to the eye, but full of perfectly put together flavours that are sometimes complex, but never confusing. A thoroughly successful move with the times, while still retaining one hundred percent of its uniquely British heart.