Bistro Madeleine Situated down the hall from culinary goliath Reflets Par Pierre Gagnaire, Bistro Madeleine is a considerably cheaper – and rather less pretentious – option than its award-winning neighbour. A tiny bistro, it’s perfect for discreet dining, serving simple, but satisfying French fare. Open daily noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm. InterContinental Dubai Festival City, www.ichotelsgroup.com (04 701 1127).
More Café One of Dubai’s better known café chains, More serves up a reliable roster of international fare, with a huge menu that touches on several continents. True to its name, servings are large and wholesome, so perfect for setting yourself up for a long snack-free afternoon. Open daily 7am-7pm. Gold & Diamond Park, Al Quoz (04 323 4350).
Thyme Expect to dine on Mediterranean and Provençal fare at this Marina stalwart. With dim lighting and a rustic vibe, it might feel like the evening if you pop by at lunchtime, but that may be no bad thing. Try out the farmhouse salad and mezze starters for lighter lunchtime dining. Open daily 7am-11am, 12.30pm-3.30pm, 7pm-11pm. Oasis Beach Tower, Dubai Marina, www.thethymerestaurant.com (04 315 4200).
La Petite Maison You don’t need to have spent much time exploring Dubai’s dining scene to know that La Petite Maison is among the most-renowned restaurants in town. But despite the accolades and awards, its a restrained Gallic ambiance and a sense of privacy created by the shuttered facade and leafy entry. And we don’t need to tell you the food is sublime. Open daily noon-3pm; 7pm-11pm. DIFC (04 439 0505). Sino Chai If you’re looking for a healthier daytime dining option, we recommend Sino Chai. And billed as ‘Dubai’s only Taiwanese restaurant’, it might also give you a pleasant surprise or two. Designed to look like an authentic Far Eastern tea shop, half the room is a boutique selling ornate tea sets and tins, with the other half the cosy dining space. Expect dumplings and all manner of exotic delicacies. Open Tue-Sun 11.30am-4pm, 6.30pm-10pm. Building 27, Healthcare City, Oud Metha (04 435 5650). The Burger Joint If you’re in the need of some hearty American-inspired indulgence, this filling, no-frills fast food joint may be the spot for you. Despite sharing space at Atlantis with high-end eateries like Ronda Locatelli and Nobu, The Burger Joint is very small and surprisingly basic, but boy does it grill a good burger. Open Sat-Wed 11am-10pm; Thu-Fri 11am-11pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).
Sushi Counter Tucked round two corners, behind an Arabic restaurant in a Media City office block, Sushi Counter has always been the place for diplomatic dining and tactful business lunches. Serving up Japanese fare, prepared with a modern urban twist, it has a large sushi counter with legions of staff to prepare your food fresh. Well worth a visit. Open daily 11am-midnight. CNBC Food Court, Dubai Media City (04 375 1096).
Wox Small, fast, and with a spacious and stylish open plan layout, Wox is the perfect spot for some solo dining. And tastefully set around the back of the Grand Hyatt, it’s an ideal place to slip into for a quick bite between business meetings. Said bite will be drawn from the extensive menu of South Asian dishes – we’d recommend some fried noodles, artfully cooked live in front of you at the central cooking station. Open daily noon-11.30pm. Grand Hyatt Dubai, Oud Metha (04 317 2222). Hofbräuhaus For some hearty European fair, this cheery and twee German eatery is just the ticket. Expect to indulge in all manner of tradition Teutonic meat staples, plus sauerkraut. You’ll be dining amongst cheery staff and Euro nik-naks, which create a relaxed pool hall-like vibe. Open daily 9am-midnight. JW Marriott Dubai, Deira, www.marriottdiningatjw.ae (04 607 7977).
Asha’s We’d rate Asha’s among the best Indian restaurants in town, with elegant modern decor, efficient and friendly staff and fantastic food. Nestled around a corner if Wafi’s pyramids, it’s a quiet spot to slip into – we recommend the expertly grilled kebabs. Open daily 12.30pm-3pm, 7.30pm-midnight. Wafi, Oud Metha, www.wafi.com (04 324 4100).