Dubai’s best MENA restaurants 2019

These are the top MENA restaurants and places to eat in Dubai as revealed at the Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards 2019 in association with Dubai Food Festival

Dubai’s best MENA restaurants 2019

WINNER

Kaftan
This Turkish restaurant in La Mer is always heaving. It serves up excellent, traditional dishes, done simply. Don’t miss the hummus, which comes with lamb cubes and piping hot bread – it’s some of the best we’ve tasted. The tender, juicy, spicy grills are brilliant too.
Open Sun-Sat 8am-12.30am. La Mer South, Jumeirah 1 (04 344 6288).

HIGHLY COMMENDED

RÜYA
Chef Colin Clague knows a thing about Anatolian cuisine, as is displayed at RÜYA time and again. The marinated chicken is perfectly spiced, the whole grilled seabream is wonderfully flaky and the lamb cutlets with aubergine are deliciously smoky. With stunning views and delightful décor, there are loads of reasons to visit RÜYA.
Open Sun-Thu 6pm-1am, Fri 12.30pm-4pm, 7pm-2am, Sat 12.30pm-3pm, 7pm-1am. Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina (04 399 9123).

Zou Zou
This popular family-friendly restaurant is a favourite for big, Middle Eastern breakfast trays, and with good reason. The juicy sujuk is one of the best we’ve tasted, while the foul and falafel are marvellous as well.
Open Sat-Wed 9.30am-midnight, Fri-Sat 9.30am-1pm La Mer, Jumeirah 1 (04 3430093).

SHORTLISTED

Aghatti
Savour fine-dining, Iraqi-style at Aghatti where the menu boasts exotic gourmet dishes and imaginative mocktails. It's arabesque and eclectic with a nod to Mesopotamian history and art.
Open Sat-Wed 9am-midnight; Thu-Fri 9am-1am. La Mer, Jumeirah 1, www.lamerdubai.ae (04 3855 595).

Al Fanar
Invoking a quaint ambience of Dubai in the 1960s and offering a taste of Emirati cuisine from the tradtional to the more adventurous, Al Fanar is a perfect spot for a meal with family and friends with views over the fountain.
Open daily 8.30am-11.30pm. Dubai Festival City Mall, www.alfanarrestaurant.com (04 232 9966).

Eshak
Presenting a unique ‘Choyhona’ concept, guests are invited to sample a blend of flavours from Georgia to Armenia with Middle Eastern influences. Highlights include pilafs, kebabs and lamb dumplings, plus baklava and chak-chak.
Open Sat-Wed noon-1am; Thu-Fri noon-2am. City Walk, www.eshak.ae (04 385 5435).

Günaydın
What began as a small butcher shop in Istanbul’s Bostanci neighbourhood has evolved into this successful steakhouse restaurant where guests are spoiled by exceptional quality meatballs, doner, lahmacun and kebab.
Open daily noon-midnight. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai, www.gunaydindubai.com (04 554 0700).

Logma
Offering a modern taste of Khaleeji cuisine, sweet and savoury dishes are executed with attention to detail. Highlights include fries with halloumi sticks and Logma toast – modified French toast with date and rose syrup.
Open daily 10am-1am. Fashion Avenue, The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, www.logma.ae (800 56462).

SIKKA Café
A locally curated dining concept, where Emirati cuisine meets Indian and Persian flavours typically found in the street stalls of Deira and Bur Dubai, the philosophy here is about sharing wholesome food, drinks and shisha.
Open Sun-Thu 8am-midnight; Fri-Sat 8am-1am. City Walk, www.sikkadubai.ae (04 885 6524).

Somewhere
Featuring an array of Mediterranean-inspired dishes made for sharing, and a wall of travel guides to browse for inspiration, Somewhere celebrates the thrill of global travel. Even the menu takes you exotic places – think guacamole hummus.
Open daily 10am-1am. The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, www.takemesomewhere.ae (800 38224 6255).

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