Award-winning chef Uwe Micheel of the Radisson Blu Hotel in Deira added to the growing Emirati restaurant scene this year. After years of collecting recipes from families around the UAE, he opened Aseelah. The result is authentic, exclusively Emirati dishes that we’re huge fans of.
Burger & Lobster
A crustacean invasion threatened to claw its way over Dubai when one of London’s hottest restaurants came to the city. With its super-simple concept (can you guess what it serves?) it brings casual dining and style to DIFC.
Club Vista Mare
Al fresco seating, original restaurants, frond villa views – there’s a lot to like about the new Palm Jumeirah dining destination Club Vista Mare. It has seating for a thousand diners and the mix of beach grills, Peruvian eats, Italian cuisine and African fine dining makes it a destination for every foodie’s wish list.
Indian molecular gastronomy
No country’s cuisine can really lay claim to the molecular gastronomy trend. And so this year saw Indian food get scientific, as a flurry of restaurants showed off modernist twists to classic dishes. Farzi Café, Carnival by Tresind, Jaan at the Penthouse and Spice & Ice have all started to change what we think of as modern Indian food. Mutton kebabs with edible gold flakes take your fancy?
You know Dubai is upping its hipster credentials when the year’s trendiest hangout is a car park. Last Exit food truck park is a collection of Airstreams selling burgers, tacos and sandwiches to street food-lovers.
The global fascination with Peruvian food continued to flourish this year. Not only did we hand our Restaurant of the Year award to Coya, but new openings came along with the regularity of a gap-year backpacker hiking to Machu Picchu. Totora Cebicheria Peruana, Mayta and Ceviche in DIFC plus Aji on the Palm have favourably swelled the ranks of Peruvian restaurants in the city and you’ll hear no complaints from us.
Pop-ups in Al Quoz
Pop-ups have been embraced in the past 12 months by the city’s entrepreneurs and residents alike. We’ve seen the arrival of Hangry Hangar, The Nap Bar, Nadi Al Quoz and many more temporary cafés, markets, art exhibitions and yoga studios come and go. It’s a trend we love. Check out dining collective Inked in Alserkal Avenue for a regularly changing catalogue of concept dinners, guest chef pop ups and tastings.
Dubai’s obsession with Japanese cuisine continues, with the opening of 1920s-style Tokyo-themed restaurant and lounge Ramusake, arriving from London to JBR. The impressive venue is edgy yet classy and already has a popular ladies’ night offering unlimited grape to the fairer gender from 8pm to midnight on Wednesdays.
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dubai.
Toko is no stranger to Japanese food-lovers in Dubai or frequent lounge-dwellers. It closed doors for many months this year but is back with a fresh new look, not to mention a flash new Japanese-style garden.
Turkish cuisine is having a moment in Dubai. Never before has it been more fashionable, and with the chic restaurant Ruya opening up in Grosvenor House Dubai, it’s reached a high point. With chef Colin Clague at the helm (whose CV includes Zuma, Jean Georges, Qbara and the Burj Al Arab), it’s as tasty as it is fashionable. Evolving culinary concept Enigma in the Palazzo Versace and Besh in Sheraton Mall of the Emirates provide even more Turkish delight.