Chinese 04 354 5543 DIFC

Royal China is steeped in luxury, from the huge red tasselled chandeliers down to the dark polished wood floors – and the garden is something else completely. It’s candlelit, romantic and ambient, and the tranquility feels a million miles away from the bustle of DIFC.

Not sure what to choose from the menu? Order prawn crackers and pickles to nibble while you peruse the options – though you should know that the prawn dim sum is unbelievably juicy and fresh. The calamari, meanwhile, is unlikely to remain unfinished for long, delicately flavoured in an encased in a beautifully light, crisp batter. (You may not wish to share with your dining companion – but Time Out accepts no responsibility if your table manners fall so far short.).

Elsewhere on the list, crispy shredded beef has a perfect balance of crunchy exterior and tender meat, and arrives garnished in fiery red chillies that deliver a seriously moreish kick. Also try the sweet and sour chicken dish, which is laden with crunchy onions and fresh peppers that balance out the rich sauce perfectly.

An oasis in the city’s busy business district, prepare to enjoy the serenity, the grandeur, and the completely splendid food. It is one of our Highly Commended in the Best Chinese Restaurants category, after all.

The bottom line:
Top-notch Chinese cuisine in a fancy location

+971 4 384 8484 World Trade Center Area

Stylish Chinese lattice, low mood lighting and sleek wooden furniture set the scene on arrival at Hakkasan, in the iconic Emirates Towers.

The restaurant is candlelit, the gleaming bar is vast and impressive and the feel is cosy and authentic. Hakkasan offers fine dining at its fanciest, and the contemporary Cantonese menu is top notch. The three-time Best Chinese Time Out winner is still a benchmark against which most of its city counterparts can be judged.

Prepare to be bowled over by the roast chicken in satay sauce, which is served in a crispy skin swimming in a thick and flavoursome peanut curry. The stir-fried duck breast with dried chilli and Szechuan peppercorn is bursting with tantalising flavour and the crispy duck rolls are dangerously moreish.
We also recommend trying the dim sum, which is as fresh and juicy as we’ve known it in the entire city and will leave you clamouring for more.

Service, as you might expect, is also flawless, and waiters are efficient and professional.

All of the aforementioned niceties, however, do come at a price, and although you’ll leave thoroughly impressed, your wallets will be considerably lighter. Nevertheless, Hakkasan is stunning overall, and well worth visiting for a truly special occasion.

Chinese +971 4 426 2626 Palm Jumeirah

PERMANENTLY CLOSED

It’s no surprise Yuan has been a favourite of Time Out Dubai since opening. Tucked away in a quiet corner of The Avenues at Atlantis The Palm, it’s hard not to be impressed by its striking and modern interiors, the space’s low-key lighting, stylish décor and minimalist music setting just the right mood for dining or having a drink. The service is also superb, with eloquent, upbeat staff who know how not to be overbearing. But all these niceties come at a price, one fit for Atlantis at that, meaning budget eaters should head to Yuan on Fridays and indulge in its impressive brunch rather than break the bank with à la carte choices. The menu is fairly concise but varied, including an extensive list of expertly steamed dim sum. All other food choices are of a high standard – as well as the delicious and refreshing ice teas – but it’s just short of the best in the city. Just.

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