If you're looking for food in Dubai's trendy beachside neighbourhood Time Out has 10 ideas for places to dine
The beachside community of Jumeirah is still one of Dubai’s most exclusive locations. It is certainly a Time Out favourite.
The long stretch of Jumeirah Beach Road is home to excellent hotels, several beaches and even a zoo. It is one of the places in Dubai where tourists, expatriate residents and UAE nationals mingle and a street culture can be witnessed.
From sharwarmas to seven star steaks you can also find the complete spectrum of Dubai restaurant somewhere in Jumeirah. Time Out selects ten of Jumeirah’s best restaurants. Perhaps not the ten best, but ten you should try while you are in Dubai. Each offering a different experience. Have we missed out your favourite? Leave a comment and suggest the best.
Al Iljaza Café: Drive towards Umm Suqeim on Jumeirah Beach Road, past Choithram and Town Centre, and you’ll find the Al Ijaza Cafeteria, where a straightforward chicken sausage sandwich is no problem for the cheerful staff, but further exploration of the menu will reap dividends – we recommend asking for the cheese and honey filling for your sandwich. It sounds strange, yes, but is weirdly enjoyable. Should you wish to take the whole surreal experience to the next level, there’s a fridge full of luminous pickle accompaniment available to slather on your burger.
Chalet: Enter Chalet and you’re immediately in a surreal world of kooky cartoon-style decor, bright lights, eccentric tables (well, toadstool-shaped) and giant strawberries. Lest you run away with the notion that Chalet only serves mosses, bilberries and lichens, rest assured; the menu is packed with grills, seafood, and pasta, most of which romp in firmly under the Dhs25 mark.
Maria Bonita’s Taco Shop: After several years selling the city’s only really authentic Mexican food, the independently run taco joint has achieved a homely, comfortable feel that few chain outlets could ever hope to match. It’s still a pleasure to sit and feast on the fat shrimp burritos, or wash down the excellent fajitas with a glass of horchata (a rice milk and cinnamon drink). Both come with a side serving of Mexican rice, refried beans, guacamole and salsa, and the quality rarely fluctuates.
Almaz by Momo: After struggling to locate and remove the last fibres of meat from the stupendously tender lamb shoulder, you may try your hardest to work out what’s wrong. The food is generously portioned and reasonably priced, the decor is tasteful and atmospheric, and the service is friendly and welcoming. So where are the miniscule helpings of overpriced finger food? Where are the arrogant waiters? And where are the ostentatious, glitzy kings of bling? Then you realise what’s wrong; it’s the end of your meal. You’ll surely raise a glass to toast the brilliant Almaz by Momo.
The Noodle House: Why is there always a queue to get into this place? The Noodle House creates perfectly glassy crystal shrimp dumplings and sweet and doughy chicken siew mai that would be the envy of a Hong Kong street café. Rarer still are restaurants that successfully serve several types of Asian food well.
Sammach: This is a Lebanese restaurant with an emphasis on seafood. Start with some mezze in the form of creamy baba ganoush, a dense and zesty tabbouleh, perhaps skip the slightly soggy hot potato chunks. Unlike other, swankier Jumeirah counterparts, the casual atmosphere at Sammach means you can get stuck in until you’re elbows-deep in prawn shells and nobody will bat an eyelid. The only problem with such a relaxed vibe is that it sometimes rubs off on the waiting staff – attempting to order dessert is like trying to land a two-metre marlin.
Blow the budget
Al Mahara: A trip to Al Mahara at the iconic Burj Al Arab begins with a ride in a submarine. Of sorts. The real action, however, begins when the fairground submersible grinds to a halt and you enter the main restaurant. The huge aquarium, The Oval, around which the dining tables are arranged, is truly jaw-dropping, with all kinds of marine life – including eels and blacktip reef sharks – darting about and throwing you wide-eyed stares.
La Parilla: Perched high above the all-encompassing world of Jumeirah hotels, on the 25th floor, sits La Parrilla, Jumeirah Beach Hotel’s Argentinean steakhouse. You’ll have to sit through a loud and distracting song and dance show when you dine here, but this steak is worth the headache. All it takes is one extraordinary steak; a steak so peculiarly tender, so scandalously succulent and particularly flavoursome you’ll redefine your standards.
Tang: Tang makes you think from the very start. Is it an example of culinary genius or unnecessarily pompous? Whatever your conclusions, Tang is a bewitching science experiment – the lovechild of Heston Blumenthal and Tim Burton. A real novelty, but one worth experiencing, and the taster menu is the way to go, as you can sample a good chunk of the menu for the same price as a couple of full-portion dishes.
Zheng He’s: If you haven’t been for dinner at Zheng He’s yet, then make it a priority to do so. The sooner you do, the sooner you can get stuck into prawn and caviar or squid ink dumplings. The Beijing duck is also a classic – the meat tender and not too dry. But if you want to venture away from duck, try the beef tenderloin with wild mushrooms, which is another spectacular choice. The scallops with black truffle and white asparagus main are excellent too, and if ordering should be paired with the sautéed French beans with garlic and dried prawns.