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Restaurants in Dubai


Restaurants in Dubai


Guide and reviews of some of the best restaurants in Dubai

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Dubai has a wide variety of cuisine to offer, and most of the best restaurants are within hotels, especially as hotels are some of the only restaurants that can serve alcohol with the meal. There are exceptions to this rule such as Century Village, Irish Village (next door to Century Village) and the Wafi centre, both of which are highly recommendable for at least a visit.

Below we take a look at some of the restaurants available in Dubai. Thursday marks the beginning of the weekend and restaurants are always very busy, so if you are interested in any of the below we highly advise you to book, especially in the Summer months as a lot of restaurants will close their outdoor dining areas as it is too hot.

Ashiana - Wow ! This restaurant is really one of the most famous and most highly respected Indian restaurants in Dubai. Serving Northern Indian Specialties, the restaurant Ashiana, is a must visit when you are in Dubai. The service is excellent, with the waiters more than willing to recommend you dishes, and the ambience is very convivial, to a nice evening out, whether it be business or pleasure. The evening sees the appearance of the equally famous Ashiana resident band,  which enhances the aromatic and spicy dishes with the enchanting sound of classic Indian music. Located at the Sheraton Dubai Hotel and Towers. Reservations are recommended. Tel : 281 111.

Al Qasr - It would be a crime to come to the Middle East, and not try some of the local flavours and tastes. At Al Qasr which is located at the beautiful Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa, you will be able to enjoy some of the finest Lebanese and Middle Eastern cuisine, Dubai has to offer. Overlooking the splendid gardens, swimming pools, and beach at the Resort makes for a splendid evening, which accompanied by a Belly Dancer and Arabian Music will whisk you away in a dream, you will not be able to forget. The food is delicious and the very helpful waiters will be more than happy to help you in the right direction and to offer you suggestions according to your own tastes. We do warn you though, that such a meal can last a long time, so do ensure that you bring a large appetite and a little time to be able to soak in and enjoy the atmosphere.

Antique Bazaar - Wow ! This restaurant is outstanding and has fast established itself as a leader in the Indian restaurants in Dubai. Located at the Four Points Sheraton Bur Dubai the restaurant offers guests excellent food but its main attraction is the unusual decoration. Every table in the restaurant is different, each one telling its own story from the Indian Palace from which it was originally taken. Open for dinner from 19:30 until 3 am this really is a MUST while in Dubai mainly because the restaurant is so different from any other Indian restaurant we have ever seen. Prices are reasonable with a bottle of house wine at Dhs 75 with a choice of two house reds and one house white, appetizers range from 17 - 30 Dhs and main courses around the 30 Dhs mark. Reservations can be made by calling : 3977444.        

Ayam Zamam - Is possible one of the most famous and highly respected Lebanese restaurants in Dubai and something that we can highly recommend this restaurant as a MUST not only for the food but also the whole Arabian experience. Located at the Century Hotel (formerly known as the Dubai Marine Hotel) in Bur Dubai, Ayam Zamam is open seven days a week for lunch from 12:30 - 15:30 and for dinner with live entertainment from 19:30 - 3am. Ayam Zamam is designed in the form of a cave, and the Arabian touches and live entertainment that plays traditional Arabian music from 10:30/11:00 guarantees a special experience. At lunch the restaurant serves both a la carte but also a special 'plat du jour' which includes some cold meza, and the hotel main dish, the meal comes complete with an enormous fruit basket and costs a mere 32 Dhs. This arrangement is ideal for lunch as it is not too heavy and overpowering, as a proper Lebanese meal can be. For dinner the professional waiters will help to guide you around the menu, and advise on suitable dishes that meets the needs of the numbers in your party. Prices are reasonable with cold and hot meza's at around an average of 18 Dhs, the main mixed grills cost around 36 Dhs. We recommend you to always reserve at this restaurant especially if for dinner and/or for a Thursday or Tuesday night. Reservations can be made by phone at 352 0900.

Benjarong - is a beautiful fine dining Thai restaurant located at the only Thai hotel in Dubai, the Dusit hotel. The chef was previously at the famous Benjarong restaurant of the Dusit Thani in Bangkok, and this restaurant is looking to establish itself as the leader for Royal Thai food in Dubai. Located on the 24th floor the restaurant offers views out over the desert. Try to enjoy a drink or two at the lounge which is located on the same floor.

Blue Elephant - Regarded as the best Thai restaurant in London the Blue Elephant in Dubai will not disapoint. Offering excellent Thai food in nice surroundings.

Cappana Nuovo - Another of the restaurants at the Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa. This Italian restaurant offers guests in door and out door dining. Whichever you choose you will be guaranteed amazing views of the Arabian Sea, as the restaurant is built at the end of a jetty, allowing guests to enjoy the romantic setting with excellent Italian food.

Century Village - Should be on the MUST DO do list of everyone coming to Dubai. Located right next door to the Irish Village, the Century Village is a small oasis of fine dining restaurants, in a relaxing atmosphere of fountains and greenery which allows you to almost forget that you are in Dubai. Restaurants include Da Gama (Portugese), La Vigne (Italian), a Japanese Sushi Bar, Coffee Shop, and an Arabic restaurant. The small courtyard style area offers guests seating outdoors and in, and as it is in a duty free zone you do not pay any tax or service charge. Again it is one of the very few places in Dubai that you are allowed to sit outside while having an alcoholic drink.

      - Da Gama  The restaurant inside has been built to resemble a Portuguese farm house, it is lavishly designed with rich colours and they have managed to achieve a very authentic European feel to it. The upper section of the restaurant is more of a bar area, with comfortable and spacious seats, we highly recommend that you enjoy a drink here, the red house wine is very good and reasonably priced at 85 Dhs, with a glass at 16 Dhs. The restaurant is owned by the same owner of the Italian next door La Vigne, but the menu is relatively limited although the food is good. All produce is imported in from Europe, and the service  cannot be faulted.

      - La Vigne - Owned by the famous Umberto, Italian Chef and manager. La Vigne offers you authentic Italian cuisine in a wonderful setting. With indoor and outdoor dining, you have a choice of eating under the stars in the courtyard area, or dining in the spacious restaurant. The house wine is priced at 85 Dhs a bottle and 16 Dhs a glass. The food is very good, plentiful and well priced. As its owner is the same as Da Gama mentioned above all the produce used is imported in, the pasta is homemade, and all the wines of excellent quality. Umberto is always there so if you would like a recommendation from the chef himself do not hesitate to ask for him. Reservations can be made at 2820030.

Hatam Restaurant - one of our favourites for kebabs. The restaurant is by no means plush, in fact it is very basic, yet it is clean and the food they serve is plentiful and cheap. The servers are very friendly and will help you find your way around the relatively limited menu. They have daily specials every day and the standard fare consists of rice, and different forms of kebabs. The meals come complete with a salad bar that  you can help your self to, soup and tea. A full set meal will cost you roughly 17 Dhs, which is very good value. The restaurant is easy to miss, it can be found along the creek not far from the Riviera Hotel. Definitely worth a visit, good, cheap, clean food. Bani Yas Street, Near Dubai Islamic Bank, Opposite Al-Kahleej Hotel. Tel : 277755/237797

Irish Village - Located next to the famous Aviation Club of Dubai, the Irish Village is a recent and very popular addition to the Dubai social scene. It is basically one huge pub, with outdoor and indoor seating available. It is one of the very few places you can have a drink outdoors without being in a hotel. The Irish Village serves traditional pub food at good prices and a pint of Kilkenny costs 17 Dhs. It is busy most nights and is very popular with expats and locals alike. This is definitely worth a visit when you are in Dubai.

Kwality - Let's face it any restaurant with a name spelt like this has to be featured ! This Indian restaurant is located opposite the Century Hotel in Bur Dubai (formerly the Dubai Marine Hotel). Open from 8 to 11:30 the restaurant offers good quality Indian food in nice if not regular surroundings. Telephone 3936563.    

Le Venezia - is a new recently opened (May 2000) Italian theme style restaurant located at the Metropolitan Hotel, along Sheik Zeyahid Road. It is quite something to behold, as three quarters of the high ceiling restaurant area is covered in replica Venice style houses, in the centre you have part of the dining area which is surrounded by waterways, that have gondolas floating up and down, and that can be reached by traversing one of six bridges. Even the ceiling is painted as the sky with small twinkling stars shining down on you as you dine. As you dine on the Italian cuisine, you are entertained by roaming Opera singers (the lady it has to be said has an amazing voice), guitarists, and violinists, that help add to the fun of this fantasy restaurant. Children are not allowed in, so if you do want to show your children this unusual and large restaurant then you will need to use the pizzeria which is on a balcony level overlooking the Venezia proper.

Spago : Opened in May 2001 this very nice Italian restaurant is located on the top floor of the Century Hotel Dubai (which was previously known as the Dubai Marine Hotel). The restaurant is very modern and comfortably decorated, with a very chic yet relaxed feel. Open for lunch and dinner the times of opening are from 12:30 - 14:45 and in the evening from 19:30 to 23:45. They have an open oven design that allows you to see the chefs (top chef comes from Southern Italy) at work and one of the best things about the restaurant compared to other Italians in Dubai is the reasonable (for Dubai) prices. Appetizers are from 19 - 27 Dhs, pasta's from 27 - 35 Dhs for a large portion. The wine is also reasonable with a bottle of house wine which comes  with three choices of red and three white is only 75 Dhs.

Tanour - An Indian restaurant opposite the Century Hotel (formerly the Dubai Marine Hotel). The dining area of the restaurant is located on the second floor and is extremely small. What is nice about this small restaurant is that the lighting is subdued which offers a nice private meal for you to enjoy. The food is very good and reasonable, with dishes such as Shekh Kebab costing 18 Dhs, or a mixed grill at 30 Dhs. One word of warning is that the dishes are quite large, and we would recommend perhaps asking for half portions which are charged at half price, and simply select more of them. The restaurant is open 7 days a week from 12:30 until midnight. Telephone 3935990.

Thai Bistro - at the Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa, is  - Amazing ! It is without a doubt one of the best Thai restaurants in Dubai, with even other hoteliers recommending it as a great place to enjoy the delicate and exotic flavours from Thailand. The chef is from Thailand and is very good, in fact you can actually have worse Thai food in Thailand itself. The house wine (always a good sign of the quality of a restaurant) is very enjoyable, and a perfect accompaniment to the wonderful food. Yet it is not only the food that makes this restaurant a must visit but also the ambience. You have a choice of indoor and outdoor dining. Outdoor you sit under the stars, gazing over the landscaped gardens, with light shimmering off the swimming pools, as you look down to the beach, and the Arabian Sea. It truly is a magical setting and one not to be missed when you are in Dubai. If you are uncertain as to what to order, ask for the chef who will be more than willing to help. Obviously the menu is very extensive but if you are unsure then we do recommend Larb Gai, Gai Hor Bai Toey, Tom Yum Kung, and Tom Kha Gai, as some choices for you. Telephone - (971-4)  461 111.

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