Best bar food in dubai
Time Out Dubai is the definitive voice on Dubai's best restaurants, including the best bar food. Here's your guide on the best bar food in Dubai.
Want a snack with that beverage? Forget drinks, some bars are worth going to for the food alone. No time for boring bites, delectable small dishes are absolutely necessary for these places to excel. Time Out has visited each and every outlet to put them through their paces, assessing factors including quality of food, ambience and service. Popular or relatively unknown, we’ve gone undercover to find out what you’re getting for your money at each venue.
There are some restaurants in Dubai that come and go in the blink of an eye and there are others that refuse to be budged from the city’s dining scene, seemingly immune to fads or an often fickle market. Buddha-Bar falls into the latter category. In fact, it perhaps suffers due to its familiarity, but when you walk in you can’t help but be impressed by the huge, atmospheric venue.
The sweeping high ceilings, moody lighting, red furnishings and massive windows allowing views of Dubai Marina, make for a fairly awesome setting.
There’s a big bar area as well as the vast seating area, and if one thing goes against the venue it’s how open and exposed you can feel while sitting at the table.
The food certainly doesn’t disappoint, however, with almost every part of the menu offering something excellent.
Go for the maki rolls or dim sum, and you won’t be disappointed, and some of the meat main courses are very good, too. The traditional Thai curries are a hit, too. Noodle and rice dishes don’t have the same wow factor, but are decent, filling options.
Is the food on trend? Not particularly? Is it worth the prices? Perhaps not. But there’s something about Buddha-Bar that keeps drawing people back in. We think it’s the overall package – the good vibes, tasty food and impressive setting amount to something more than the sum of its parts.
The bottom line
Well-presented food that mostly hits the mark, but you pay for the privilege.
Upstairs there’s a low-lit restaurant area but there’s more fun to be had at GQ Bar in the ground floor lounge, where there are at least more people. Even so, on all of the occasions we have visited, this is a place where they’re not exactly turning them away at the door. That’s probably not helped by a sometimes overpriced menu (the quality of the beef fillet we had was worth nowhere near its Dhs230 price tag) that’s also a bit Jack-of-all-trades, risottos and pastas sitting alongside Thai short ribs, tempura, and watermelon and feta salad. But, it does have a classy feel, dark colours and deep leathers making it a place to impress, and the sushi – in particular the soft shell spider crab roll and the BBQ eel and avocado – is a step ahead of many of its peers when it comes to the quality of the ingredients and taste.
esigned to feel like a converted warehouse by a dock, Cargo’s name and waterside location is fitting. The decor is industrial, with high ceilings, wooden crates and exposed bricks, and diners can choose to sit at high-top tables on metal stools or smaller wooden benches. There’s also a stunning outdoor terrace with views over the Marina; perfect during the cooler weather. This casual setting draws in the crowds, especially after work and at the weekend. The cuisine has an Asian influence, but the results are a bit inconsistent. The grilled tenderloin is served with crisp potatoes, braised baby leeks and a well-matched garlic butter ponzu sauce, but the meat is sometimes overcooked. Better options are the Singaporean chicken noodles and the sesame-crusted tuna, which comes with a crisp Asian salad and onion yuzu sauce. Ultimately, the food here is adequate, with a little more attention needed to raise the standard across the menu. It can get quite rowdy here on weekends, so dining early is your best bet if you just want to eat. But land a spot on the terrace during quieter times and you can have a relaxing experience.