Private dining rooms in Dubai

Time Out guide to private dining rooms in Dubai, great for birthdays, celebrations, groups and hen and bachelor parties at some of Dubai best restaurants

Dubai certainly isn't short of 'special occasion' restaurants, whether you fancy fine dining or something a little 'cooler'. Whatever your tastes, we've got you covered.

But every so often the occasion demands things be cranked up another notch or two. So stopping short of hiring a celebrity chef to come to your own, you need to take a peek behind the curtain and take a seat in a private dining room. And in a city as glamorous as ours, you'll be unsurprised to hear there's a hatful of top choices.

From the ornate basements to practically on top of the chefs in their kitchen, you can choose your spot, sit back and enjoy one of the most exclusive dining experiences you're ever likely to have.

Japanese 04 425 5660 DIFC

When dining at Zuma expectations are always high. This is a multiple award-winner, and is therefore always packed out. It’s also very expensive, but don’t let that put you off – save up and go. We mean it, if you dine at one Japanese restaurant in the city, let it be this one.

Book in advance, as it could take weeks before you get a table, it’s that popular. But happily, it ticks all the boxes once you’re in.
Winner of this category – as well as Best Brunch – for the second year in a row, the Japanese juggernaut that is Zuma shows no signs of slowing. It’s unfailingly popular and always busy.

Launched in Knightsbridge, London, in 2002, German-born chef Rainer Becker’s brand has gone from strength to strength, with branches from New York to Miami and Rome.

It’s not the prettiest of locations, set in DIFC with views over the main road, but you’ll hardly notice when your attention is fully focused on what’s on your plate.

Don’t miss the beef and green chilli robata skewers, they’re perfectly charred. The sweet potato with teriyaki and sesame is also a hit.

Main courses are sublime. The black cod is an obvious choice, although an excellent one, but we’d suggest the roasted Boston lobster, with shiso ponzu butter. It’s rich, tender, garlicky and moreish, with every bite a complete delight. And that’s what Zuma is, a complete culinary delight.

The bottom line
Award-winning Japanese. Book it, now.

Caribbean 04 354 4074 Sheikh Zayed Road

Brightly coloured and filled with the sounds of modern and old-school reggae and dancehall, Miss Lily’s may be one of the city’s smaller restaurant, but it’s all the better for it.

Feeling like a funky, urban Jamaican canteen-meets-American diner, this New York import serves up an intimate, convivial atmosphere with a massive wallop of fun.

While it may not have delivered Dubai its first taste of Caribbean food, it’s undoubtedly the city’s favourite.

Service is swift, personable and attentive, the atmosphere is electric on any given night, and the food is superb – a savvy blend of authentic and inventive.

For Caribbean-meets-Middle Eastern, don’t miss the ackee hummus, served with grilled roti flatbreads, while the crispy fish tacos with spicy escovitch dressing are knockout.

Everything impresses. There’s West Indian curry prawns (uber-fragrant), curry goat stew (fall-apart delicious) and, of course, Miss Lily’s “world famous” jerk grilled chicken.

Bigger groups can also order the likes of garlic-roasted lamb shoulder, hot pepper lobster and slow-roasted pimento short rib. And visit in a big group you absolutely should. A restaurant like this deserves a party, and you deserve to taste as many dishes as possible.

The bottom line
Fun hangout with spot-on food.

British +971 4 4542638 Emirates Hills

A bona fide family-friendly Dubai institution, Reform Social & Grill is that rare thing – a community pub. Set in the Lakes, it is perfect for a weekend meal with a few drinks, mum and dad able to chill out in the garden while the kids play on the small playground and makeshift football pitch alongside it. In the week the place is also rammed, but with people popping in for a pint and bite to eat on the way home after work. And those bites are very good, by the way. Pâtés, steak tartare and salads pepper the starters – and the pear and stilton tart is a corker, too – while there are four packed sharing platters to choose from, top grills, good salads and a lovely ploughman’s. A special shout-out to the burgers as well. Juicy and fat. Just as they should be. Good breakfasts, too. This place is highly recommended.

Traiteur is closed during summer 2017 for refurbishment

Trends and fashions have changed over the years in Dubai, but the quality of this French fancy has stood the test of time. Its Creek views, waters’ edge tables and serene vibe play their parts as much as the food ever has. Indoors, the open kitchen is a lovely touch, offering plenty of chef-watching, but what they’re cooking has changed a little bit. No longer exclusively French, the menu is confusing now, with categories and subcategories that stray all over the world. Staff aren’t the best at explaining what’s going on either but it seems that the best way to order the food is, wait for it, in waves, with plates to share. For those who long for a main course all to themselves, the “Be Social” part of the menu features large plates that are enough for one. So, you can keep the chicken breast, black hake and short ribs all to yourself. Thankfully, what is served is still of the highest order. A zesty mackerel starter is exquisite, doused in a sweet and sour escobeche sauce, and the lamb rack from the “Main Event” section of the “Classics” column is one of the more brilliantly cooked pieces of meat you’ll
try in the city. Try it with plump, juicy, sweet flash-roasted cherry tomatoes.


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