Time Out selects ten of the best fine-dining Indian restaurants in Dubai
Fragrant spices, creamy curries and a subtle blend of flavours.
We really love Indian food at Time Out.
Scroll down to see our suggestions of ten of the best places to try it in Dubai.
The Bombay, Marco Polo Hotel: The secluded location of the Marco Polo Hotel means that The Bombay is unlikely to be crammed full of opportunistic diners. But it didn’t stop the restaurant picking up the award for the Best Indian Restaurant in Dubai at our 2008 awards. What you will find inside are people who have eaten here before and have brought their friends back. While the interior is standard for a hotel it is the food that truly makes this place stand out. The tangy tomato soup stays just the right side of eye-poppingly spicy and the famed butter chicken accompanied by the vegetable rice is absolutely bursting with flavour.
Ashiana, Sheraton Dubai Creek: Last year's winner of Time Out's Best Indian award in 2007 isn't about to let its title go without a fight. Top of the menu is the taimuri shorba, a delicious creamy swamp of lamb shank-infused soup, perfect to kick things off. The murgh Ashiana also comes highly recommended. With impeccable service and a number of highly recommended dishes, it is easy to see why Ashiana has made loud noises in the ongoing debate for the city's Indian crown.
Indego, Grosvenor House Hotel: This restaurant happens to be a favourite of Gary Rhodes. The last time Time Out spoke to the TV chef and restaurateur, he mentioned that he was a regular at Indego. There is something about the contemporary Indian cuisine that would keep anyone coming back for more. Food is presided over by Vineet Bhatia, awarded his Michelin star in 2001 – and the first Indian chef to be given one for 102 years, according to the opening page of the menu.
Options, Dubai World Trade Convention Centre: If you're looking for plush, crimson-cushioned comfort, muted atmospheric lighting and spangly flourishes, the aptly named Options would appear to be a good choice. Take your seats as the DJ bounces a few eastern vibes among the soft furnishings. The service is efficient and helpful throughout. Order the splendid murgh makhani, delicate nuggets of chicken in a creamy butter and tomato sauce that explodes with flavour.
Aangan, Dhow Palace Hotel: Booking at this restaurant is essential at the weekend, as there's rarely an empty table. Service is impeccable and you always receive a warm welcome. Make sure you order starters as well as mains; the food is too good to only indulge in one course. The tandoori jhinga is a dish of succulent tiger prawns and even the onion bhaji are impressive. You'll be equally wowed with the main courses; with the masala chicken being a safe bet for those that are after something mild.
Antique Bazaar, Four Points Sheraton: Like most bazaars, the products purveyed at this popular venue run the gamut from awe-inspiring to utterly underwhelming. Appetisers are generally a strong point here and the machli chaat exemplifies the restaurant's exacting standards in this department – tender flakes of hammour unleashing a robust blast of piquant flavour. From the mains, the Hyderabadi kheema proves that minced lamb can hold its own as a star attraction, the tender meat complemented by a rich and decadent sauce.
Dakshin, Lotus hotel: Like many Indian restaurants, the menu covers treats from all over the country and Dakshin has a wide appeal that will keep most curry lovers happy. But it is the kulcha – a Punjabi flatbread – that really steals the show. The soft butter-smothered dough is stuffed with devilled potato and onion, and is perfect to scoop up the rest of your meal. It is, simply, delicious.
Gazebo, Independent restaurant: Richly deserved kudos goes to Gazebo, which has retained its elevated status among the city's curry cabal in the face of some stern competition. The lengthy menu focuses on dishes from Lucknow and Hyderabad, two of India's most renowned culinary hotspots. The food is a cut above your standard bhuna in terms of imagination with its meaty lobster rich tawa masala and the tender lamb in the achari gosht.
Mumtaz Mahal, Arabian Courtyard: The traditional musicians here make for a welcome respite from the bhangra and Bollypop so beloved of many Indian eateries. A brief look at the menu can be daunting because it's almost as big as the portions. Starters are excellent and could easily pass as a main course – check out the murgh pakora for a calorie-laden but tasty chicken treat. The prawns in the jhinga biryani are the size of small lobsters, while the gosht khada masala is full of chunky lamb and rich spices.
Iz, Grand Hyatt: With Indian-style tapas from an ever-changing menu, Iz offers a range of tasty delicacies. The mains are a little more substantial and Iz remains a beautiful and stylish place to experience a variety of flavours, textures and cooking styles in one sitting. The tandoori items are excellent, and the salmon tikka is moist, delicate and full of subtle flavour – certainly one of our favourites.