The restaurant scene in Dubai has really mushroomed in the last few years, which is not hard to understand considering that Dubai is one of the world’s most visited cities – mainly for its shopping, vibrant nightlife and ultra-modern infrastructure, giving it a pulsating international and global food scene.
Our food editor had the opportunity to spend some time in the “city of gold” (don’t confuse that with our own city of gold, Johannesburg), for the annual Dubai Food Festival. She ate at some great places…
We were taken on a journey to Argentina one evening where everything on the menu and all the staff who worked at the restaurant were Argentinian. Giant cuts of great quality meat are cooked on a parrilla (unique metal grill) and are presented on the actual grill – a typical Argentine feast. Wine pairing is offered by a team of experienced sommeliers – and there are fantastic Argentinian wines to choose from. We sat out on terrace area and had the most incredible view of the famous Burj Kalifah. A must for anyone who loves meat.
The Palace Downtown Dubai
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One of, if not THE highlight of my trip was eating at Qbara. The modern and stylish restaurant is beautifully designed with well-thought out pieces that just make your jaw drop. I was mesmorised by the large wall projections that depicted moving tiles of an Egyptian pyramid. The lighting is low and sultry with bowls of fire dotted around the space giving it a sultry, sophisticated atmosphere. The cuisine pays homage to traditional Middle Eastern cuisine but takes on modern techniques and flavour combinations. I couldn’t fault the service and the food was beautifully presented. Don’t leave without having a cheeky Tabbouleh shot! You won’t be disappointed. What’s more – you can stay for a few hours of dancing after dinner as the restaurant turns into a night club later in the evening with different DJ booths dotted around. Lastly – dress up! The higher your heels, the better.
the Fort Complex of Wafi
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Tel - +971 (4) 709 2500
Omnia by Silvena
Owned by British celebrity chef, Silvena Rowe, Omnia by Silvena is the flagship establishment of the Silvena Rowe brand. The talented female chef also runs Omnia Gourmet and Omnia Blue. Her latest venture is an uber stylish and upscale restaurant on the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard strip. It is glamorous without being pretentious and the design and décor will pique your interest from the moment you step inside. One of the most striking elements to this restaurant is the 2-level open kitchen. One wall features a mixture of bold calligraphy and graffiti while structures made of broken glass, add a dazzle and sparkle when light is reflected. The cuisine is inspired by the region and is categorised as an “Emirati brasserie”. Although the food lacked flavour and balance in most of the dishes we sampled, a note must be made about the 24k gold chocolate sphere which comes as a dessert option. A warm chocolate sauce is impressively poured onto it, forcing it to melt and reveal a fruity centre. Food theatre at its finest!
Disclaimer: Food24's trip to the Dubai Food Festival was paid for by Dubai Tourism.