With its diverse mix of nationalities and cultures, its growing collection of restaurants run by star chefs and its increasingly influential annual Food Festival, Dubai has rapidly become a top destination for enjoying delicious cuisines from all over the world. Innovative and award-winning culinary establishments are opening all the time, adding to the city’s gastronomic profile. Read on for our pick of the most exciting venues to look out for in 2018.
An award-winning concept by Masaharu Morimoto, who shot to fame through the Japanese edition of Iron Chef and is renowned for his Kaiseki-style cuisine, is opening soon in Dubai. Located in the newly-opened Renaissance Downtown Dubai, the restaurant will bring its gold standard of contemporary Japanese cuisine to the region, offering everything from sublime sushi and à la carte menus, to omakase (tasting) menus tailored to each guest, with its signature modern backdrop.
This beachfront joint hails from Rome and lets diners order by the slice – the perfect way to sample some of the more than 20 types of pizza on offer in one sitting. Unlike most pizzerias that offer their pies by the slice, this restaurant will serve up Italian-style pizzas rather than the New York City kind, and they can be enjoyed in-house or by the beach.
Opening soon, London export and celebrity favourite Scalini will enable you to select your seafood and have it cooked exactly as you want it, thanks to the venue’s market-style setting. Once you’ve chosen your fresh items, you can pull up a chair in the restaurant at the Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach. Celebrities such as Kate Moss and Johnny Depp are rumoured to be Scalini fans.
Crazyfish, brought over to Dubai’s Al Fattan Currency House from Monte Carlo, offers a similar concept to Scalini in that it gives diners the opportunity to choose their fare from a display of fresh items, a catch- of-the-day selection, as well as a dedicated caviar section. With Crazyfish’s international expansion coming so soon after inception, it’s certainly a brand with a reputation that precedes it.
Also on its way from Monaco is Beefbar – a totally new take on the traditional steakhouse and one which has its own patented method of cooking that leaves the beef crispy on the outside and tender inside. This place is all about celebrating the love of meat, but in an unpretentious atmosphere – most of the dishes are designed to be shared and enjoyed tapas-style.
This never-seen-before concept involves two restaurants, a lounge and a VIP private members-only area within a sophisticated and dynamic space, with diners wowed by live performances while they tuck into some fine Japanese and Italian fare. The venue is set to encompass a number of outdoor terraces with impressive views – think rooftop decks with sky-high vistas – that guests can enjoy before and/or after dining at the two in-house restaurants.
Promising to make guests feel like they’re dining in the Maldives, this new beach club-cum-restaurant at Dubai’s La Mer is an import from Miami that will serve up a waterfront dining experience like no other. Expect a glamorous, fun-loving crowd, as well as top-quality seafood, a lively atmosphere and upscale family-friendly activities.
An Australian-owned café inspired by Melbourne’s coffee culture, Boston Lane serves up a menu of to- die-for toasties in a light and fresh environment with lush greenery and pastel-pink archways. While it has already developed a loyal base of fans, it’s now making its mark as a mainstay for hipsters and café-lovers all over the city.
Coffee may have made its mark in this city, but tea is also now enjoying a resurgence, with Tania’s Teahouse set to open this year as an ode to everything related to the beverage. The brand has already been making appearances at several markets around town, but the brick-and-mortar location is set to open this year, selling a range of cups customised with tea-themed puns and quotes, as well as themed greeting cards and more.
It all started with RAW Coffee, a home-grown brand that’s now a mainstay for the city’s caffeine-lovers, but speciality coffee now has a dedicated following in Dubai. One must-try is Qahwaty, a Mirdif-based café that only serves coffee – but does so incredibly well. With a plethora of beans to choose from, expertly-brewed roasts and some of the most Pinterest- and Instagram-friendly interiors in town, it’s a gem for any coffee-lover.
Single Fin Dubai
Another excellent dining scene addition that’s set to come into its own this year is Single Fin Dubai, a surf- themed café nestled in the Surf House Dubai. Offering classic surfer favourites and other healthy fare, ranging from poke bowls to Indonesian and Sri Lankan curries, everything is made with organic, locally-sourced ingredients where possible, including the homemade and gluten-free breads. And with a menu that evolves every several months, there’s something for everyone.
Part art space, part café, this idyllic new spot located in Al Barsha South is a refreshing new addition to Dubai’s culinary scene. Located in the Science Park area, the interiors are reminiscent of a New York loft, while its outdoor terrace feels like you’ve been transported overseas. Owned by British artist Jonathan Gent, the venue is named after his property in the Scottish Highlands and is his working art studio that also serves up delicious meals in its diner-style booths. Don’t miss the original paintings from famous artists such as Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst.
Don’t let the location fool you – while this restaurant is tucked away in Jumeirah’s quiet Fishing Harbour area, the food is worthy of global acclaim. Created by award-winning Singaporean, Dubai-based chef Akmal Anuar, 3 Fils serves up everything from sushi to sliders of impeccable quality.
This bean-to-bar chocolatier is Dubai’s first chocolate factory and creates and produces everything on site in the popular art district of Alserkal Avenue. Guests are welcome to take a peek at the process, in which each and every concoction is made with love and attention to detail, before making their purchase, with chocolates sold in recyclable and sustainably sourced packaging. It’s already won more than 10 awards, despite being less than a year old.
Looking for a truly gastronomic travel experience?
Dubai Food Festival is an annual citywide culinary celebration that features a packed 18-day programme of food-related events, activities and promotions. The fifth edition of the festival will run from 22 February till 12 March 2018 and is set to promote the diversity, creativity and multi-cultural nature of Dubai’s food offering. Highlights of the 2018 edition include Dubai Restaurant Week, Beach Canteen, Hidden Gems and Taste of Dubai.
For more information, visit: visitdubai.com