WINNER: Flamingo Room by tashas
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).
SHORTLISTED: Galvin Dubai
A chic restaurant from Michelin-starred chef brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin. Try the tasting menu for the full flavour experience. The crab lasagne is a must.
Dhs500+. Open Sat-Tue noon-1am; Wed-Fri noon-2am. City Walk, Al Safa Street (04 590 5444).
Set next to Dubai Opera, Kohantei is the first Japanese Kaiseki restaurant (meaning multi-course) to open in the Middle East. It’s authentic and intimate and specialises in premium beef.
Dhs500+. Licensed. Open Mon-Sat, noon-3pm; 6pm-midnight. Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai (04 243 4951).
SHORTLISTED: Little Miss India
This quirky Indian eatery is based around the fictional character Little Miss India. Décor is fun and vibrant and there’s an expansive terrace. Dishes are authentic and tasty – especially the starters.
Dhs350-500. Licensed. Open daily 6.30pm-11.30pm. Fairmont The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 457 3457).
SHORTLISTED: Sean Connolly at Dubai Opera
A large space from Australia-based British chef Sean Connolly sitting at the top of Dubai Opera. Serving up a range of pre- and post-theatre menus, alongside the regular menu. There’s also a roof terrace with views of the Burj Khalifa.
Dhs500+ Licensed. Open daily noon-2am. Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai (04 362 7312).
SHORTLISTED: The Artisan by Enoteca Pinchiorri
Recently reopened after a revamp. Very well presented dishes from Rome with a fine-dining finish.
Dhs500+ Licensed. Open Sun-Wed noon-3pm; 7pm-1am; Thu noon-3pm, 7pm-2am; Fri & Sat 7pm-2am. Burj Damam Building, DIFC (04 338 8133).
SHORTLISTED: The Lounge
Flamboyant and creative dishes served up by the Dubai Fountain. Dishes are prettily plated and served with a flourish.
Dhs500+ Licensed. Open daily noon-midnight. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 4573 735).
SHORTLISTED: Toro & Ko
A Barcelona-inspired tapas bar serving a selection of tapas, charcuterie boards, paellas and more.
Dhs500+ Licensed. Open Sun-Wed noon-1am Thu-Sat noon-3am. The Square, City Walk (04 590 5433).