Amuse Bouche

We revisit a couple of old favourites to see if they still have what it takes

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Asha’s: The Indian food on offer at Asha’s is generally good, but what really sets this place apart is the inclusion on its menu of the greatest dahl known to humanity. It’s no surprise that a restaurant owned by famous Indian singer Asha Bhosle is a high-class affair – warm oranges, bead curtains and wealthy Indians in business suits typify the dining experience. Dishes are varied, with staples such as butter chicken appearing alongside some more adventurous creations, such as lobster curry. The food is tasty and full of flavour, but bear in mind that it’s fairly similar to the food you’d find at a joint in Karama, and is twice the price. The dahl makhani, though, is divine. Rich and sinfully buttery, it is quite simply the best dahl we’ve ever had. Ever.
Wafi, Oud Metha (04 324 0000). Open daily noon-3pm, 7pm-11pm. All major credit cards accepted. Average price of a meal for two with a glass of house wine each: Dhs500-550.

Teatro: International eatery Teatro offers a vibrant atmosphere, stylish decor and chirpy, efficient waiting staff. Oh, and the food is pretty good too. Be warned though, that Teatro’s ‘East-meets-West’ menu will bamboozle you with its pastas, pizzas and European fare, but stick to the oriental selections and you can’t go wrong. The shareable Asian platter, with hefty deep-fried prawns, Peking duck spring rolls and samosas, is a safe bet, and you’ll be spoilt for choice for mains as you wade your way through spicy curries, wok-fried combos, fresh sushi and tandoori specialities. Remember to save space for dessert – the chocolate soufflé or sizzling brownie are definitely worth the calories.
Towers Rotana Hotel (04 343 8000). Open daily 6.30pm-11.30pm. All major credit cards accepted. Average price of a meal for two with a glass of house wine each: Dhs400-500.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House: Does Dubai really need yet another steak restaurant imported from the States? We know what you’re imagining: a TGI-style batter-fest topped with lashings of melted cheese. Luckily, Ruth’s Chris is about as far from your typical greasy diner as it’s possible to get, and the food itself is heavenly. From the slick, modern decor to the friendly service, everything about this place impresses. The menu offers steakhouse staples with a few American twists and, while the prices aren’t cheap, the food is stellar. For your money you’re guaranteed a spectacular cut of beef, served on a plate heated to 500°F and topped with melted butter. Delicious.
The Monarch Dubai (04 501 8666). Open Sun-Thurs noon-2.30pm, 7pm-11.30pm; Fri-Sat 7pm-midnight. All major credit cards accepted. Average price of a meal for two with a glass of house wine: Dhs700-800.

Rostang, The French Brasserie: Michel Rostang must value good staff as much as he does good food, for the service at Rostang Brasserie is exceptional. Cutting a sleek line between contemporary wine bar and plush-yet-cosy French brasserie, Rostang also has a pleasant al-fresco courtyard surrounded by tropical foliage. The food is delicious, if (unsurprisingly) expensive. Three oysters, which sliver down your throat quicker than you can taste them, cost a hefty Dhs115; but the beef stroganoff, served with creamy tagliatelle, is a generous and delicious portion of mushroomy, steaky goodness. The impressive finale of an enthusiastic and chatty waiter flambéing a crepe before your eyes seals the deal and, despite the large bill, you’ll leave more than the obligatory 10 per cent for the excellent service.
Atlantis Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626). Open daily 9am-midnight. All major credit cards accepted. Average price of a meal for two with a glass of house wine each: Dhs500-600.

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