New restaurants in Dubai: 10 top options to try

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Bored of your usual hot spots? Mix it up with a trip to one of these new Dubai restaurants…

As much as we love our favourite foodie spots and watering holes (you can check out our 2017 award winning venues right here), we’re also all about trying something new.

Which is why we’ve rounded up our top 10 new restaurants in Dubai to try (bookmark this as we’ll keep updating it).

From international exports from Monte Carlo and America, to home grown spots by celebrated chefs, these new additions to the foodie scene all opened in the last few months and are well worth a visit…

1. Crab Market

Located on the 15th floor of Emirates Financial Towers, Crab Market cool, contemporary space, split into a lounge of high bar tables and a slightly more formal restaurant, with floor-to-ceiling windows that look out over Downtown Dubai and Burj Khalifa. The menu – which you guessed it, heavily focuses on crab- has been created by chef Vladimir Mukhin, the brains behind Moscow’s White Rabbit restaurant, which is currently ranked No 23 on the World’s 50 best restaurants list. The food is the real star of the show at Crab Market, and you can tell that the chefs left in charge truly know their stuff. Hopefully the tricky location doesn’t put Downtown dwellers off, as this is a real contender to be a top Dubai restaurant.

Crab Market, North Tower, 15th Floor, Emirates Financial Towers, Dubai, Sun to Fri noon to 4pm, 7pm to midnight, Sat 7pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 564 5525. crabmarket.com

2. carine

It wasn’t long ago when the idea of a golf club restaurant would conjure up images of an old-fashioned, wood-pannelled man cave serving greasy pub grub. Not so at Emirates Golf Club in Dubai, where chef Izu Ani has opened Carine, a beautiful, bright and airy Mediterranean bistro. The restaurant is filled with all of Carine’s (Izu’s wife) personal favourites, from freshly baked breads inspired by the bakery she used to work at in northern France, to her own homemade plum and apple jam. It’s a stellar menu from the celebrated chef, and another triumphant opening.

Carine, Emirates Golf Club, Dubai, daily 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 417 9999. Facebook.com/Carine

3. Somewhere

Somewhere is located in Dubai Mall’s shiny new Fashion Avenue extension. It’s a small but stylish space that looks not unlike a bookstore. There’s a wall of travel guides that diners can take off the shelf and flip through for inspiration. There’s also an outdoor terrace, but it sadly wasn’t open when we visited. The menu is also small but perfectly formed, featuring an array of Mediterranean-inspired dishes that are good for sharing. In keeping with the travel theme, there are some curious mash-ups which take diners on a culinary journey around the globe – think guacamole hummus and beef shawarma bao.

Fashion Avenue, The Dubai Mall, daily noon to midnight. Tel: (04) 329 5182. takemesomewhere.ae 

4. Hotel Cartagena

You’ll need to take two lifts in the JW Marriott Marquis to reach Cartagena, but the views of Dubai are stunning when you get there. The calming pastel hues of the ill-fated Morah (the restaurant that occupied this spot previously) have been replaced with neon lights, vibrant wallpapers and faux foliage that hangs from every corner. It’s bold, brash and has instant wow factor. On offer is a sharing menu with selections called Bites, Empanadas, Chicharones and Crudo – it’s a Latin American menu inspired by recipes from fictional character Mrs Buenida’s daring kitchen.

JW Marriott Marquis, Business Bay, Dubai, daily 5.30pm to 3am. Tel: (04) 560 1799. hotelcartagena.ae

5. Morimoto Dubai

Completing the line-up at the Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai, is Japanese celebrity chef Masaharu Morimoto, best known as the star of the cooking show Iron Chef. Everything about the restaurant – which seats around 250 diners – is go-big-or-go-home, from the sea anemone-like light fixtures to the giant glass-encased bonsai tree in the main dining area. A spacious outdoor terrace offers spectacular views of Downtown Dubai, but if you’d prefer to be transported to Japan, there’s a 10-seater sushi counter where you can watch chefs work their magic on gleaming-red cuts of raw fish. It’s an impressive venue, but not intimidating, which sets the tone for the menu. Morimoto has mastered the art of marrying western and Japanese food traditions, so you’ll find plenty of approachable dishes, like tuna pizza and hamachi tacos. If you didn’t know who Morimoto was before, you certainly won’t be forgetting his name after this experience. The stunning venue, faultless service and inventive menu more than live up to the chef’s reputation.

Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai, Sun to Wed 6pm to 2am, Thur to Sat 6pm to 3am. Tel: (04) 5125577. morimotodubai.com

6. Luchador

Located on the 11th floor of the Aloft Hotel on Palm Jumeirah, Luchador is a Mexican cantina with all the accoutrement of its Lucha Libre namesake. The restaurant nails the decor, from the punchy murals and seating, to the massive wall of wrestling masks that greet you on arrival. Unlike the theme, however, Luchador’s menu is no gimmick, opting for a tasty selection that’s big on Mexican street food. It’s a varied menu of inventive dishes, that’s paired with some great sea views.

Luchador, Aloft Hotel, East Crescent, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, Mon to Thur 5pm to 2am, Fri and Sat 1pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 247 5550. luchadordubai.com

7. Mina Brasserie

Mina Brasserie is a second chance for Cairo-born US chef Michael Mina in the region, after the closure of his Firebird Diner. If the weather permits, take the option to sit outside on the patio. The little trees, hanging lights and beautiful blue furniture combine to create quite a unique feel, and we like it a lot. In what seems like an attempt to impress everyone, the menu is varied. Whatever diet preferences you have, they’ll be met with ease (we actually preferred the gluten-free bread).

Mina Brasserie, Four Seasons DIFC, daily noon to 1am. Tel: (04) 506 0000. Fourseasons.com

8. Beefbar

One of two new openings in Al Fattan Currency House, Beefbar is set to become a meat lovers paradise in DIFC. The sixth outlet of the chain, the menu is built on simplicity and quality ingredients. Designed to share, expect top quality cuts of meats from Australia to Japan, served alongside over fifteen kinds of purees with a selection of spices & condiments to choose from. An additional space, the Beefbar Butcher Shop is also housed in the venue, which allows guests to choose and buy the various cuts of exclusive meat to take away. We love everything about Beefbar, from the sleek interiors, to the expertly trained staff under the guidance of operations director Domenico Iannone, to the consistently flavoursome dishes. It’s already got a lively vibe on the weekends, and we’d recommend booking a table in the lounge to enjoy the atmosphere.

Beefbar, Al Fattan Currency House, DIFC, Sun to Weds 7pm to 1am, Thurs and Fri 7pm to 2am, Sat closed. Tel: (04) 352 2223 Facebook.com/BeefbarDubai

9. BB Dining

BB is the brainchild of some big names in the Dubai foodie scene. The founding team includes Shabnum Stumpf and Spero Panagakis (both formerly of Zuma), with chef Alex Stumpf (most recently of Peyote) helming the kitchen. The restaurant sits in a space that used to house an art gallery (which immediately ups the cool factor). Spread across three levels, which are connected by a spiral staircase, it feels like a trendy little townhouse. There are plenty of cozy nooks and crannies where you can settle in for the night, or you can dine al fresco on the licensed terrace, surrounded by greenery. The mostly Asian-inspired menu is split into Bs – bao, bites, bowls and BBQ. Every dish is designed for sharing, which is where the “social dining” theme comes in. What we loved about BB was that it was just really great food, without a touch of snobbery. You’re made to feel equally welcome whether you’re popping in for a quick drink and a bao, or sitting down for a full-blown meal. Now that we know where BB lives, we’ll definitely be back.

Gate Village 8, DIFC, Dubai, Saturday to Wednesday noon to midnight, Thursday and Friday noon to 1am. Tel: (04) 407 4444. thisisbb.com

10. Scalini

Scalini is a quintessential fine-dining Italian, that serves up a Dubai-twist to its traditional trattoria menu. Dishes are silver served, the traditional bread basket is complimented by condiments such as olives, parmesan and tomato and basil, and you can expect a beverage order to be taken by your dedicated sommelier. For the food, you can expect a typical Italian trattoria menu, led by ‘antipasti’ and ‘zuppe’ into an extensive pasta section, which moves to a final page of ‘padella’ and sides. You’ll find Dubai classics such as a beef tartare and signature burrata alongside signature spaghetti dishes served in a pasta wheel and tossed with truffle.

Scalini Dubai, Four Seasons Resort Jumeirah Beach Road, daily 12pm to 12am. Tel: (04) 349 0068. Facebook.com/Scalini-Dubai

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