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June 19, 2024

Enjoy epicurean delights at these celebrated fine dining restaurants in Dubai

By Schenelle Dsouza
The city of gold or the desert city, Dubai is known for being the ‘it’ spot for luxury travellers. And while the adventures and shopping escapades almost never end, the culinary adventures of Dubai are swiftly taking over.
Dubai’s culinary scene is a dazzling fusion of flavours, cultures, and innovation, making it a global gastronomic hub that appeals to both residents and visitors. The city boasts a vibrant dining landscape that reflects its cosmopolitan population and its commitment to pushing culinary boundaries. Dubai’s culinary scene is a captivating blend of tradition and innovation, reflecting the city’s cosmopolitan spirit. In addition to reflecting the city’s cultural traditions, Dubai’s gastronomy also embraces modernity and innovation presenting a diversity of culinary offerings with a commitment to excellence.
The city has become a playground for celebrity chefs, attracting culinary giants like Gordon Ramsay, Nobu Matsuhisa, and Jamie Oliver. These chefs have introduced innovative concepts, pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved in the kitchen. And in doing so, Dubai has firmly established itself as a global culinary destination, inviting food enthusiasts from around the world to savour its diverse flavours and indulge in its epicurean delights.
Culinary Diversity
Photo courtesy: Ariana’s Persian Kitchen, Bademojoon
Dubai’s restaurant scene is a testament to its remarkable cultural diversity. This city is a melting pot of cultures, and its culinary landscape beautifully reflects this rich tapestry. From traditional Emirati eateries to international fine dining establishments, Dubai offers a smorgasbord of options that cater to every taste and preference. You can savour traditional Emirati dishes like Al Harees and Machboos or embark on a culinary world tour within the city’s borders. From Michelin-starred restaurants helmed by renowned chefs to bustling street food markets, Dubai offers a spectrum of dining experiences to cater to all tastes and budgets. The city’s bustling food markets, such as the Spice Souk and Gold Souk, offer an authentic taste of Middle Eastern cuisine. Here, you can discover exotic spices, herbs, dates, and freshly baked bread, adding a sensory dimension to your culinary exploration.
Furthermore, Dubai hosts several food festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating international cuisines, food trends, and culinary creativity. The Dubai Food Festival and Taste of Dubai are just a few examples of these epicurean celebrations. Additionally, Dubai’s Indian restaurants offer a diverse array of flavours, from the fiery curries of the north to the aromatic spices of the south. The city is also a haven for lovers of Asian cuisine. You can find a number of Chinese and Japanese restaurants to feast on sushi and dim sum or enjoy the vibrant flavours of Thai and Vietnamese street food. Dubai’s multiculturalism extends to European and Western dining experiences as well, with Italian trattorias, French bistros, and American burger joints aplenty.
Furthermore, Dubai also presents a vibrant choice of eateries for the health-conscious diners. Given the importance of sustainability and health-conscious dining in the recent years, there has been a significant increase in organic and plant-based options across the city. Dubai’s culinary scene continues to evolve, catering to a more health-conscious and environmentally aware clientele.
Dubai’s restaurant scene is a culinary mosaic that mirrors the diversity of its population. It’s a city where global flavours harmoniously coexist, inviting food enthusiasts to explore the world through their taste buds, making it a true food lover’s paradise. The fine dining sector, however, triumphs them all.
Fine Dine Experiences
Fine dining in Dubai is a symphony of opulence, innovation, and gastronomic excellence. This city has earned its reputation as a global hub for luxury dining experiences, offering a plethora of Michelin-starred restaurants and high-end establishments that cater to the most discerning palates.
The fine dining scene in Dubai is characterized by its architectural marvels that house these culinary treasures. Iconic skyscrapers, such as the Burj Khalifa and the Burj Al Arab, host restaurants that provide not just exquisite meals but also breathtaking views of the cityscape and the Arabian Gulf.
Moreover, internationally acclaimed chefs have flocked to Dubai, creating a diverse tapestry of culinary experiences. You can enjoy French cuisine by Joël Robuchon at the iconic L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, indulge in Japanese delicacies at Zuma, or explore the flavours of Italy at Pierchic, perched at the end of a pier in the Arabian Gulf.
The emphasis on presentation and service is unparalleled, with impeccable attention to detail in every aspect of the dining experience. Each dish is a work of art, meticulously crafted to delight the senses. Put simply, the fine dining scene in Dubai transcends the traditional boundaries of taste and ambiance, offering an unforgettable fusion of world-class cuisine, luxurious settings, and impeccable service. It’s a testament to the city’s commitment to creating unforgettable moments for those seeking the ultimate culinary indulgence. And so here are some of our top picks of fine dining in Dubai.
11 Woodfire
Photo courtesy: 11 Woodfire (John Marsland Photography)
There’s no shortage of premium dining restaurants in Dubai, but 11 Woodfire is by popular choice, one of the best and most premium restaurants in Dubai. Located in a villa on Jumeirah Beach Road, the restaurant is a one Michelin-star restaurant helmed by the celebrated chef and restauranteur Akmal Anuar. Now the restaurant may be a top-notch, premium restaurant with one Michelin star, but the aesthetic scream, casual and easy-going. The industrial-chic interiors are cosy and contemporary with a neutral colour palette of cream and slate grey. The oak brown furniture adds the perfect amount of dark glamour to the space, which is perfect considering the restaurant’s preferred style of cooking.
The name of the restaurant is a dead giveaway and tells you almost everything you need to know about the restaurant’s culinary concept. Built around the concept of gathering around a warming fire with a focus on celebrating simplicity and the allure of natural flavours. And so, wood and wooden cooking techniques are the only mode of cooking at 11 Woodfire; this gives guests a beautifully smoked variety of food, and that includes the desserts. The dishes are prepared using various grill techniques which add and enhance the existing flavours. And while every dish on the menu is noteworthy (or so we’ve heard), the wagyu burger, kebabs, seabass and chicken wings are the biggest highlights on the menu.
Ariana’s Persian Kitchen
Photo courtesy: Arianas-Persian-Kitchen
Matching the opulence of the newly opened Atlantis The Royal Dubai, celebrity chef Ariana Bundy provides a unique take on classic Persian cuisine at Ariana’s Persian Kitchen. The food, of course, is noteworthy, but the ambience deserves a special mention, especially with the stunning view of Palm Jumeirah and the Dubai skyline. The restaurant itself is designed to resemble the “deconstruction of a traditional tower block”, and id coated in a pastel-colour palette paired with calming tones of cream and brown. Ambient gold toned lighting fixtures hang from the beautifully carved ceiling while the marble and copper coloured bar remains the primary focus. The venue offers multiple seating options including the garden terrace and by the show kitchen with a huge charcoal grill as well as a private dining room celebratory dinners.
Sambuseh. Photo courtesy: Ariana’s Persian Kitchen
Coming to the menu, the food is said to be inspired by family recipes handed that have been handed down generations. The menu combines Persian classics that have been spun with a refreshingly modern twist that goes beyond flavours, and onto textures, ingredients, and even presentation to bring to life the untold stories of Persian culture. Savour delights like rose-scented sea bass, Caspian-style filet kebab and sweet treats like ice cream with saffron, pistachios and rose water. The meals are complemented by creative cordials and of course, a traditional Persian tea that is best enjoyed with sweet and flaky baklava.

Cé La Vi Dubai
Photo courtesy: Cé La Vi Dubai
If you want to eat at a restaurant with delicious food, a chic ambience and a great view, then Cé La Vi will not disappoint. A rooftop venue, the contemporary Asian restaurant borrows from Southeast Asia’s artistic influences be it the region’s artworks, carvings, paintings or even temples. If you love sky-high views, the restaurant is located on 54th floor, and guests can sit on the terrace, although its scorching during the summer. But getting a picture is a must and the adorable swing outside is the perfect spot. Sitting indoors will also give you a pleasant view of the Burj Khalifa and Dubai skyline, which during the nighttime is breathtaking.
California Roll. Photo courtesy; Cé La Vi Dubai
California Roll. Photo courtesy; Cé La Vi Dubai
The kitchen is headed by chef Howard Ko who delivers a beautiful selection of Asian inspired plates along with international favourites. Some of the must-tries include truffle short rib croquettes, roasted Chilean sea bass, black truffle risotto made with sushi rice and Katsu veal chop. The menu also includes a selection of vegan offerings like seaweed rolls with French butter. Given the popularity of the restaurant, it can be difficult to get a booking, which is why advance bookings are recommended.
Il Pastaio
Photo courtesy: Torta Di Mele, Il Pastaio
If you’re craving authentic Italian food in Dubai, LA’s famed Il Pastaio in Al Habtoor City is a great place to visit. This is the restaurant’s first and only location outside the US and does surprisingly well to match its LA counterpart. The décor is classic and elegant, as one would expect from an Italian restaurant – neutral colours, contrasting décor and ambient lighting layer in the interiors. Dinners are extra special at the restaurant with sweet Italian melodies in the form of live music.
The menu, helmed by Chef Diego Simonetta, is classically Italian with popular favourites like the burrata, crisp arancini, minestrone soup and osso buco veal shanks. Every pasta dish on the menu is made with fresh pasta dough, and the uncooked pasta hanging in the centre of the dining room in testament to that. One of the dishes on the menu, interestingly is named after Canadian popstar, Justin Bieber. We’re talking about the Paccheri alla Justin Bieber, that was originally whipped up at the restaurant’s LA outpost and was made using a special spicy tomato sauce. The desserts, too, are a special delight, and the tiramisu and panna cotta are a must for anyone who loves a good Italian sweet treat.
La Maison Ani
Photo courtesy: La Maison Ani
Dubai has a sizeable handful of celebrity chefs with Michelin star restaurants, but Chef Izu Ani triumphs them all. He is often regarded as a remarkable icon in Dubai’s culinary scene, and with good reason. Chef Izu currently has a total of six restaurants in Dubai including Alaya, Carine, Eunoia by Carine, Gaia, Kai Enzo and La Maison Ani. The last one is the newest of them all and is yet already among the city’s top restaurants. The French restaurant is located on the ground floor of the Dubai mall and has some of the chicest décor. The theme is Inspired by Jardin Du Palais, a garden located in the heart of Paris; and so the interiors are decorated with warm, vibrant colours, and natural elements like French flowers and green African palms to give it a “…an Effortlessly Elegant Surrounding”.
Photo courtesy: La Maison Ani
Relaxed French Cuisine is what the menu has been described as, although the restaurant is said to be an exploration of the cultures, passion and people that helped shape Chef Izu’s creativity. The menu combines French-Mediterranean cuisine with a British and African influence. You can find easy-going meals like a burrata salad, Diavola pizza which is made with Chef Izu’s special recipe of an authentic tomato sauce, or the yellowtail ceviche with tiger’s milk. The desserts are inspired by Chef Izu’s time in France; both the warm chocolate mousse with malt ice cream and vanilla crème brulee are a rich, indulgent delight and a must for all sweet toothers!
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