Time Out celebrates some of the brilliant Dubai seafood restaurants with a special look at the best fish dishes in Dubai, including Zuma and Coya

Our pick of some of the finest seafood this city has to offer...

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.

Afghani 04 426 2626 Palm Jumeirah

Nobu needs no introduction. This globally renowned brand from Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa is consistently excellent the world over, especially here in Dubai, and you simply must visit. The restaurant at Atlantis the Palm is a hotspot for tourists and residents, and there’s a great bar for a pre-dinner drink, too.

Famous for its black cod, this is one menu item not to be missed. Nobu can be credited for the surge in popularity of the dish, after Hollywood star Robert De Niro tried it, loved it and told the world about it. And you’ll agree with De Niro. The buttery, flaky fish is a pure joy to eat. It’s rich, decadent and every bit as good as the hype.

The jalapeño yellowtail is also another stunner. The citrusy, delicate fish is tangy and light, and the chilli gives a warming kick. All the sushi is worthy of a try and for mains the grilled lobster is meaty and perfectly charred. Shrimp fan? Order up the prawn tempura, which are huge, juicy and not at all greasy – some of the best we’ve tried.

Dishes are also really healthy, as Nobu uses minimal sugar in his cooking, preferring to use the Chinese monk fruit – a zero calorie natural sweetener, so there’s no excuse not try them.

Nobu may be on the expensive end of the scale, but its popular for a reason and you shouldn’t miss it.

The bottom line
World-class Japanese dishes that are a must-try.

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 4 332 5555 971 4 3571755 World Trade Center Area

PERMANENTLY CLOSED

When Catch arrived in the city in 2015, by way of New York, seafood-lovers were thrilled by the cool menu and equally trendy décor. We were so wowed by it that we crowned it Best Seafood restaurant of 2017, so we were excited to hear of its recent revamp – both in terms of menu and interiors.

As part of this, the bar area has moved to be more integrated into the dining area. What the old bar area is set to become is yet to be revealed, though it’s designed to make “the dining experience more cosy”, so says the team. What endures is the urban vibe, with exposed brickwork, deep, comfy leather banquettes, dark moody lighting and graffiti, and the vibe is buzzing and upbeat.

We start with the MRC roll crammed with tuna, shrimp tempura and avocado, which is lifted by a light, spicy mayo. It’s delicious and moreish. We also go for a chicken karage bao, which is on the stodgy side.

We move on to the herb-roasted branzino, which sits upon creamy basmati. It’s a hit and the tender, meaty giant prawns are equally tasty. Portion sizes are decent, and, while on the pricey side, it’s not overly so, and justifable for the location and quality.

With a fun vibe, excellent dishes and some cool décor. this is one for a great night out.

The bottom line
Top quality dishes in a super-cool spot.

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