It’s one of the most talked about developments in New Dubai and it’s finally starting to open up. Holly Sands takes a look at JBR’s best new dining options.
When it was first revealed that a new mall would sit between the beach-facing eateries of The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence and the shoreline itself, many in the city were sceptical. A great big structure obscuring the view? More traffic for Dubai Marina? Well, while the implications for congestion yet to be seen, we can reveal that fears for one of the city’s most popular places to hang out were largely unfounded. Visit The Beach, and you’ll find an impressively landscaped beachfront and sensitively built dining and shopping district that makes the most of the space it has – even going some way to improve the pedestrian experience in the area. But exactly what is there to eat at this new development that wasn’t already available on JBR’s jam-packed strip? As it turns out, plenty. Take a look at our pick of the most promising new cafés and restaurants to check out now.
This Californian burger bar, beloved of the likes of Robert Downey Jr and Leonardo DiCaprio, allows diners to create their own meals. Top your hormone and antibiotic-free beef (or chicken or veggie patty) with more than 15 different types of cheese, one of 23 sauces and 44 different toppings. Of course, if all this choice blows your mind, there’s also a full menu of the diner’s favourites to choose from.
Same plot as Reel Cinemas, The Beach, JBR. www.thecounterburger.com (no number).
Following the opening of its first Dubai outlet in DIFC, this French sushi chain prides itself on good-looking, well-executed eats. The menu boasts seven recipes created by France’s most Michelin star-awarded chef, Joël Robuchon, including a crispy lobster roll, seared scallop sushi and a new style salmon tartare. Overall, prices are impressively competitive with the city’s long-standing Japanese outlets.
The Beach, JBR, www.sushiart.ae (800 220).
The Steak Bar
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this steakhouse serves everything from steak and eggs to its signature TSB black label burger, and even a banoffee mess in a cup. Despite the casual dining connotations of the eatery’s name, prices of the steak in particular can be a little high.
The Beach, JBR, www.facebook.com/thesteakbar.com (800 783 257).
Leopold’s of London
With a prime location facing out to the sea and plenty of outdoor seating, this European spot serves a huge range of dishes for every mealtime. Breakfast options range from vanilla pancakes to quiche, while lunch and dinner options include beef short rib lasagne, sumac-rubbed salmon and fish and chips, though there’s also a deli counter packed full of fresh, hearty salads and sandwich baguettes to peruse.
Beachfront, The Beach, JBR, www.facebook.com/leopoldsoflondon (no number).
With outside tables and chairs facing the sea, this frozen yoghurt spot promises an ever-rotating range of options from the brand’s more than 100 varieties. At any one time, you’ll find fat-free, sugar-free, low carb and gluten-free flavours available, plus dairy-free sorbets.
Same plot as Reel Cinemas, The Beach, JBR, www.facebook.com/menchiesuae (no number).
House of Curry
While the outdoor tables overlooking the beach will no doubt be the most popular until the weather takes a turn for the stickier, it’s the interiors of this restaurant that really warrant investigating. Huge faux trees stand in the centre of the room, which itself has the look and feel of an atrium in a stunning old Indian home. As well as the usual suspects, you can also try dishes such as tandoori crab, clam sukka and mussel curry here.
Beachfront, The Beach, JBR, www.houseofcurry.me (04 346 9740).
Pull up a chair and sit facing the sea as you sample contemporary Greek eats. Skip the calamari and souvlaki, but don’t miss the mixed grill, fava and classic Greek salad. While service can be a little slow, the setting is enjoyably rustic.
Beachfront, The Beach, JBR (no number).
Premium Levantine food seems like a recipe to be packed out every night of the week. Throw in some shisha and we might just be looking at a new hit. The Dhs65 shawarma may keep some customers away but for visitors and fans of this cuisine it may be an enticing option.
Beachfront, The Beach, JBR (055 405 9058).
There are half a dozen outlets of this coffee shop chain around the city and the secret of its ongoing success seems to be the caramelised coffee-coated bun. The bun comes as a side order with any drink you purchase and PappaRoti looks a likely choice for a beachside coffee stop rather than a sit-down meal.
The Beach, JBR, www.papparoti.ae (no number).
Fratelli la Bufala
Two specialities leap from the menu and demand your attention: buffalo meat and mozzarella dishes. The style is Italian and there is an arty Italian vibe throughout. Best of all it looks like the place to order a giant pizza to share with a friend as the sun sets.
Beachfront, The Beach, JBR, www.fratellilabufala.eu (04 430 3493).
Although it bills itself as Mediterranean seafood, we spotted an abundance of Arabic mezze on the menu. That said we can’t help but forecast the real attractions will be found in the enormous fish counter. Buy almost 20 types of fish, by the kilogram, and look out at the sea.
Beachfront, The Beach, JBR (055 405 9058).
A journey to create the world’s best ice-cream parlour started in Italy more than 100 years ago and, via Harrods, Kuwait, the Philippines and locations across the globe it lands at The Beach. Try the banana caramel sundae or one of dozens of indulgent desserts to get a holiday feeling at any time.
The Beach, JBR, www.morellisgelato.com (no number).
Upscale Spanish food with an enormous menu covering tapas, seafood and salads. Shisha is available and an upstairs terrace will no doubt be perennially popular but it is the presence of Catalan and Galacian dishes that has us most intrigued.
The Beach, JBR, www.facebook.com/lapostreriauae (no number).
Choose to accept this beachside falafel mission and you will be in familiar territory – plates piled high with Arabic falafel, manakeesh, shawarma and mezze. On first exploration this looks to be one of the more affordable spots at The Beach.
The Beach, JBR, www.facebook.com/operationfalafel (04 338 3644).
Aprons and Hammers
Fun smash and crab dining concept should be familiar to diners thanks to the Mina Seyahi branch. The idea is the same – order a bucket full of seafood, we like the prawns, put on an apron and say goodbye to table manners.
Beachfront, The Beach, JBR, www.apronsandhammers.com (no number).
Fruteiro do Brasil
A grab-and-go juice counter seems destined to supply fruity smoothies and exotic pulps for a long time to come. Juices are freshly made before your eyes and come in a bewildering variety of flavour combos, but it is the refreshing sorbets on a stick that we’re most looking forward to sampling.
Same plot as Reel Cinemas, The Beach, JBR, www.facebook.com/fruteirodubai (no number).
Funky American burger joint moves out of the mall and onto the beach. The sandwiches are meaty and the variations are worth sampling but the side dishes such as creamy shakes, cheesy fries and frozen custard deserts are more likely to be a mid-sunbathe snack.
The Beach, JBR, www.shakeshack.com (no number).