Thanks to its role as one of the great international crossroads and the truly cosmopolitan nature of its population, Dubai offers cuisine from all over the world. French, Italian, Spanish, Greek and Scandinavian establishments vie with the culinary delights of India, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan and Korea. Then, of course, there’s true Middle Eastern food, with Moroccan, Lebanese, Iranian, Jordanian and other specialities on offer as well as such local Arabic delights as hareis (succulent slow-cooked lamb with cracked wheat), matchous (highly spiced lamb served over rice), fattayyer (bite-sized pastries stuffed with cream cheese and spinach), mehalabiya (a mouthwatering pudding topped with pistachio nuts and rose petals) and esh asaraya (a cream-topped variation on cheesecake). A good tip: for great value genuine Arabic food, try the long-established citywide Automatic chain. This is one city where in-house hotel restaurants do extremely well – and offer a vast array of choice. Many hotels have six or more different outlets to provide a culinary tour of the world of fine food – and value often matches that of stand-alone eateries. In what is officially a Muslim city, the entirely cosmopolitan nature of the populace means alcohol is widely available and pork and shellfish find their way onto many menus.
Within the Metropolitan Palace at Deira, there’s a generous selection of Lebanese
meze delights and grilled meats then at midnight the lights dim, the music kicks in,
the belly-dancers do their thing and the prices escalate.
Address: Metropolitan Palace Hotel, Al Maktoum Street, Deira
Phone: +971 (0)4 227 0000
Transport yourself from the modern exoticism of the Arabian Gulf to the decadence of the Gulf of Mexico at this atmospheric New Orleans’ flavoured slant on the Deep South. Classic American Cajun and Creole fare is accompanied by thumping pop music, with a busy dance floor. Note: there’s a strict ‘smart casual’ dress code.
Address: Jumeirah Emirates Towers
Phone: +971 (0)4 319 8088
The Glasshouse And Verre
British super-chef Gordon Ramsey makes his presence felt in Dubai with these two
outlets within the luxurious Hilton Dubai Creek Hotel. Trendy sophistication – and
accompanying high prices – make Verre the place to be seen while the less
stratospheric Glasshouse offers an interesting ‘booze buffet’ – drink as much
as you like as long as you keep on eating!
Address: Hilton Dubai Creek, Beniyas Road
Phone: +971 (0)4 227 1111 / +971 (0)4 212 7551
Internet: www.dubai-creek.hilton.com /
Learn to dance salsa before downing perfectly concocted mojitos and cubana
libres at this atmospheric Cuban inspired hideout where paella is the speciality.
Address: Dubai Marine Beach Resort, Jumeira
Phone: +971 (0)4 346 1111
A long-standing favourite for visitors and locals. Here you can savour genuine Emirates’ cuisine in a place that rarely warms up much before midnight but then packs to the gills as the band gets cooking.
Address: Al Nasr Leisure Land
Phone: +971 (0)4 335 1511
Dubai’s popular revolving restaurant atop the usually packed Hyatt Regency Hotel
offers ever-changing views to set the mood and ever-changing buffet spreads to
provide a perfect introduction to the delights of the middle-eastern table. The
huge selection also offers Indian and European dishes and a selection of
Address: Hyatt Regency Hotel, Deira
Phone: +971 (0)4 209 1234
Lan Kwai Fung
Authentic Hong Kong Chinese, right down to the décor. Wide choice and you can
watch the chefs at work behind the kitchen’s glass wall. They’ll even cook your
own suggestions to order.
Address: Nr Lamcy Plaza, Oud Metha
Phone: +971 (0)4 335 3680
This well-appointed modern vessel takes 350 passengers a time on a dinner cruise
up the Dubai Creek and back, with an emphasis on Greek cuisine but lots more
Address: Landing stage close to British Embassy on Al Seef
Phone: +971 (0)4 399 4994