One of the most creative restaurants to arrive on the Dubai dining scene over the past year, folly by Nick & Scott is all about classic and often minimal ingredients, prepared in new and exciting ways.
And the views, from the top of the Souk Madinat Jumeirah complex, aren’t half bad either.
While the menu is composed of small plates designed for sharing, the best way to really experience the skill (and it truly is skill) of founding chefs Nick Alvis and Scott Price is by booking your seats at The Kitchen Bar.
Here, diners can taste their way through a menu of signatures (with or without a guided pairing from the excellent sommelier) created by the chefs themselves, who are on hand to explain the story of every dish.
In short, it’s absolutely spectacular. The end result is a wholly bespoke, utterly entertaining meal, featuring some magnificent creations – and we’re not just talking about the buttery, garlicky escargot-filled “doughnuts for grown-ups”. Or the downright sublime, thank-goodness-they’re-on-the-bar-snacks-menu guinea fowl sausage rolls.
Oh, just go already.
The bottom line
A truly one-off restaurant experience.
Gordon Ramsay’s Dubai venture comprises a huge bar area, sprawling dining room and large outdoor terrace, all seemingly far too big to fill up. But don’t be fooled – it gets busy. Very busy.
It’s partly the top Brit chef’s name that no doubt draws the crowds, but that sentiment alone would do a disservice to the food, which is frankly delicious.
The menu is full of homely dishes with a touch of elegance, and some with a twist (we’ve raved about the beef Wellington many a time). And they really are of a calibre you’d expect (and hope for) from a chef of Ramsay’s top standing.
The baby chicken with chimichurri main is simple but tasty, though the stand-out of the meal is the crispy beef short rib with pomegranate, pomello and hoisin honey glaze starter. The tender cubes are sticky sweet and full of rich, intense flavour, and the delicate meat falls apart beautifully. It’s reason enough to book a return visit.
The outdoor space is lovely in the cooler weather, and is ideal for families, too, as the kids can roam without disturbing diners.
Bread Street Kitchen is a good all-rounder from a British culinary great that you won’t need to remortgage your house for. Result.
The bottom line
A great all-rounder from a top chef.
Every now and then, you’ll find a restaurant that just ticks all the boxes. For us, Elia, in Bur Dubai, does just that.
Elia is as close to an authentic Greek taverna we’ve found in the city. Greek staff, Greek music, Greek decorations and Greek food “like my mother makes every week in Greece”, the manager tells us. And its authenticity shows. Simply put, the food is sensational.
We start with some tomato kefta. The lightly fried Santorini tomatoes sit somewhere between fritters and bhajis and are an absolute treat. Accompanied by some tyrokafteri (spicy feta cheese dip) and walnut bread, we’re treated to a excitement-inducing start to the meal.
And we’re not disappointed when it’s time for mains. We order the traditional moussaka. This is no chuck-it-in-a-dish-and-bake-it moussaka, though, this is one with a fine dining twist. A disc-shaped dish is layered with beautifully seasoned minced lamb, thinly sliced aubergine and topped with a delicately cheesy béchamel sauce that’s delightfully light. We also try the gemista – tomatoes and peppers stuffed with rice and herbs, served with feta. It’s a wonderful vegetarian option on a menu full of them.
If you like Greek food, you really need to try this restaurant.
The bottom line
Some of the best Greek food in town.
Sitting in a pretty location with a terrace overlooking the beach, cool weather will afford brilliant seaside vibes to this JBR eatery.
Inside, it’s quirky, with the eponymous utensils hanging up and featuring prominently in the décor, making you feel like you’ve just walked into Tom’s own kitchen for a meal.
Preserves neatly stacked on shelves make up an entire wall and add pops of colour to the rustic furniture, giving the space a vibrant, contemporary café feel.
Coming from two Michelin star-winning chef Tom Aikens, high expectations abound for the food, and we’re not let down.
Dishes include beef cheek with creamed truffle polenta and braised cabbage, and roast sea bas with artichoke, potato and brown shrimp.
Both are brilliant, full of punchy flavour, with incredibly delicate fall-apart, texture. A sheer delight to the palate, these will fill you with glee.
It’s also worth going for a few sides. The mac ’n’ cheese is creamy and gooey, with a beautifully crispy top, while Parmesan and truffle fries will be just the right top-up to your decent size mains. Finish it all off with the not-too-decadent sticky toffee pudding and you’ll already be planning your next visit.
This is good food made with passion by a master. Try it now.
The bottom line
Stunning dishes in a holiday-like setting.
- 1 of 3