In a city that has too long been reputed for excess, decadence and style over substance, it’s refreshing and reassuring to eat at a restaurant that defies such stereotypes with quality at every turn. The venue, for one, is stylish and spacious and boasts a wonderful alfresco terrace, which affords views of the yachts docked in the marina and the silhouette of the faraway Khalifa. The menu, meanwhile, features simple, yet sublime French fare. Clichéd as it may sound, but the snail starter is rich, garlicky and will have you fantasising about it for weeks to come. Likewise the duck is the freshest, juiciest specimen of a bird that you’re ever likely to sample in Dubai. Our only quibble might be the service, which is a little over-attentive at times, but this is just us looking for a minor flaw to prove that Traiteur isn’t just a figment of our dinnertime dreams.