When it comes to food in Dubai, name it and you’ll find it. The city presents a world of cuisines to savor. From authentic Japanese kaiseki and Asian street food to traditional Arabian specialties and gourmet Indian, check out our shortlist of the hottest new eateries in town.
MISS TESS – The very best of Asia tucked into Dubai. Miss Tess at Taj Dubai embraces the bold from all angles – from the restaurant’s eclectic decor with a colorful tuk-tuk parked right in the center to a dinner menu inspired by the fictitious Miss Tess’ travels across Korea, Thailand, China, and Vietnam. Take a seat and prepare to feast on modern Asian street food, served with a side of theatrical music and dance. Whether you’re craving dim sum, spicy noodles, fresh sushi or Korean BBQ, the restaurant more than satisfies using just the right amount of culinary magic. Miss Tess is fun, quirky and always memorable.
Our recommendation: Book a table on Miss Tess’ terrace for Instagram-worthy views of the world’s tallest tower, Burj Khalifa.
MASTI – Staying true to its name – translated from Hindi as ‘fun and mischief’ – the food at Masti is a creative ode to the flavors we all know and love. Located at Dubai’s hottest new beachfront destination, La Mer, the restaurant serves up an irresistible array of sharing plates that combine elements from other global cuisines. Standouts from the menu include duck kheema crostini, sun-dried tomato prawns, sweet chili glazed lamb chops and its version of beef carpaccio with a creamy creole curry aioli. It’s all tantalizingly refreshing, and a fitting tribute to modern India.
Our recommendation: While Masti’s interiors feature a colorful vibe, book a table on the beachfront terrace and enjoy Dubai’s perfect winter sunshine and skyline views.
TORO + KO – Located at City Walk, this eatery shines for its carefully-crafted menu, paying homage to its Spanish roots. Following openings in Boston, New York, and Bangkok, the Dubai outpost is a delight for the city’s gourmands. Inspired by the ubiquitous tapas eateries dotted around Barcelona, the restaurant puts its own signature stamp on Spanish favorites by using the most authentic, flavor-packed ingredients. The brainchild of award-winning chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette, there’s plenty to enjoy including chicken croquettes, smoked Padron peppers, lobster rolls, lamb cutlets and delicious paella. Each dish is a fine balance, offering a fresh spin on the traditional.
Our recommendation: The freshly-baked churros with chocolate and dulce de leche is a dessert dream come true.
LITTLE MISS INDIA – designed to resemble a colonial mansion, Little Miss India invites guests to discover the history and diversity of Indian cuisine in a distinctly homely setting. With colorful truck art and a private courtyard, this dining destination is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The menu unfolds with each dish enhanced by exotic spice blends and traditional cooking techniques. Savor Indian classics such as lamb rogan josh and butter chicken, as well as more intriguing dishes such as the spicy shrimp curry that blends chili, tamarind, and coconut for a flavor crescendo.
Our recommendation: Try the signature tandoori raan – a marinated leg of lamb slow-cooked for eight hours and finished in the charcoal tandoor for an irresistible taste.
KOHANTEI – This is Dubai’s only Japanese restaurant offering a ‘kaiseki’ experience and it’s the real deal. Marrying its prime location at Dubai Opera District with warm hospitality, Kohantei is a wholly refreshing addition to the city’s dining scene. Headed by chef Hisao Ueda, the multi-course concept involves a series of dishes crafted from seasonal ingredients, many of which are flown in directly from Japan. Careful attention to detail is reflected in every aspect of the restaurant, from the traditionally-dressed Japanese staff to the architecture, complete with sliding shōji doors and tatami flooring. Kohantei features only three private dining rooms and an intimate dining area with five tables, so reservations are essential.
Our recommendation: Choose one of Kohantei’s five multi-course menus featuring premium Japanese beef and seafood.
SEAN CONNOLLY at DUBAI OPERA – In just a few short months, Sean Connolly at Dubai Opera has amassed an admirable reputation for the celebrity chef’s collection of signature steak and seafood dishes. One visit and you’ll understand why – the menu may seem extensive at first glance with everything from wood-fired pizzas to a raw oyster bar and prime cuts of meat, but every dish is a delight thanks to the careful sourcing of ingredients and artful presentation. Located in one of the city’s most iconic venues, enjoy a pre-theatre dinner at the ‘secret garden’ rooftop terrace.
Our recommendation: Book the Friday garden brunch with friends, which features bestsellers from the menu.
BLEU BLANC by DAVID MYERS – Savor a meal to remember at celebrity chef David Myer’s restaurant in Dubai. With a herb garden wall, bright blue doors and vintage-inspired crockery, there’s no mistaking Bleu Blanc’s rustic roots. The menu makes the most of the wood-fired grill, and there’s plenty to choose from including prime cuts of meat and succulent seafood. Vegetarians will love the comfort-filled mac and cheese with a hint of truffle, and grilled pumpkin with yogurt and mushroom veloute. Everything is prepared in front of guests at the open-plan kitchen, making for a convivial homely atmosphere.
Our recommendation: Book a table at Bleu Blanc’s terrace that presents sweeping views of the glittering Dubai Water Canal.
GALVIN DUBAI – Located in City Walk, Galvin Dubai embraces its signature ‘Best of British’ ethos and a menu that champions Mediterranean flavors from Italy, France, and North Africa. It’s a beautiful melting pot that presents sumptuous dishes such as the tagine of lamb served with couscous and aubergine purée, seabass carpaccio, grilled lemon sole and Mediterranean fish stew. Complemented by slick interiors, on-point service and a charming al fresco dining area, Galvin Dubai has all the right ingredients for a great night out.
Our recommendation: The deluxe ‘seafood tower’ is perfect for sharing. It comes piled high with oysters, shrimp, king crab, clams, lobster, and seafood tartare.
NINIVE – Named after the ancient city of Nineveh, famed for the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the restaurant is designed to resemble an oasis. Perched on the elevated terrace of Jumeirah Emirates Towers, the restaurant blends the best features of a lush garden and a modern urban majlis, with handmade artwork and design elements. All of this lends the feeling of ‘coming home’, and the menu celebrates the diversity of Middle Eastern and North African cuisines, which can all be sampled in Dubai. While the range of meat dishes stand out, vegetarians will love the Moroccan tagine with olives, artichokes, carrots, and potatoes.
Our recommendation: The Iraqi tashreeb dish is a delectable choice where the braised, breaded lamb is gently cooked for hours with spices and lemon.
Article and Lead Photo derived from Visit Dubai