The 10th annual Time Out Dubai restaurant awards kicked off on Wednesday night with a lot of nervous-looking chefs and restaurateurs…. And ended with cheesy smiles all over from both the winners and their competition thanks to an extravagant snack table from Lactalis International.
An audience full of the Dubai food industry’s most important people watched the first gong of the night go to Al Fayrooz Lounge in the Madinat Jumeirah for the Best Afternoon Tea here in the emirate.
While being snapped on the red carpet with their various prize pieces – which included a trophy, plaque and display plate - the team told us: “We’re very excited. We’ve been working very hard all year. I think it paid off, we’ve done a tremendous job with the food and setting and now it’s all really come together. Look at the managers their speechless!”
The very stylish folk from GQ Bar Dubai collected the trophy for Best Bar Food in Dubai, fighting off competition from the likes of Cargo, Trader Vic’s and Buddha Bar.
There was also some incredible competition in the Best Brunch category but the prize ultimately went to Traiteur, situated at the Park Hyatt Dubai.
When it comes to spending a little less on nosh, we thought Calicut Paragon in Karama serves the Best Budget food in the city and that’s why they were delighted to scoop the award.
“The last four years we won highly commended so this time is great. We have seven outlets in the UAE on three different brands. In India we’ve been going 76 years, you can say one of the largest restaurants in South India belongs to us. It’s fully packed always,” the winning duo said, adding that they proudly display all of their Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards acknowledgements on the wall at their place.
Zuma went home with the Best Business Lunch in Dubai accolade. But did they imagine they’d win with so much competition in 2015?
“Yes. Obviously we put all of our effort in everyday to ensure our DIFC people come see us. We want to be the best in town and we hope this is not going to be the last award,” they said, adding that they don’t know who their biggest competition is because they work lunch and don’t eat it.
“But there are many good business lunches around DIFC, that’s probably the best place you can find it. If anyone [was good competition] I would say the Best Budget Calicut Paragon.”
Shortly afterwards Tom&Serg stepped out of the Dubai Ballroom inside the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel with the Best Café title, proudly sporting a gold statuette.
“There are so many good people but Lime Tree is so good and every year they do so well. They have such a good following. We all were ourselves and that was our strategy,” the creator’s told us.
The team is opening a new café in the Burj Al Salam Towers next door to the H Hotel. The coffee and bakery spot is the “same theme and culture but different concept” to Tom&Serg and hopefully will be ready by April 10.
Although Book Munch won the Best FAMILY Restaurant in Dubai, we urge EVERYBODY to go try out their venue.
‘I’m ecstatic. We won last year but it was so unexpected this year. We’re honoured to be among these people, everyone deserves to win. We were nominated for best café and we knew it was for Tom&Serg, if we won we would have given it to them,’ the boss said before mentioning their fingers are crossed for big success too with their upcoming new location in Business Bay.
Where would you take your dream date to eat out in Dubai? We decided that Pier Chic Dubai is officially the Best Romantic Restaurant but did they expect it?
“No, we’re really happy I can’t believe it. We won a good few years in a row. It’s amazing to win it every year. Everyone is great and I think being romantic is individual so we’re really proud. The location in itself is brilliant,” the chef explained.
A rare hat-trick as Ossiano in Atlantic took the Best Seafood Restaurant in Dubai title for the third year in a row. And with their efforts to ensure they produce top meals, is it ay surprise?
“We’re three times lucky and we always work every year to try and achieve more. Now we have a beautiful new team so we expect next year to be up again. We’re very product-driven and try to do the best. You want the products to speak for themselves; the freshness, where the products come from and of course the season,” the told us.
“It’s about the local produce as well, not only on seafood but also the organic vegetables, fruits that are coming onto the market.”
Best Steakhouse in Dubai went to Rhodes Twenty10 at Le Royal Meridien and creator Gary Rhodes team shared that, “He’ll be very happy, he’s on the phone already.”
The Best Chinese Restaurant in Dubai is Yuan at the Atlantis. “I can’t sleep tonight,” the chef told us while clutching to his gold trophy.
Another massive win was the modern food of Rajasthan which got the Best Indian Restaurant in Dubai accolade for Rang Mahal.
“We’d been waiting for one year. This year we were quietly confident but with these awards you never know. We’re going to celebrate with the team. This is the team’s award. This is like a Michelin star in Dubai,” they smiled.
“We’re really focussed on the quality of the food, every dish that comes out has to be the right temperature. Thank you for recognising us.”