Time Out is the guide to the best dishes in Dubai, and here we reflect on all we ate in 2016 at Dubai's best restaurants, including meat and seafood

Time Out has no problem telling it like is, and we’ve tried so much food in the city that quite frankly it’s alarming. And while once a year at our restaurant awards we share the best restaurants to go to, based on service, ambience and a multitude of things, we thought it would be nice to zone in on individual dishes. Here are some menu items that make the trip to a restaurant completely worth it on its own.

Japanese 04 425 5660 DIFC

When dining at Zuma expectations are always high. This is a multiple award-winner, and is therefore always packed out. It’s also very expensive, but don’t let that put you off – save up and go. We mean it, if you dine at one Japanese restaurant in the city, let it be this one.

Book in advance, as it could take weeks before you get a table, it’s that popular. But happily, it ticks all the boxes once you’re in.
Winner of this category – as well as Best Brunch – for the second year in a row, the Japanese juggernaut that is Zuma shows no signs of slowing. It’s unfailingly popular and always busy.

Launched in Knightsbridge, London, in 2002, German-born chef Rainer Becker’s brand has gone from strength to strength, with branches from New York to Miami and Rome.

It’s not the prettiest of locations, set in DIFC with views over the main road, but you’ll hardly notice when your attention is fully focused on what’s on your plate.

Don’t miss the beef and green chilli robata skewers, they’re perfectly charred. The sweet potato with teriyaki and sesame is also a hit.

Main courses are sublime. The black cod is an obvious choice, although an excellent one, but we’d suggest the roasted Boston lobster, with shiso ponzu butter. It’s rich, tender, garlicky and moreish, with every bite a complete delight. And that’s what Zuma is, a complete culinary delight.

The bottom line
Award-winning Japanese. Book it, now.

04 336 4444 Sheikh Zayed Road

This swanky Asian, set high on the 36th floor of The H Dubai, is the ideal place for a fun, swish night out. As soon as you enter you’ll be wowed by the sparkling vistas out from the floor-to-ceiling windows and the classy, low-key vibe.

The signature dishes here should not be missed. The cuisine is “Mediterrasian”, a blend of light, fresh Mediterranean flavours with the bold, powerful tastes of Asia, and the kitchen does this tremendously.

PLAY’s Pita Surprise – baked crispy pita bread filled with wagyu beef and truffle paste, a Time Out Dubai favourite – is a simply stunning dish. Unique, fun and wonderfully indulgent, the crisp crunch of the casing houses a marvellously creamy, smooth filling. The sushi and sashimi are also delightful, fresh and tasty, too.

Main dishes range from entrecôte with café de PLAY butter – a tender cut of meat enhanced by that unique, tasty spread – grilled sea bass and black cod to oven-baked marinated saffron chicken. However, the spaghetti carbonara with veal pancetta made tableside in a giant Parmesan wheel is a showstopper. Not strictly Asian, it’s a dish served with flair and fun, and encapsulates what’s PLAY is all about.

Sit back and take in the ambiance, and don’t arrive too early – this place ramps up later in the evening. Book later to enjoy the top atmosphere alongside those views and that food.

The bottom line:
Creative dishes and striking views

+971 4 308 0440 World Trade Center Area

If you are yet to visit Trèsind yet then you need to book a table right now. Taking home the gong in this category for the second consecutive year, this really is the best of the best when it comes to Indian dining in Dubai.

From start to finish the experience is surreal, inventive and interactive. The journey starts with a vase of dry ice on the table, setting an air of mystery and drama.

Most of the dishes here are cooked at your table by specialised chefs who talk you through the recipes and explain all the different ingredients used. With an extensive history behind the regions products come from, it’s quite the geography lesson, too.

It’s hard not to be nosy here as you’ll be looking at the table next to you to see what their chef is cooking, After you’ve been wowed by the showmanship, it’s time to be amazed by the taste. Everything is presented in the most impressive way. From pancakes hanging on what we can only assume is a washing line strung up over fake grass to amuse bouches on miniature tables, there’s no end to the creativity displayed here.

With dishes that look like works of art and taste delicious Trèsind wows in every way possible.

The bottom line
Don't miss this stunning Indian restaurant

Bar & pub food 056 404 0685 Sheikh Zayed Road

This is coffee shop gurus Tom and Serg’s fourth culinary venture and their first licensed premises. It’s impossible for the names Tom and Serg to be written down without the word “hipster” being close by. So we’ll get it out of the way now. In this bar, you’ll find many a moustache, a plethora of plaid and a smattering of snapbacks. There are also craft hops, innovative beef and chicken hot dogs and chicken and waffles. All of this, we are happy with. Brunswick brings something different to the sports bars of Al Barsha. In short, the food is better than other places nearby, it’s light and it isn’t filled with smoke. There’s an “outdoor” smoking area separate from the main bar, which is all industrial styling (exposed ceiling, concrete floor, bare light bulbs) and TVs showing sports from Australia, the US and the UK. Burgers are excellent and we can recommend the pink pepper squid and nachos for sharing. There’s plenty here to keep most people happy, not just sports fans.


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