Time Out Dubai guide to Business Bay restaurants; best places to eat in Business Bay by price and cuisine, with reviews, contact info, hours and deals.
Nestled next to Downtown Dubai and home to the highest hotel in the world (JW Marriott Marquis), and a smattering of interesting dining spots is Business Bay. Bay Avenue, which runs along the cluster of Executive Towers, has got the makings of an inner-city JBR and families flock here on the weekends and evenings to enjoy the outdoors and catch a meal on the walk. Known for its elegant rooftop venues and being a hub for suits and midweek sippers, expect sleek décor and plenty of cool factor in many of these outlets.
Canvas is a new initiative by Marriott hotels. It takes restaurant spaces that are not working and gives them to new, young upstart entrepreneurs who, along with a load of ideas and US$50,000 (Dhs183,650), can take the space to start something completely new. Garden, the Peruvian restaurant at JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, is one of these Canvas projects. Occupying the place where Nawwara once stood, Peruvian chef Edgar Hurtado, who previously worked at The Act Dubai, has taken over.
We’ll forgive Garden for not yet having a sign above the door, because once inside, you’ll find one of Dubai’s hottest-looking new haunts. It feels fun, fresh and young. It looks edgy and organic, just like a start-up project by a young entrepreneur should. The walls are adorned with ethnic Peruvian art, but in colourful cartoon style interposed with collages of newspaper. Plants hang from every imaginable space (just like an urban garden) and a water feature flows down the middle of the dining room. Attractive as it all is, there’s still a low-budget, re-claimed and recycled feel, and that is a huge part of its charm.
What can we say about the service here? Just that it was uniformly excellent. All staff were friendly, waiting staff have an excellent knowledge of the menu that’s engaging and natural, rather than running off a mental list learnt by heart. Every request we made was met. Our guest didn’t have a phone charger. Neither did Garden, apparently, but they eventually found the right one. What’s more, staff seem to be having fun and excited about this project. And that enthusiasm translated to the dining experience, too.
The menu is short and sweet; two pages covering every expected and hoped-for Peruvian note: plenty of ceviches and tiraditos, plus causas, quinotta, various Peruvian mixed drinks (including exotic-sounding home-made infusions) and more. Without exception, the food looked great, and tasted just as good. The fried calamari was the best we’ve tasted in Dubai, keeping a beautiful natural creaminess, retaining all the squid’s fresh taste and texture and teamed with crisp and crunchy batter. Rather cutely and cleverly, the classic ceviche was served with tiny little serving bowls, which (our waiter explained) would allow guests to enjoy the full ceviche experience along with the leche de tigre. The dish was vibrant and dynamic, with sharp, sour, spicy punches to it, plump chunks of sea bream, a hefty crunch from roasted corn and a few chunks of perfect sweet potato tempura. The Nikkei tiradito was an impressively neat and uniform row of delicate tuna slices, perfectly juicy and raw in the centre, and ever so very slightly seared on the outside. The trio of causa (cold Peruvian potato cakes) was perhaps the greatest delight. These fat little patties of potato looked colourful and dramatic, tasted cleanly and distinctly of the aji Amarillo chilli that gives it its unique yellow colour, and were each topped with perfectly prepared and diverse toppings of prawn, salmon, and octopus, each clean, clear and powerful in flavour. Of the main courses, the costillas de cordero lamb chops were a little too well done for our liking, but still moist and doused in a tongue-tinglingly spicy marinade that livened up the plate. The Patagonian toothfish won this round, however, with its wonderfully firm flaked and meaty texture combined with a bright and fruity medley of sweet potato and honey.
Serving, setting and price all make Garden the sort of young, fun and accessible venue that we can happily imagine spending our own time and money in. The food is utterly Peruvian, delicious and put together with elegance and fine dining know-how that makes this easily the best Peruvain menu we’ve sampled in Dubai. There are still quite a few new Peruvian openings to come. But for the meantime, between the cartoon walls and the calamari, this is easily the best in town.
The bill (for two) 1x classic ceviche Dhs50 1x tuna tiradito Dhs60 1x causa trio Dhs65 1x fried calamari Dhs45 1x Patagonian toothfish Dhs110 1x lamb chop Dhs115 1x quinotto Dhs45 1x large water Dhs30 2x espresso Dhs50 Total (including service) Dhs570
So great is the elaborate sense of occasion that Tong Thai presents, a first time diner is left almost expecting disappointment. Arriving at the venue, you're warmly welcomed and ushered down a long, ornate corridor. Seemingly endless, one suddenly emerges in the dining space, which is equally beautiful with two towering walls reaching to the sky and dramatic ceiling-high windows offering glistening views of the Business Bay neighbourhood. At this point, the food is under such a weight of scrutiny, that you can’t see anything but an impending slip-up. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen. The food is authentic but inventive; classics like Tom Yum have been perfected but don't bore, salads burst with fresh taste, while both the curries and stir fries pack depth and flavour. Service is faultlessly friendly. Moreover for this standard, prices aren't extortionate, portions are ample and white rice is provided free of charge. As a package, Tong Thai is hard to beat.
Up on the roof of The Oberoi Dubai, Iris is an undoubtedly trendy place. And being up high, it offers fantastic views of Downtown. But it’s not all about that view here. The decor is impressive, with lots of wood, glass and greenery throughout to give the bar a light and airy feel. It creates a vibrant atmosphere, and is often bustling. When it comes to the food, you’ll find the usual bar options elevated a notch or two, sprinkled with some high-end ingredients. It’s all tasty, but the prices may surprise you considering the portion sizes. Take a seat on the terrace, order a drink and a bite to eat, and you’ve got yourself a good night out here.
This gastropub is one of the better places in the city to enjoy some sports, drinks and laughs with friends. It’s not pretentious, the staff are good and it's a well decked-out venue. It's also a very good place for food, with great bar snacks such as truffled chips, onion rings and soft shell crab on offer for those who don't want to fill up too much. If you want a more substantial meal, we can recommend gnocchi with mushrooms spinach and truffle, and the wagyu burger. Being in an Indian hotel chain also means they turn their hand to a mean curry. Keep an eye out for the specials board, which often has platters of Thai snacks or cheese boards, perfect for enjoying with pals. The pub is a place that doesn't take itself too seriously, and while the food certainly isn't fine dining, the kitchen clearly realises the importance of its role.
Sleek and minimal, the decor of Ananta is a world away from most Indian restaurants. It can sometimes be a bit quiet here, which detracts somewhat from the atmosphere. Thankfully, though, the staff more than compensate for this with their attentive and friendly service. All of the staff know when to approach the table, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the fantastic food without disruption. At Ananta, you’ll find beautifully presented dishes, created using some serious chef skills. The menu isn’t overwhelming, and the five-course tasting menu, with extra amuse-bouche and palate cleansers, is a brilliant way to explore what’s on offer, and good value. You'll get a combination of dumplings in yoghurt and mint, fois gras and tandoori chicken, wagyu beef with biryani, tandoori prawns, and chocolate dosa and deep fried kulfi to finish. It is all fantastic with each dish expertly thought out and presented. For an upmarket, smart meal, you’ll be hard-pressed to find better.
Located inside the JW Marriott Marquis, Italian restaurant Positano takes its name from the famous holiday destination on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. Decorated in clean, modern style, with white-washed bricks and dark furniture, this large, but long and thin restaurant space feels slightly awkward and lacking in ambience. Despite the restaurant’s tagline ‘coastal Italian’, seafood and fish are surprisingly not dominant anywhere on the menu. Pasta, however, seems to be something of a signature. You’ll also find pretty classic antipasti starters, pizza and a very small list of fish and meat main courses.
It is inoffensive, not particularly expensive, and some dishes are really quite good. However, the setting, service and overall quality of the menu don’t have any standout charm of their own (let alone in conjunction) to make us excited at the prospect of a return.
Looking at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai on Sheikh Zayed Road, you might expect rather a lot from the outlets within the city’s tallest hotel – not least in the views department. While venues such as Prime 68 and Vault deliver, Japanese restaurant Izakaya is one of the ones that doesn’t fare as well. Though the staff in particular are friendly, welcoming and enormously helpful (and count a fortune-telling, green-haired character called Wasabi among their number), it doesn’t quite lessen the disappointment at enjoying a meal from an essentially windowless room, particularly in such prime real estate. Take heart, then, that the food is not bad – the seaweed salad is fresh, tangy and full of different varieties and textures. From the robata, the kusi yaki wagyu beef skewer (soft, juicy and beautifully seasoned) with spicy tomato salsa is not to be missed, while the lobster tempura is certainly a rare treat – though perhaps not as flavoursome as it could be. Izakaya offers a perfectly decent night out – if not all the pizzazz of its neighbours.
Once you’ve found The St. Regis, probably after explaining multiple times to your taxi driver or carefully navigating still-under-construction routes, you’ll be rewarded by dining at one of the best steakhouses in town.
It’s new, so yes, that does mean a few missteps along the way, but the food coming from its kitchen is difficult to fault.
From the excellent cuts of meat to the daintier sides and seafood dishes, you won’t leave here disappointed.
While the restaurant is located in the incredibly grand St. Regis, it exudes a more relaxed vibe, thanks to the dark wood décor, low lighting and chilled-out jazz music playing in the background. The staff, too, provide a warm welcome while offering plenty of insight on the menu.
Upon arriving, you’ll be shown around the dining room to take in the stylish bar area and the cabinets displaying the various cuts of meat. When it comes to taking a seat, there are plenty of secluded corners for a romantic evening, or you can opt for the grander long tables. Unfortunately, the view from the windows isn’t Dubai’s best, due to the ongoing construction work, but these distractions will soon be forgotten when the food starts to arrive.
To get a more rounded sense of what this restaurant is about, you won’t regret choosing the five-course tasting menu. To begin, the tuna tartare with avocado is light and fresh, with a slight kick from the spicy radish and ginger marinade. A small helping of seared foie gras is perfectly paired with apple purée, while the roasted Atlantic black cod is a generous chunk of flesh with a rich miso-yuzu glaze. And don’t overlook the steaks, either, with the Queensland sirloin a tender and pleasantly fatty cut of meat. The rich and indulgent warm chocolate cake is the perfect way to finish.
Don’t be put off by the slightly inconvenient location, this is a steakhouse worth seeking out.
The Bill (for two) 1x tasting menu Dhs395 1x latte Dhs30 2x small water Dhs50
The bottom line J&G is a sophisticated steakhouse with a menu offering excellent variety.
Perched up on the 68th floor of the JW Marriott Marquis, stunning views are almost guaranteed if dining at this boutique steakhouse. It goes without saying that you need to book well in advance to secure a window seat, but even if you end up away from the view, the experience is still an impressive one. Light tones of cream and white make the restaurant a pleasant place to be, and despite its high-end credentials, it doesn’t feel stuffy. The cheerful staff help maintain this atmosphere through their friendly and helpful manner, while not being overbearing. Hungry diners will enjoy Prime 68’s hefty steaks, including the 12-ounce New York strip. There are plenty of options to customise steaks here, with an array of sauces and butters – featuring indulgent ingredients such as truffle – as well add-ons including lobster and meat rubs. With such breath-taking views and pleasant setting, it’s pleasing that the food fits the surroundings.
Celebrity chef Atul Kochhar has nailed Indian fine-dining at this stylish eatery. The dark room, with low orange lighting, is very romantic. Huge carved wooden pillars break up the space, making it feel more intimate than you would expect. Service is also fantastic, with staff on hand to offer recommendations and explain the menu, which is an exciting mix of familiar dishes, created with flair and high-end ingredients. The starter of soft shell crab, which comes with a salad of crab meat, micro greens and passion fruit is fantastic, as are the Scottish ‘Lassooni’ scallops with garlic and cauliflower. The spices are subtle enough to add flavour, but not overwhelm, the delicate seafood. Main courses are just as decadent and tasty, the butter-tossed lobster in ‘Malai’ curry, with a mustard and coconut sauce is heavenly. The lamb khada masala, meanwhile, is a more earthy, traditional curry, but on another level to what you’d normally get. Rang Mahal is a classy restaurant serving impeccable Indian food.