Don’t just book any restaurant – book one of Dubai’s best restaurants. Here are the 65 best restaurants in town
Time Out Dubai staff
Every year we scour the city to bring you the unparalleled dining experiences it has to offer, and every year we continue to be utterly impressed. We review more than 500 restaurants, bars, cafés, pubs, afternoon teas, brunches and breakfasts that make up our ever-evolving, constantly improving restaurant scene. We visit anonymously and pay for our meals, so we get the same experience as any other guest, allowing us to bring you the very best establishments and dining experiences that Dubai has to offer.
What follows are the 65 venues that outshone all of the others we experienced – the winners of our 12th annual Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards.
Winner PLAY Restaurant & Lounge This restaurant has pushed the boundaries since opening and continues to refresh its menu with new and interesting takes on Asian food. It’s fusion in the most creative and successful way possible. There isn’t a bad dish to be had. Open daily 6pm-3am. The H Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 336 4444).
Highly commended China Grill You get top-class food in generous portions. The interiors are stylish and it has a beautiful terrace. Try the dim sum. Open Sat-Mon, Wed-Thu 7pm-1am; Tue 6.30pm-1am; Fri 8pm-1am. The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street (04 511 7333).
Novikov Not sure what “swanky” means? Step inside Novikov and take a look around. It serves an indulgent, exquisite take on pan-Asian food. Open Sun-Thu noon-3pm, 6pm-3am; Fri-Sat noon-3am. Sheraton Grand Hotel, Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 388 8744).
Winner Royal China The smart DIFC spot has moody décor, is stylish and atmospheric, and has an impressive terrace for outdoor dining. The ceremony surrounding Chinese food is preserved here, and the cuisine is allowed to shine with traditional dishes as well as some innovative touches. It’s also good value considering the quality. Open daily 11.30am-1am. Gate Precinct Building 4, DIFC (04 354 5543).
Highly commended Hakkasan An absolutely excellent restaurant, with stylish design and some wonderful cooking. It’s pricey, but the food is very good. The dim sum platter is superb, as are the frequent set menus for Chinese celebrations. Open daily 7pm-2am; Fri noon-4pm. Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 384 8484).
Zheng He’s An old-school choice, perhaps, but a revamp gave this old favourite a new lease of life. With top-quality dim sum and a kitchen that certainly knows its way around a Peking duck, Zheng He’s made quite the impression on us this year. Open daily 6.30pm-11pm; Fri-Sat noon-3pm. Mina A’Salam, Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 432 3232).
This is a restaurant that continues to improve and innovate. With one of the world’s leading chefs, Jason Atherton, behind the scenes and a cracking team led by Tristin Farmer here in Dubai, Marina Social has serious pedigree. It’s the kind of place you can go to with your mates, on a date or with your family. The food is playful, nostalgic and executed perfectly. We’ve never had a bad experience here. Open daily 7pm-midnight; Fri 12.30pm-3.30pm. InterContinental Dubai Marina (04 446 6664).
Highly commended BOCA Last year’s winner is still going strong, and is definitely one of the best value venues in DIFC. The Mediterranean menu of tapas-style sharing plates offers a mouth-watering array of flavours and textures. And dishes are revamped seasonally. Open daily noon-1am. Gate Village 6, DIFC (04 323 1833). La Cantine du Faubourg This restaurant began life in Paris, but its menu travels all over Europe. It’s a light, open dining room and terrace that really comes alive at night. Dishes are also light, which is a good thing, because you’ll probably want to try loads of them. Open Sun-Fri noon-2am; Sat noon-5pm, 7pm-2am. Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 352 7105).
Year after year Dubai sees new restaurants come and go, but one thing never changes – the quality of food and service at La Petite Maison. It’s right up there with the best in Dubai and the list of dishes that we love goes on and on (burrata, lamb cutlets, grilled tiger prawns…). Open daily noon-3.30pm, 7pm-11.30pm. Gate Village 8, DIFC (04 439 0505).
Highly commended Bistro des Arts This quaint eatery has all the hallmarks of a Parisian bistro, with food to match. It’s open all day and serves hearty breakfasts as well as more continental options. It has a homely brunch, too. The food is cracking, but we love the overall vibe more than anything. Open daily 7.30am-11pm. Dubai Marina Promenade (04 551 1576).
Bistrot Bagatelle A vibrant, arty party atmosphere awaits. The dishes are rich and indulgent (see the foie gras sliders for proof) and the experience is one we love. Get dressed up and head down later in the evening to make the most of it. Open daily 8pm-2am. Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 354 5035).
It has been busy every single time we’ve been in, no matter what day of the week or time of evening – so Trèsind must be doing something right. Well, we reckon its doing a lot of things right. Flavours are incredible, creativity is off the chart and the fun-factor here is high. Done right, it’s an experience that will take you a few hours, but you’ll need that time to take it all in. Molecular gastronomy done with passion and flair. Brilliant. Open daily noon-3.30pm, 6.30pm-11.30pm. Nassima Royal Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 308 0440).
Highly commended Armani/Amal It doesn’t get more stylish than eating in the Armani hotel, and this is a very fine-dining Indian restaurant. Be sure to book a table on the terrace and watch The Dubai Fountain dance. We recommend trying the degustation menu for a good-value way to explore the chef’s skills. Open daily 7pm-11.30pm. Armani Hotel Dubai, Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai (04 437 1669).
Rang Mahal by Atul Kochhar A former winner, this restaurant has real pedigree, and with the Michelin-starred Atul Kochhar at the helm, the standards are incredibly high. We also love the moody dining room, staff and the creativity of the kitchen. Open daily 6pm-11.30pm. JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, Business Bay (04 414 3000).
DIFC, it seems, has the Italian category locked down. Just over the road from Gate Village, in Burj Daman, is this stunner. It’s no exaggeration to say that the food here is some of the very best we’ve tasted in the city this year. The menu is simple, elegant and tasteful. Much like the restaurant as a whole. Open Sun-Thu noon-3.15pm, daily 7-11.30pm. Burj Daman, DIFC (04 338 8133).
Highly commended Roberto’s A restaurant that gets better with age. The service is exemplary, the dining room is a lovely place to enjoy a meal and the cooking is simple and elegant. Open Sat-Wed noon-2am; Thu-Fri noon-3am. Gate Village 1, DIFC (04 386 0066).
Cipriani Dubai With a culinary legacy stretching back decades, Cipriani is a brand that knows exactly what it’s doing. And it turns out that is serving proper Italian dishes, with the emphasis on flavours and ingredients and doing it in a buzzing setting. Excellent. Open daily noon-midnight. Gate Village 10, DIFC (04 347 0003).
We’ve written about Zuma many times and been lucky enough to eat in it regularly, but we can still wax lyrical about its many merits. Another restaurant that never wavers or has a dip in form. The food, cooking, service and atmosphere are all, always, brilliant. Open Sun-Thu noon-3.30pm; Fri-Sat 12.30pm-4pm; Sat-Wed 7pm-midnight; Thu-Fri 7pm-1am. Gate Village 6, DIFC (04 425 5660).
Highly commended Armani/Hashi Okay, it’s pricey, but Japanese food uses some of the most expensive produce on earth. And by the time the chefs at Armani/Hashi have worked wonders with it, you won’t care about the cost at all. From teppanyaki to sushi, sashimi and robatayaki, it’s all outstanding. Open daily 7pm-11pm. Armani Hotel Dubai, Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai (04 453 5236).
Nobu The Dubai restaurant from an undisputed master of his craft is an experience of its own. Expertly crafted sushi, incredibly fresh seafood and the original black cod… It’s all here. Open Sat-Wed 7pm-11.30pm; Thu-Fri 7pm-12.30am. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).
Another restaurant that can battle it out with the best in the city. In this category it comes out on top, thanks to its sense of occasion, artistic interiors, vibe and wonderful dishes. COYA takes Peruvian food and does amazing things with it, from ceviches and tiraditos to anticuchos skewers and Josper-grilled lobster. Our Restaurant of the Year in 2016 is still firing on all cylinders. Open daily 12.30pm-3.30pm; Sat-Tue 7pm-11.30pm; Wed-Fri 7pm-midnight. Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 316 9600).
Highly commended Asado A restaurant with an open grill at the centre of it is always going to win us over. What comes off it (and from the regular kitchen) is great. If you like meat with a view of the Burj Khalifa, this place is for you. Open daily 6.30pm-11.30pm. The Palace Downtown Dubai (04 428 7888).
INKA Another restaurant with a view of the Burj Khalifa, this time from high up in the Sofitel Dubai Downtown, and from a romantic, dimly-lit dining room. The food here is Peruvian and it’s done very well indeed, standing out from (almost all of) the crowd in Dubai. Open Sun-Wed 6pm-2am; Thu-Sat 6pm-3am. Sofitel Dubai Downtown (04 346 9295).
A luxurious Lebanese dining establishment, Al Nafoorah is a culinary gem that outshines all of its regional peers. The menu is full of authentic flavours and dishes executed perfectly and with flair – just try the lamb chops, mixed grill and creamy hummus, and you’ll know exactly what we mean. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to Lebanese food, but this is a restaurant that does it better than anyone else in the city. Open daily noon-3.30pm, 6pm-11.30pm. Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 319 8760).
Highly commended Al Falamanki A newcomer to the awards, this casual venue on Jumeirah Beach Road has a homely, relaxed vibe, with an outdoor terrace for shisha, plenty of games to help people pass the time and good, honest Lebanese food. The saj options are particularly good. Open daily 10am-5am. Jumeirah Beach Road, opposite Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach (04 453 5271).
Em Sherif This vibrantly decorated spot under the shadow of The Address Downtown Dubai is a real hit. Of an evening, you’ll be a fed a set menu, and you’ll want to go hungry, such is the amount of mezze, grills and bread you’ll be served. There’s a late afternoon à la carte menu for those who can’t stomach the full shebang, and it’s routinely excellent, too. Open daily noon-midnight. Under The Address Downtown Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard (04 424 3000).
Opened with the mission of putting Emirati food back on the culinary map, Aseelah takes the ingredients and recipes of the UAE’s forefathers and turns them into stylish, modern dishes. An absolute triumph from chef Uwe Micheel who spent years researching the subject before perfecting everything that would end up on the menu. Open daily 12.30pm-4pm, 6.30pm-11.15pm. Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek (04 205 7033).
Highly commended Nusr-Et In the past month, Nusr-Et has been on the lips of almost everyone in the world, such was the impact of #saltbae’s viral videos. What hasn’t been discussed that much is that the food on offer at the Turkish steakhouse is absolutely blinding. Open daily noon-midnight. Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 407 4100).
Tagine This restaurant has perhaps flown under the radar in recent years, but the venue is a great place to sample Moroccan food. The décor is somewhat palatial, the slow-cooked stews are lovely and the ambiance is excellent. Open daily 7pm-11.30pm. One&Only Royal Mirage, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street (04 399 9999).
A Canadian bar that showed us there was more to the cuisine than poutine. Amazing views, a stonking soundtrack and high-end comfort food won us over. We love the Southern-fried chicken, lamb ribs and burgers, but is it wrong we keep going back for the onion rings? Open daily 6pm-2am; Sun-Thu 11.30am-3pm; Sat noon-4pm; JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, Business Bay (04 560 1700).
Highly commended Burger & Lobster While the restaurant originated in the UK, the dishes it serves (burgers and lobsters, surprisingly) are firmly rooted in America. Since opening, it has expanded the menu to include some incredible creations such as The Beast (a burger topped with Brie and lobster tail, accompanied by lobster claws). The vibe is funky and the food is fun. Open Sun-Thu noon-midnight; Fri-Sat noon-2am. Burj Daman, DIFC (04 514 8838). The Hide Another restaurant that really looks the part, The Hide continues to serve top-quality meat dishes with panache. We’re suckers for the beef tartare and the mighty manwich. Open Sat-Thu 6pm-midnight; Fri 7pm-midnight. Jumeirah Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 432 3232).
With an idyllic setting sitting over the waters of Burj Lake, this restaurant seems to exist in an ecosystem all of its own. You’ll be transported far from the hustle of the city (but you can still see The Dubai Fountain, if you like) and presented with the fragrant, fresh and light tastes of Thailand. Open daily 6pm-11.30pm. The Palace Downtown Dubai (04 428 7888).
Highly commended Pai Thai Residents of Dubai can sometimes be put off by places that are seemingly for tourists. If you think this about Pai Thai, don’t be. Take the boat trip and check it out. You won’t be sorry. Open daily 6.30pm-11.30pm; Fri-Sat 12.30pm-3pm. Jumeirah Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 432 3232).
Tong Thai Amazing interiors and an enchanting vibe aside, this restaurant serves extremely good Thai food. The panang tiger prawn curry takes some beating. Open Mon 6pm-2am; Tue-Sun 6pm-midnight. JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, Business Bay (04 414 3000).
Combining rich Arabian hospitality and surroundings with a quintessentially English pastime just works. And Al Bayt pulls it off better than anyone else. Everything you’re served looks so pretty it’s almost a crime to eat it, but once you take a bite you’ll be glad you did. Delicious and a real treat. Served Sun-Tue and Thu noon-6pm. The Palace Downtown Dubai (04 428 7981).
Highly commended At.mosphere Lounge If it’s views that you’re after, high tea here ticks the box. Enjoy an exquisite selection of cakes, sweets and sandwiches from the 122nd floor of the world’s tallest building. Served daily noon-4.30pm. Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai (04 888 3828).
La Farine This kitchen really know its way around sweet things, and with its own tea brand, Tchaba, it puts emphasis on all aspects of the occasion. Served daily 3pm-6pm. JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, Business Bay (04 414 3000).
Winner Lock, Stock & Barrel The bar is perfect for live music and watching sports and the kitchen knows exactly what kind of food is needed for such an occasion. The wings are lip-smacking, the burgers are bursting with interesting toppings and delicious meat, and the flatbreads are amazing – try the one-metre version between a group, you won’t regret it. Open Mon-Thu 4pm-3am; Fri-Sun 2pm-3am. Grand Millennium Dubai, Barsha Heights (04 514 9195).
Highly commended Brunswick Sports Club Any venue from Tom and Serg will hit a certain standard, and this industrial-feel sports bar is no different. Top-notch burgers, nachos, hot dogs and more. Open daily noon-2am. Sheraton Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha (056 404 0685).
Iris Dubai You get stunning views across Business Bay towards the Burj Khalifa from this stylish terrace bar. We can’t get enough of the fresh, perfectly portioned and presented raw dishes, especially the sashimi. Open Sat-Thu 5pm-3am; Fri 1pm-3am. The Oberoi Dubai, Business Bay (056 951 1442).
This restaurant is something of an old favourite of ours, having won Best Café two years in a row in 2013 and 2014. We keep returning to it, though. Not just for the great views of The Dubai Fountain and friendly staff, but for the amazing baking and what is hands-down the best shakshuka in town. Open daily 8am-11pm. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 425 2240).
Highly commended Common Grounds In a city that loves avocado on sourdough toast, the version served here is our pick of the lot. If açaí bowls are more your thing, there’s a brilliant one here, too. Open daily 8am-2am. Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha (050 478 1094).
The Surf Café Super coffee, a bunch of amazing açaí bowls, pancakes, bagels and more, in a lovely spot with cracking staff and an emphasis on eating healthily. We’re big fans. Open daily 8am-midnight. Jumeirah Beach Road, Umm Suqeim (04 346 6292).
A multiple award winner, this restaurant gets it perfect pretty much all of the time, and brunch is no different. The quality of what is on offer is staggering. From super-fresh sashimi to perfectly grilled wagyu rib and street food skewers to delicious dim sum, the buffet showcases an abundance of amazing produce and cooking. And you get a main course on top of that. Just flawless. Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Gate Village 6, DIFC (04 425 5660).
Highly commended COYA A brilliant party atmosphere, a stylish crowd and the chance to eat pretty much everything on the menu. Buffet, à la carte, dishes created at your table – this brunch has it all, and it’s all very good. Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Restaurant Village, Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 316 9600).
Traiteur A brunch in the sprawling buffet sense, and few in Dubai can match up to the standards here. A barbecue just for lobsters, the best oysters we’ve had, an open kitchen that you can walk around and choose your produce. An exemplary offering. Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira (04 317 2222).
Winner Café Isan A warm welcome is always guaranteed at this Thai spot specialising in cuisine from the North East of the country. The menu is filled with familiar and some not-so-familiar sights, and it all comes in at extremely good value. Open daily noon-11pm. Cluster M, JLT (04 513 5289).
Highly commended Ayubowan A slice of Sri Lanka right here in Dubai. For those who like their curries spicy, their rice red and their fried eggs served in hoppers, it’s all packed with flavour and comes in comfortably under Dhs100 for two. Open daily 8am-11pm. Cluster N, JLT (056 253 5455).
Raju Omlet Where it seems everyone goes for their egg fix of a weekend. No matter what time you arrive you’ll probably have a wait on your hands, but worry not – it’s worth it. Eggs in all their Indian forms are here. And are very cheep (sorry). Open daily 8am-11.30pm. Al Quoz (04 388 3355).
This café has continued to go from strength to strength since opening and is a great place for families, friends and couples at any time of the day. It’s another venue that is constantly updating what it offers to stay ahead of the curve, though the brilliance of the cakes will always remain. Open Mon-Sat 8am-9pm; Fri 8pm-5pm. Al Manara, off Sheikh Zayed Road (04 336 8056).
Highly commended Baker & Spice Yes, Baker & Spice is back again. As well as turning out brilliant breakfasts, it also does some very impressive meals throughout the day. There’s Middle Eastern inspiration brought to Western dishes and it’s all really, really good. Open daily 8am-11pm. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 425 2240).
Tom&Serg Another former winner takes the other highly commended spot. It’s still inspiring newer venues, it’s still evolving, it’s still packed out every weekend. Open daily 8am-5pm, 6pm-10pm. Al Quoz (056 474 6812).
This pub has a style and charm all of its own, which is down to the friendly staff as much as the interesting décor. The chef keeps tweaking the menu, adding new and interesting dishes and using quality ingredients. It’s a cosy place to dine and it does a mean curry. Open Sun-Wed 3pm-1am; Thu-Fri noon-2am. Taj Dubai, Business Bay (04 438 3131).
Highly commended JB’s Gastropub A gastropub if ever there was one. The décor is modern, the bar is buzzing and the chef knows his way around a burger, bangers and mash and fish and chips. Open Sun-Wed noon-2am; Thu noon-3am; Fri 9am-3am; Sat 9am-2am. Amwaj Rotana, The Walk, JBR (04 428 3084).
Reform Social & Grill A typical English pub with garden and play area. Also complete with proper hearty food coming out of the kitchen. When it comes to pies, grills and bar snacks, Reform has you covered. Open daily 8am-midnight. The Lakes, Emirates Living (04 454 2638).
The food served at this seafood restaurant is amazing. Add in that it’s an atmospheric underwater (kind of) pad, and the romance will blossom. With live music setting the scene, everyone dressed to the nines and the rippling shadows of the water, this is the ultimate venue for special occasions. Open daily 7pm-11.30pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).
Highly commended INKA We’ve already talked about how good the food is and we touched upon the atmosphere, which really is lovely. Get a spot looking at the Burj Khalifa and you’re sorted. Open Sun-Wed 6pm-2am; Thu-Sat 6pm-3am. Sofitel Dubai Downtown (04 346 9295).
La Petite Maison Who wouldn’t be impressed eating French food at one of the best restaurants in town? Heartless people, that’s who. Open daily noon-3.30pm, 7pm-11.30pm. Gate Village 8, DIFC (04 439 0505).
One of the coolest, funkiest spots in town. For a fresh and creative take on seafood, this is the clear winner. There’s an excellent bar area, regular live music and a brilliant new brunch. But the regular menu (especially the sushi rolls and whole-roasted sea bass), is superb. A worthy winner. Open daily 7pm-2am; Sat 1pm-4pm. Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 357 1755).
Highly commended Ossiano With a flair for the dramatic, starting from the sweeping staircase down to the dining room, everything about this restaurant impresses, especially the creative and beautifully presented plates of food. Open daily 7pm-11.30pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).
The MAINE Oyster Bar & Grill With a cool, New England vibe, an impressive fresh seafood counter and mains that let the catch shine, this spot has rightly become a popular haunt for drinks as well as dinner. Open Sun-Wed noon-midnight; Thu noon-1am; Fri 10am-2am; Sat 10am-1am. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dubai – Jumeirah Beach, The Walk, JBR (04 457 6719).
It’s the first time this restaurant has taken part in the awards and is straight in at the top of its category. The service here is possibly the best we’ve experienced this year, and when it comes to the meat, well, it’s top-class; cooked perfectly and with seriously good sides. No steak has quite lived up to those we ate here this year. Open daily 6.30pm-midnight. The St. Regis Dubai Al Habtoor City (04 435 5577).
Highly commended JW’s Steakhouse Think of what a steakhouse should look like. That’s JW’s. Resolutely old-school and serving no-frills cuts of exquisite meat. Open Fri-Wed 5pm-midnight; Thu noon-midnight. JW Marriott Hotel Dubai, Deira (04 607 7009). Nusr-Et We can’t deny it, Nusr-Et is expensive and you need to book well in advance. But when you taste the meat, you’ll be pleased you put the effort and dirhams in. Open daily noon-midnight. Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 407 4100).
Independent and in a stunning setting, fresh produce arrives every day. The small, exciting menu is superb, but there are also daily off-menu additions that beg to be ordered. You can see the chef cooking for you – the place is so small it’s hard to miss him. The intimacy also adds to the warm atmosphere, it really feels like you’re part of the family here. Open Thu-Sat noon-midnight; Mon-Wed 7pm-11pm. Jumeirah Fishing Harbour, Umm Suqeim (056 273 0030).
Highly commended Bazxar With décor to illustrate its street food inspiration, Bazxar is a great place to enjoy interesting, flavour-packed takes on New York-style food, influenced by its many immigrants. Open Sun-Wed 9am-midnight, Thu 9am-1am, Fri noon-1am. Gate Precinct Building 4, DIFC (04 355 1111).
Cook Hall A stylish gastropub with plenty in the way of entertainment, the kitchen certainly knows how to please its punters. Good pies can be hard to come by in Dubai, if you’ve been searching, stop by Cook Hall. Open daily noon-3pm, 6pm-2am. The Westin Dubai Al Habtoor City (04 435 5566).
This venue won us over almost instantly. Its picture-perfect setting offers great views and is a relaxing spot. Entertainment is also on point and service is excellent. Of course, the food is great, too, and chef Colin Clague has been improving and adding to the menu since it opened. From a huge slab of chilli-rubbed rib-eye steak to a simple eggy pide, the food is delicious. Open Sat-Wed 6pm-1am; Thu-Fri 6pm-2am; Fri-Sat noon-4pm. Grosvenor House Dubai, Dubai Marina (04 399 9123).
Highly commended Ají With a brilliant setting on the Palm Jumeirah, this venue looks great and offers a brilliant realisation of Nikkei cuisine. Precise, fresh and brilliant Peruvian-Japanese food. Open Sat-Wed noon-1am; Thu-Fri noon-3am. Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah (04 552 0244).
The seafood restaurant at the Burj Al Arab is like a new venue completely – the interiors were changed, and a new bar and outside terrace were added. The main change was bringing in Michelin-starred chef Nathan Outlaw to oversee it. Stunning. Open daily 12.30pm-3.30pm, 7pm-11.30pm. Burj Al Arab, Umm Suqeim (04 301 7600).
This restaurant was an instant hit upon opening in 2015. We loved the food so much that it picked up the Best Newcomer – Fine Dining award at last year’s ceremony. Since then, it has continued to be a roaring success.
With a chef in Reif Othman, formerly of Zuma, who continues to push himself to new levels of excellence with interesting, creative food that is always on the money, and a buzzing atmosphere every night of the week, PLAY is one of those restaurants that you want to tell everyone about and go back to as soon as you’ve left.
Slick, stylish and lively, this is a restaurant where it feels like the chef is having as much fun – fusing and pairing incredible, often surprising flavours – as the swathes of diners lingering long into the night. Not only is this the city’s Restaurant of the Year, it’s also the most aptly named. Book a table. Now. Open daily 6pm-3am. The H Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 336 4444).