Hot new restaurants in Dubai

New Arabic, Asian, Belgian and French eating options arrive in the emirate

Maison Mathis
Maison Mathis
Le Maison du Chocolat
Le Maison du Chocolat

We take a culinary staycation, touring the new Arabic, Asian, Belgian and French eating options in Dubai.

If there’s one thing we love about Dubai in the winter, it is probably not the weather (actually). The joy of a cool breeze is far outstripped by the pleasure of sinking our teeth through the unending series of new restaurants that are opening.

So let’s start with our amuse bouche of contemporary Arabian cooking. New restaurant Qbara has just launched in Wafi Fort complex, boasting a menu devised by chef Colin Clague, the opening chef behind the likes of Zuma and The Ivy in Dubai. Since we love a little wordplay, we’ve taken a shine to this restaurant’s name, which means ‘large and generous’ in Arabic, but is also apparently meant to represent the word ‘Arabic’ when spelt backwards. Bringing together Middle Eastern flavours and spicing, Qbara has also taken on the high-end and contemporary lounge bar meets restaurant concept that is proving ever popular. Looks like this could be one to watch, and even spark a new era for the Arabic dining scene in Dubai. Fingers crossed!

Yet another Arabian eating and drinking concept has also opened in JW Marriott Marquis, Nawwara Lounge and Restaurant. With a name that means ‘light’ this venue is pitching itself as a nighttime hot spot with an Arabic-Mediterranean menu teamed with resident and international DJs playing deep house and chillout tracks, as well as a shisha terrace.

If Asian cooking is more to your taste the new Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa, on the Palm Jumeirah, has launched its signature restaurant Mekong. Fittingly, since this river flows from China through South-East Asia, the restaurant will offer a primarily Thai menu, with some pan Asian touches from China and Vietnam. Guests can dine in rickshaws, while sampling dishes such as Thai green curry, coconut roasted halibut and pandan sticky rice with sweet mango and coconut cream.

And from what the French once called Indochina to some (primarily) Francophile dining news for dessert. First up from the French speaking world is Belgium, with the opening of Maison Mathis in Arabian Ranches. The Belgian inspired menu at this new spot promises bread and pastries freshly baked on-site each day, classics such as quiche Lorraine, pain perdu and (of course) Belgian waffles.

Finally, after eating our way through Arabia, Asia and Europe, we’re heading to Paris for petit fours. French specialist in hand-made chocolate Le Maison du Chocolat is due to open its first boutique in the Middle East on Wednesday November 20 in the Dubai Mall.

The store, founded by Robert Linxe in 1977, has been credited by some of the world’s best patisserie chefs as being one of the instigators in turning the whole chocolate industry around. Bienvenue to Dubai!

Until next week, bon appétit!

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