Dubai marina restaurants special occasion
Time Out Dubai guide to Dubai Marina restaurants; best places to eat in Dubai Marina defined by price and cuisine, with reviews, details, hours and deals.
The Dubai Marina Walk is almost entirely restaurants, cafés and supermarkets, serving up almost every imaginable cuisine. You’ll find Mexican, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern and American, fajitas, curries, noodles, sushi, shawarmas and burgers, plus bagels, pies and a whole lot more. This is a destination for dining and strolling along the water. Relax with a drink at one of the many establishments in and around Dubai Marina Mall, step into hotels that offer views of Jumeirah Beach and the Palm, or onto a rooftop putting into focus the urban jungle around it. Whether you’re after a pub vibe of something fancy, you won’t run short of options here.
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.
With views overlooking Dubai Marina, a cool and laid-back vibe, a funky soundtrack and sleek décor, there’s a lot to love about Siddharta Lounge. Sadly, the food isn’t one of them.
Set on the rooftop of Grosvenor House Dubai, the bar had an extensive revamp at the end of 2016 – to its benefit – and is now more spacious, slick and comfortable. With that, the menu was also overhauled, leaving us eager to try the exciting new dishes.
Despite having an extensive dining area, Siddharta Lounge’s vibe is mainly that of a bar – something that is reflected in the standard of the culinary offerings. And coming from a team that’s behind Buddha-Bar (which does excellent dishes), it’s all the more disappointing.
The menu boasts a range of salads, sushi and tapas dishes.
We opt for a combination, starting with volcano shrimp maki. It’s greasy, and goes back to the kitchen unfinished. Giant prawns are an improvement, but still rubbery, while the paella doesn’t fare much better, lacking flavour and bite.
The décor is chic, the vibe is classy and the bar is cool, with some pretty good happy hour deals. Stick to going for those reasons and you’ll be thrilled.
The bottom line
Enjoy drinks, but dine elsewhere.
Massive venue Atelier M has your entire night out covered, being a restaurant on the lower floor, with a bar upstairs and rooftop terrace. But the food alone is worth booking in for.
It’s simple, Mediterranean fare with a few Asian twists – think duck confit and porcini risotto, alongside Iranian saffron tagliatelle and black cod saiyo yaki. Food is of good quality and the flavours are well-balanced, but prices are a little on the high side. And while dishes may not blow your mind, you’re paying for the fine-dining setting, plus that huge outdoor terrace showing off those beautiful Dubai Marina views. So there’s method in the venue’s pricing.
To start, the wagyu beef gyozas are a good shout, the tender, spicy meat tempered nicely by the flavour of sautéed kimchee. Mains all sound delicious – if you’re indecisive, probably best you arrive early to ensure you make the right choice. That aforementioned Iranian tagliatelle is a good option, boosted but not overpowered by the earthy-sweet taste of saffron. The Chilean sea bass is another wise move. Served with grilled courgette and a citrussy gremolata, it’s fresh, zesty and full of flavour.
This is a good, if slightly pricey venue, should you find yourself Marina-side.
The bottom line
Inventive flavours at this fine-dining spot.
When entering this Latin American restaurant, you can’t miss the sculpture of a fierce bronze bull, there to remind you that this place means business when it comes to food. The staff, who are thankfully friendlier looking, show us to our table. The décor is mature, with low amber lighting and contemporary art. The menu is excellent from top to bottom. For starters, try for the smoked guacamole, which goes well with crunchy tortillas. Choosing a steak for your main course is a must. It will be cooked perfectly. For a special meal or a night out with close friends, Toro Toro is one to add to the must-list.
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