This unassuming Asian fish restaurant at Jumeirah Fishing Harbour has wowed us since quietly arriving on the dining scene in late 2016. In fact, it was so good that we named it Best Casual Newcomer last year. The natural progression has led it to pick up the gong for Best Asian. From former Zengo chef Akmal Anuar, dishes showcase Asian flavours perfectly. Chef Anuar takes weekly deliveries of some of the finest seafood Japan has to offer, and that is obvious in the superb dishes. Open Mon-Wed 1pm-11pm; Thu-Sat noon-midnight. Jumeirah Fishing Harbour, Jumeirah 2 (056 273 0030).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Asia Asia If you’re after dim sum and sushi with a side of Dubai Marina views, this trendy Asian in Pier 7 should be your go-to spot. Open Sun-Mon, Wed 4pm-1am; Tue & Thu 4pm-2am; Fri 2pm-2am; Sat 2pm-1am. Pier 7, Dubai Marina (04 276 5900).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: PLAY Restaurant & Lounge Our former Restaurant of the Year, this cool venue in The H Dubai has wide-ranging views of Old Dubai, a cool vibe and some innovative dishes. Open Sat-Wed 6pm-2am, Thu-Fri 6pm-3am. The H Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 336 4444).
One of the leading Chinese restaurant brands in the world, the Dubai branch of Hakkasan serves up delicious dishes in a cool setting. A carefully crafted menu boasts items such as a roasted chicken in a delicated peanut sauce, while dim lighting sets the mood. The menu is top-notch and, although pricey, this is one that’s worthy of special occasions. Open daily noon-4pm; 7pm-1am. Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 384 8484).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Royal China This classy Chinese in DIFC is a former winner of this category and does some excellent Cantonese dishes, especially the roast duck, which is worth a visit for alone. Open daily 11.30am-1am. Building 4, DIFC, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 354 5543).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Zheng He’s Set at Madinat Jumeirah overlooking the waterways, this Chinese is great for special occasions or if you have visitors in town. The food is super, too. Open daily noon-2.30pm; 6.30pm-11.30pm. Mina A’Salam, Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 432 3232).
A creative and modern restaurant from chefs Nick Alvis and Scott Price. There are a variety of dining areas, including a spectacular terrace with expansive views across Madinat Jumeirah. However, for a one-off dining experience, book into The Kitchen Bar for a tasting menu of signature dishes that will blow you away. Open Sun-Thu noon-2.30pm; Fri-Sat noon-3.30pm; daily 5pm-11pm. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 430 8535).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Bread Street Kitchen Gordon Ramsay is a famous name for a reason – his restaurants are excellent. This Atlantis eatery is consistently great, especially if you’re after some British comfort food. The beef Wellington is especially good. Open Sat-Thu noon-4pm, 6pm-10.30pm; Fri noon-4pm, 7pm-11.30pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2000).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Elia An established spot in Bur Dubai that serves up the very best Greek food in town. Open daily 7pm-11.30pm. Majestic Hotel Tower, Bur Dubai (04 501 2690).
Year after year this beautiful restaurant nestled in the heart of DIFC continues to exceed our expectations. From its glorious lamb chops to its rich and creamy dauphinoise potatoes and fresh salads, whatever you pick you won’t be disappointed. Always busy, always buzzing and unfailingly excellent, this is a top-class restaurant with heaps of Gallic charm that you simply shouldn’t miss. La Petite Maison retains its 2017 title. Open daily noon-3.15pm, 7pm-11.15pm. Sheikh Zayed Road, DIFC (04 439 0505).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Bistrot Bagatelle This extravagant French restaurant has a fun vibe and top-notch food. The atmosphere is buzzing, the décor is super cool and the dishes are tasty. Open daily 7pm-late. Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 354 5035).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie If you want elegant dining, then La Serre perfoms time and again. A date-worthy venue in Downtown that’s worth a visit. Open daily noon-3.15pm, 7pm-11pm. Vida Downtown Dubai. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai (04 428 6969).
If we’re talking about taking something and giving it a twist, then Trèsind does it better than anywhere else in this cuisine. It’s molecular gastronomy, Indian style. Another dual winner – having taken this award in 2017 as well – it’s interactive, and you’ll get to see the chefs make the food live at your table if you choose well. From the inventive and immaculate presentation, to the plumes of dry ice, it’s fun, it’s surreal but most importantly the food is just as crazily good as the experience. Open daily noon-3pm; 7pm-11.30pm. Nassima Royal Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 308 0000).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Carnival by Trèsind This quirky Indian eatery is always fun, and the food lives up to the vibe. Colourful interiors and interesting, creative dishes. Open daily noon-3.30pm, 7pm-11.30pm. Burj Daman Building, DIFC (04 421 8665).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Mint Leaf of London Fine dining, with top views. This classy Indian restaurant has a cool vibe and amazing vistas across Downtown Dubai to Burj Khalifa. The curries are creative and delicious, too. Open Sat-Sun, Tue-Wed noon-1am; Mon, Thu, Fri noon-2am. Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC (04 706 0900).
This classy Italian works with ingredients supplied by the original estate in Tuscany, and this is reflected in the taste and quality. Simple, yet delicious, the fresh produce does the talking in the dishes here, all of which are served up in an upmarket, yet unstuffy environment. Inside boasts white tablecloths and olive trees, while outside you’ll enjoy views over the Turtle Lagoon. We’ve waxed lyrical about the stunning burrata on many an occasion, but there’s nothing that doesn’t impress here. Go and see for yourself. Open daily 12pm-3.30pm, 7pm-1am. Jumeirah Al Naseem, Madinat Jumeirah (04 275 2555).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Cipriani This Italian is always busy and consistently good. With an upmarket vibe and grown-up Italian dishes, head here for a date that’s sure to wow. Open daily noon-midnight. Gate Village 10, DIFC (04 347 0003).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Roberto’s This swish restaurant is worth booking ahead for. Come here for simple, delicious dishes. Open daily noon-2am. Building 1, Gate Village, DIFC (04 386 0066).
A multi-award-winning, stylish, popular space offering excellent Japanese food that’s every bit as good as you’ve heard. Main courses, especially the black cod, are world-famous for good reason and really shouldn’t be missed. You’ll be blown away by the amazing sushi, robata and tempura, too. Stop off for a drink at the cool bar area and you’ve got a brilliant date night right there. We could go on, but you get the picture. Sun-Thu noon-3.30pm, 7pm-midnight; Fri 12.30pm-4pm, 7pm-1am; Sat 12.30pm-4pm, 7pm-midnight. Gate Village, DIFC (04 425 5660).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Nobu This world-famous restaurant, from celebrity chef Nobu, serves up top-quality food time and again. The black cod is simply stunning and the setting is cool, classy and fun. Open Sat-Wed 6pm-11.30pm; Thu-Fri 6pm-12.30pm. Fri noon-3pm (brunch), 7pm-12.30am. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: TOMO This authentic Japanese has excellent skyline views and some top-notch sushi. Open daily 12.30pm-2.30pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm. Raffles Dubai, Oud Metha (04 357 7888).
LIMA Dubai, from chef Virgilio Martinez, opened in City Walk last year. Its sister restaurant, LIMA Fitzrovia, is the first and only Peruvian restaurant to win and retain a Michelin star, so it landed here in Dubai with high expectations. And it’s massively lived up to them, with the food wowing us every time we visit. From the ceviches to the anticuchos and tequeños, everything is prettily plated and delicately flavoured. The service is some of the best we’ve experienced and the lounge has some stunning décor, too. In a city that does Peruvian very well, LIMA has the edge. Open daily noon-midnight. City Walk, Al Safa Street (056 500 4571).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Ají This super cool Nikkei restaurant is in an excellent location at Club Vista Mare. We love the sea views, the ceviche and the vibe. Open Sat-Wed noon-1am, Thu-Fri noon-2am. Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah (04 552 0244).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: COYA Our Restaurant of the Year in 2016 serves outstanding dishes and is always fun and busy. It’s just pipped to the post this year in this category, which is an increasingly strong genre in the city. Open Mon-Wed 12.30pm-1.30am; Thu-Sat 12.30pm-2am; Sun noon-1.30pm. Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach (04 316 9600).
This luxurious restaurant serves up top-class Lebanese cuisine in an elegant, timeless setting. The menu is executed with flair, and it’s a worthy winner in this category for the second consecutive year. Open Sun-Thu noon-3.30pm, 6pm-11.30pm; Fri-Sat noon-4pm, 6pm-11.30pm. Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 319 8760).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Al Falamanki This authentic restaurant is excellent for taking visitors to. The food is great and the setting is delightful, too. Open daily 10am-5am. Opposite Four Seasons Resort, Jumeirah Beach Road (055 300 4550).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Ibn AlBahr Also Highly Commended in the seafood category, this seaside location at Club Vista Mare serves up some excellent Lebanese dishes, too. Head here for a lazy lunch with views across the water. Open daily noon-midnight. Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah (04 553 9575).
Winner of our Fine Dining Newcomer in 2017, this high-end Turkish spot from celebrated chef Colin Clague has some excellent traditional dishes and stunning views from a pretty terrace across Dubai Marina. Classic fare is presented with a modern twist, all expertly executed. Don’t miss the cheese and egg pide, a constant favourite with the Time Out Dubai team. Open Sat-Wed 6pm-1am; Thu-Fri 6pm-2am. Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina (04 399 9123).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Günaydın If you’re after an excellent cut of meat, go to this Turkish restaurant at Souk Al Bahar. Plus, there are excellent Dubai Fountain views so it’s a good one for a special occasion. Open daily noon-midnight. Souk Al Bahar, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard (04 554 0700).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Shabestan This established Iranian restaurant down at the Creek excels over and over. It hasn’t changed much over the years, but it doesn’t need to, it’s that good. Open daily 12.30pm-3pm, 7pm-11pm. Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek (04 205 7333).
This funky Jamaican restaurant is a massive hit in its native New York, and that popularity has been replicated here in Dubai. The cool, underground vibe, with pumping music and vibrant décor makes for a top night out. But it’s not all about the party – the food lives up to its end of the bargain and we can’t get enough of the jerk fish tacos. Feeling adventurous? Try the traditional goat curry. Upbeat, fun and one we want to return to time and again for good times and good food. Open Sat Tue 7pm-1am; Wed-Fri 7pm-2am. Sheraton Grand Hotel Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 354 4074).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Key West An excellent Caribbean/Floridian restaurant complete with laid-back island vibes. Set right on the beach with unfettered views out to sea, this is a chilled-out place to kick back. The food is excellent, from jerk chicken to ribs and juicy grilled prawns. Open daily 5pm-11pm (dinner served from 7pm). Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai, Peal Jumeira (04 376 6000).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: The MAINE Oyster Bar & Grill Also highly commended in the seafood category, this fun, trendy restaurant is always packed. The North American-inspired dishes a served in a very cool setting, and the lobster rolls are not to be missed. Open Sat-Wed noon-midnight, Thu-Fri noon-1am. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dubai – Jumeirah Beach, The Walk JBR (04 457 6719).
This elegant restaurant has prime views across to The Dubai Fountain. However, it doesn’t rest on its laurels and rely on the setting for its popularity – as is proven in taking this award for the second year running. Dishes are expertly prepared and palate-pleasing. Prices are high, but so is the quality of the food, and it’s sure to be a meal you won’t forget in a hurry. Open daily 6pm-11.30pm. Palace Downtown Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard (04 888 3444).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: The Thai Kitchen This longstanding Thai restaurant never goes out of fashion. With lovely Creek views and some great dishes, it’s good value, too. Open Sat-Thu 7pm-11.45pm; Fri 12.30pm-4pm (brunch), 7pm-11.45pm. Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira (04 602 1814).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Tong Thai This cool venue in the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is consistently good. Dishes are tasty and the interiors are striking. Open daily 6pm-midnight. JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, Business Bay, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 414 3000).
For a truly elegant afternoon tea experience, this is the one to book. The setting is, of course, mesmerising, being 122 floors up in the Burj Khalifa. Opt for a window seat and on days when the sky is clear, the views across the city are simply breathtaking. A live violinist provides the soundtrack and sets the mood for a relaxed and refined afternoon. The food is dainty yet substantial and, most importantly, delicious. This afternoon tea might be costly, but it’s worth booking for a special treat and really should be tried at least once. Dhs440 (sparkling grape, non-window seat), Dhs515 (sparkling grape, window seat), Dhs680 (bubbly). Daily noon-4.30pm. Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai (04 888 3828).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Al Fayrooz Lounge An epic spread that includes hot and cold savouries, cakes and pastries. Sit on the terrace and enjoy the views of Burj Al Arab. Dhs240 (Arabesque Afternoon Tea), Dhs345 (Royal Afternoon Tea), Dhs345 (Hendricks Afternoon Tea). Daily 2pm-6pm. Jumeirah Al Qasr, Umm Suqeim (04 432 3232).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Sahn Eddar This decadent afternoon is worth saving up for. One of the most memorable afternoon teas you’ll have, in a world-famous location. The food is equally impressive. From Dhs545. Daily 1pm-5pm. Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (4 301 7600).
WINNER: Lock, Stock & BarrelWinner of Time Out Dubai’s Best Bar Food Award two years in a row now, the team here are certainly doing a lot of things right. Whether you’re after a massive flatbread, spicy wings or just in the mood for some fully-loaded nachos, then this is the bar for your snacking needs. The space itself is lively and fun, plus with pool tables and live music to go alongside that lip-smacking (and possibly belt-busting) grub, you’re on to a winner. Open Sun-Thu 4pm-3am, Fri-Sun 2pm-3am. Grand Millennium Hotel, Barsha Heights (04 514 9195).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Indie Restaurant & Lounge This trendy lounge serves up some excellent dishes. There’s an eclectic mix from salads to sliders, and for a nibble on a night out, this ticks all the boxes. Open Sat-Thu 5pm-2am; Fri 1pm-2am. Gate Village 5, DIFC (055 455 6106).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Loca Guacamole. Need we say more? The tacos are also excellent and for Mexican food with a side of sport, this is the one. Arribe. Open daily noon-2am. Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa, Jumeirah (04 346 1111).
Hugely popular for its proper pub grub, roast dinners and family-friendly vibe, Reform Social & Grill has also made a very successful foray into breakfasts in the past year. The weekend versions are top-notch, with the Breakfast of Champions a thing to behold with its monster servings of fried eggs, bacon, sausages, beans et al. And what’s brekkie without that trendy green fruit? This pub also does a mean smashed avocado on crumpets. Retro. Open daily 8am–midnight. The Lakes (04 454 2638).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Baker & Spice Winner of our Breakfast of the Year in 2017, there are many things to like about Baker & Spice from the pastries to the avocado on toast, and that famous shakshouka. Open daily 7am-11pm. Town Centre, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 297 5797). Other locations Souk Al Manzil, Downtown Dubai (04 427 9856); Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 425 2240); Marina Promenade, Dubai Marina (04 362 4686); Gold & Diamond Park, Al Quoz (04 887 7086).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Pots, Pans and Boards This family-friendly beachside spot from celebrity chef Tom Aikens is heaving on a weekend morning, with good reason. Open daily 8am-midnight. The Beach, opposite JBR (04 456 1959).
You’ll need to book weeks in advance for this superb brunch (don’t say we didn’t warn you). Picking up the Brunch of the Year gong for the second year in a row, this world-famous Japanese pulls out all the stops time after time. Dig into a range of sushi, sashimi, salad and maki rolls from the cold buffet before moving onto a hot section packed full of rotaba and tempura. Mains are served to the table and include that global superstar – the black cod. See our review on page 36. Dhs473 (soft drinks), Dhs625 (house beverages), Dhs688 (bubbly). Dhs236 (kids under 12). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Gate Village 6, DIFC (04 425 5660).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: COYA This excellent restaurant has an amazing brunch that allows you to sample the 2016 Restaurant of the Year’s signature dishes. Dhs333 (soft drinks), Dhs555 (house beverages), Dhs666 (bubbly). Fri 12.30pm-4pm. Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 2 (04 316 9600).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Marina Social This fun, good-value brunch at Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton’s Dubai Marina restaurant serves up dishes that are tasty and elegant. The goat’s cheese churros are always popular, as are the sourdough flatbreads. Dhs275 (soft drinks), Dhs395 (house beverages), Dhs445 (bubbly). Fri 1pm-4pm. InterContinental Dubai Marina (04 446 6664).
One of the first things you’ll notice about Ayubowan is the amazing smell – scents of curry and fresh spices greet you as soon as you walk through the large wooden doors. The restaurant is small but welcoming, and you’re guaranteed top service. The Sri Lankan dishes are authentic and excellent, and most importantly – wallet-friendly. Curries start from as little as Dhs20 and are on the large side, so bring your appetite for a cheap and delicious meal. Open daily 10am-11pm. Lake Point Tower, Cluster N, Jumeirah Lake Towers (04 452 1007).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Hanoi Naturally Looking for pho? Look no further. Cheap, cheerful and authentic. Tasty dishes, cooked well at a good price. Open daily noon-11pm. Cluster C, Jumeirah Lake Towers (04 431 3099).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: The Meating Room This spot in Karama specialises in, as you’d imagine, meat cuts. However, the veggie food is also very good. A hidden gem that we love. Open Sat-Wed 12.30pm-11pm; Thu 12.30pm-midnight; Fri 1.30pm-midnight. Al Wasl Hub Building 3, Karama (04 331 2567).
As expected, the flower theme is strong at this cute, kitsch café in City Walk. A home-grown concept, this beautifully presented eatery boasts a foliage ceiling, a flower stall and delightful dishes, all of which come accompanied by a rose for you to take home. However, it’s not all about the aesthetics, as charming as they are. Dishes are top-notch, too, from the avocado and halloumi on toast to the crêpes stuffed with chunky lobster meat. Oh, and don’t miss the freshly baked cakes either. What a treat. Open daily 9am-11pm. CIty Walk, Al Safa Street (050 170 5657).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Baker & Spice Tasty fare that is fresh and well-prepared. Highly Commended in the Best Breakfast category, the lunches and dinners aren’t to be sniffed at either. Open daily 7am-11pm. Town Centre, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 297 5797). Other locations Souk Al Manzil, Downtown Dubai (04 427 9856); Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 425 2240); Marina Promenade, Dubai Marina (04 362 4686); Gold & Diamond Park, Al Quoz (04 887 7086).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: The Surf Café Healthy, simple dishes served near the sea. We love it here, and we especially love the poached eggs and avocado on toast. Open Sat-Wed 7am-10pm; Thu-Fri 7am-10.30pm. Jumeirah Beach Road, Umm Suqeim (04 346 6292).
If you haven’t taken a mosey on down to Dubai Creek then this is an ideal pit-stop. With a massive terrace jutting out over the water, the views are sublime. The vibe is deeply laid-back and it’s the perfect place for a winter afternoon soaking up the sunshine. Order a pizza and sit back and admire the views. Open daily noon-midnight. Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Deira (04 295 6000).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: folly by Nick & Scott The winner of our European Restaurant of the Year also has a cracking outdoor area. Relax and take in the scene across the Madinat from the pretty terrace while sipping on a sundowner. Open Sun-Thu noon-2.30pm; Fri-Sat noon-3.30pm; daily 5pm-11pm. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 430 8535).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Pai Thai The terrace at this classy Thai restaurant is lovely. And the best bit? You arrive by abra. Disembark, take your seat and watch the boats glide by as you dig into pad Thai. Open Sun-Thu 6pm-11.15pm; Fri-Sat 12.30pm-2.15pm, 6.30pm-11.15pm. Al Qasr Hotel, Madinat Jumeirah (04 432 3232).
We’ve talked about the breakfasts and now we’re back with the main event – pub grub. The proper British dishes here are as popular as the expansive pub garden which, in the winter, is a hotspot for The Lakes community. Dig into fish and chips, pies, fry-ups, the list goes on and it’s all top. It also does a mean roast. All bases are covered, and well. Open daily 8am-midnight. The Lakes (04 454 2638).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Bridgewater Tavern This sports bar in Business Bay serves up some mean pub grub. Burgers, wings, fries – all the usual suspects are on the menu. The meatball sub is a particular favourite if you’re after a filling meal. Open daily 4pm-2am. JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, Business Bay (04 414 3000).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: The Eloquent Elephant The winner of this category in 2017, this cool gastropub in Taj Dubai has a modern, fun vibe and some great food. Curries, burgers, and posh bar snacks are the order of the day. Open Sun-Wed 3pm-1am; Thu-Fri noon-2am; Sat noon-1am. Taj Dubai, Business Bay (04 438 3131).
What’s more romantic than dining on a terrace set above the water, with half-hourly performances from the world-famous Dubai Fountain for entertainment? None, which is why we’ve awarded Thiptara the most Romantic Restaurant in Dubai. Not only is the Thai food incredible – it’s also a worthy winner of our Thai Restaurant of the Year – this elegant restaurant has stunning views and a warm, intimate vibe. A showstopper of a date restaurant. Open daily 6pm-11.30pm. Palace Downtown Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard (04 888 3444).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Ossiano What do you mean you haven’t dined in an aquarium? Rectify that right now with a date at this super romantic restaurant. Open daily 6.30pm-11pm, Sat 1pm-3pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Pierchic A simply stunning setting, perched out to sea. Soak up the views of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah and savour some seafood at this one. Dhs500+. Licensed. Open Sat-Thu 12.30pm-3pm, 6pm-11pm, Fri 12.30pm-4pm (brunch), 6pm-11.30pm. Jumeirah Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 432 3232).
Seafood, under the sea. Not literally, but it’s as close as you’re going to get, thanks to the massive floor-to-ceiling aquarium that covers one huge side of this classy Atlantis The Palm restaurant. Not just for tourists – though most certainly one for the to-visit list if you’re in Dubai – this stunning restaurant serves up equally admirable seafood dishes. All are beautifully prepared and of exceptional quality. Push the boat out and try the tasting menu, it’s pricey but it won’t let you down. See our review on page 35. Open daily 6.30pm-11pm, Sat 1pm-3pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Ibn AlBahr A Lebanese seafood spot expertly cooking up the freshest fish. The terrace is delightful. Open daily noon-midnight. Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah (04 553 9575).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: The MAINE Oyster Bar & Grill This cool seafood restaurant is taking a Highly Commended gong for the second year running. A great vibe and delcious dishes. Open Sat-Wed noon-midnight, Thu-Fri noon-1am. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dubai – Jumeirah Beach, The Walk, JBR (04 457 6719).
If you’re after a steak in Dubai, look no further than J&G Steakhouse. This cool, dimly lit space with dark woods and leather seating serves excellent meat but also does seafood very well. Alongside spectacular steaks, you’re treated to a classy-yet-contemporary vibe, with jazz playing in the background, exceptional hospitality and a broad, sophisticated menu. It comes with a price tag, but it’s worth it. Open daily 6.30pm-midnight. The St. Regis Dubai, Al Habtoor City (04 435 5577).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Nusr-Et World-famous brand, that does a mean steak served with its own distinct flair. Open daily noon-midnight. Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Jumeirah 2 (04 407 4100).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Seafire We love this Atlantis The Palm steakhouse, which has a great vibe and some stunning meat cuts. Open daily 5pm-11.30pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).
CASUAL DINING NEWCOMER
WINNER: BB Social Dining
This cool restaurant boasts funky interiors and lovely al fresco terraces. Take a seat on the roof for a cosy meal and you’ll be thrilled. The menu has innovative, fun dishes, with quirks on the usual such as edamame hummus and cauliflower popcorn. It prides itself on its bao buns and bowls (as the BB suggests), while the desserts are awesome, too. Open Sun-Wed noon-1am; Fri-Sat noon-1am. Gate Village 8, DIFC (04 407 4444).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Axe House This casual Brit-themed eatery has burst onto the JLT scene. Don’t miss the shortrib, it’s excellent. The halloumi fries are ace, too. Open daily noon-2am. Armada BlueBay Hotel, Cluster P, JLT (04 399 9577).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Lock, Stock & Barrel JBR – The Walk A massive version of the Barsha Heights original (winner of our Bar Food of the Year category), this newer sibling keeps up the good name when it comes to food. Monster nachos, curries, flatbreads, hummus. Whatever your taste, you’ll find it here. Open Mon-Thu 4pm-3am; Fri 1pm-3am; Sat-Sun 2pm-3am. Rixos Premium Dubai (04 520 0049).
This charming new venue bowled us over immediately. We love the quirky décor, showpiece lighting and pearly pink interiors. There’s an al fresco terrace overlooking the Turtle Lagoon, too. From the retro lobster vol au vent to the melt-in-the-mouth beef carpaccio, dishes are exquisite in both taste and presentation. Gold stars all round. Open Sat-Wed noon-4pm, 7pm-11.30pm; Thu-Fri noon-4pm, 7pm-midnight. Jumeirah Al Naseem, Madinat Jumeirah (04 244 7278).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Bleu Blanc US Michelin-starred chef David Myers has a stunning restaurant in Bleu Blanc. French dishes that are exquisite. Worth a visit. Open daily noon-3pm, 6pm-midnight. Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Marasi Drive, Business Bay (04 512 5533).
HIGHLY COMMENDED: STK JBR The Walk The steaks at this global chain are butter-soft, and there’s a lively party vibe. Open daily 5pm-1am. Rixos Premium Dubai, JBR (04 323 0061).