Reif Japanese Kushiyaki
Othman started his culinary journey in Dubai with six years at Zuma, before moving on to be the launch chef at PLAY, followed by a brief stint at Flavio Briatore’s Billionaire Mansion. It’s been a while coming, but he’s now finally in his own digs, albeit in the curious location of Dar Wasl Mall. And it’s worth the wait. The menu is superb. Silky soft ramen, zingy fish dishes, perfectly cooked wagyu sandos, it’s all immense.
Open Sun-Wed noon-11pm, Thu noon-midnight, Fri-Sat 9am-midnight. Dar Wasl Mall, Jumeirah, www.reifkushiyaki.com (04 345 0761).
From chicken wings to fried chicken pieces and chicken burgers, poultry fans are more than catered for at this cool spot in Dar Wasl Mall. It’s cool, fun and should be on your list to check out if you’re after quick, tasty, casual dining.
Open daily 1pm-10pm. Dar Wasl Mall, Jumeirah (058 507 5722).
Despite being low-key, the chef behind it is suitably well-known. Michelin-starred French-trained chef Mathieu Palombino of Motorino New York provides the menu, and the famed US pizzas, which are featured in the Bib Gourmand Michelin Guide, are made with dough that has a traditional two-day rising process to make a bubbly yet crispy crust. There’s a list of white and red pizzas with a variety of toppings, but don’t miss the global bestseller, the soppressata piccante (beef pepperoni), which is perfectly crispy, slathered in tangy tomato sauce, lashings of pepperoni, fior di latte, Parmesan and pecorino. Even if you’re not a pizza fan this will convince you otherwise.
Open daily noon-midnight. JA Ocean View Hotel, JBR, www.motorinopizza.com (04 814 5590).
Set on the new extended terrace boardwalk at Souk Madinat Jumeirah, this cool new American spot is an ideal for people watching while having a leisurely lunch. The menu is packed with all the US classics, from grills to burgers and more. It’s laid-back and casual, and the food is as good as the setting.
Open daily noon-3am. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim, www.americano.ae (04 584 6475).
If you love a gastropub you’re in luck, as this chilled-out spot on JBR is a fantastic addition to the scene. The menu boasts massive burgers and all the usual bar snacks (chicken wings et al) while there’s also a range of top deals, ladies’ nights, live music, big screens and more. A central outdoor kitchen is a fun touch, too.
Open daily noon-3am. Sheraton JBR, The Walk, JBR (04 315 3861).
If you’re the type that prefers dessert to main courses, this is for you. This cute, tiny dessert bar in Jumeirah Fishing Harbour comes from the team behind 3 Fils – so as you can imagine, it’s excellent. And if you love all things pudding, then hotfoot it here. Dishes use innovative ingredients – pomelo, cherry tomatoes, sage, coffee honey and more, plus there’s a range of chocolates to accompany your coffee (or take home) too. If you don’t have a sweet tooth it’s worth finding one for this.
Open Mon-Sat noon-midnight. Jumeirah Fishing Harbour, Jumeirah, www.3fils.com.
Brunch & Cake
Famous in Barcelona for its pretty dishes and fun vibe, Brunch & Cake recently opened in Dubai. As you’d expect from the name, brunch and cake star here, but don’t discount it for breakfast or lunch either. Breakfasts are hearty and well-presented. If you haven’t seen the much-snapped avocado on toast on Instagram already we’d be surprised.
Open daily 8am-10.30pm. Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah (800 472 6362).
Translating in Swedish as a break for coffee and a bite to eat, FIKA from popular chef Izu Ani has a laid-back vibe and a wide ranging menu. Visit for breakfast and dig into super-light pancakes. Head here for lunch and try the super-fresh salads. Make a dinner date for pasta. Ingredients are top-notch, the vibe is friendly and it’s a cool, casual place to enjoy a meal.
Open Sun-Wed 7.30am-11pm, Thu-Sat 7.30am-11.30pm. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Umm Suqeim (04 406 8700)
Set on the 27th floor of The Oberoi Dubai, this trendy Mexican joint sits in the space that previously held cool Lebanese nightspot Iris. It's also from the same team that runs Iris, WHITE, WHITE Beach and Drai’s so expect some cool late night vibes. The massive space also has awesome views of Burj Khalifa, while the menu houses innovative Latin American dishes, plus plenty of tacos, quesadillas and more.
Open daily 5pm-3am. The Oberoi Dubai, Business Bay (050 423 4044).
Salt Bae Burger
With a name like Salt Bae, this restaurant is, as you’d expect, from the famed man behind Nusr-et. This is a way more casual offering, however, offering up, again as the name implies, burgers. Massive, juicy, meaty burgers that will keep you coming back for more. Steak burgers, Juicy burgers, Wet burgers, Golden burgers – they’re all on the menu loaded with different toppings. If you work in DIFC this could just be your new lunchtime favourite (farewell, waistline).
Open Sun-Wed 11.30am-midnight, Thu-Sat 11.30am-3am. Gate Village 2, DIFC, www.nusr-et.com (04 235 7900).