Eat something new with our list of Dubai’s 20 most extreme eats – from the odd to the mammoth…

Don’t get stuck in a restaurant rut this year. From odd offerings to Dubai’s most dreamy dishes, look away from the scales and tuck into this list.


Stop counting calories and dive right into these decadent dishes.

1. Short rib hash


Where: The Black Lion 

How much: Dhs56

Technically, this short rib hash is just a side dish but we’d happily order it as our mains. Served in a rich, smoky sauce, the short ribs themselves are packed with flavour and the meat is melt-in-your-mouth tender. Add a fried quail’s egg with a soft, runny yolk and plenty of crispy potatoes to mop up all that sauce, and you’ve got yourself a winning dish.

The H Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Sun to Thur 8am to 3am, Fri and Sat 11am to 3am. Tel: (04) 3592366. Metro: World Trade Centre.

*ANOTHER WHAT’S ON APPROVED LIST: The best avocado on toast in the city*

2. Social Dog

marina social hot dog

Where: Marina Social 

How much: Dhs60

At first glance, there’s nothing particularly exciting about the Social Dog at Marina Social – it just looks like a rather well presented hotdog, complete with a drizzle of sauce and a spoonful of onions. Just wait until you bite into it though – the ‘dog’ in question is a decadent combination of duck and foie gras, rich and flavourful without being overwhelming, and perfectly offset by tangy relish and a just-sweet-enough brioche bun. A rather ingenious creation from celeb chef Jason Atherton’s restaurant.

InterContinental Dubai Marina, Dubai, daily 6pm to 11.45pm. Tel: (04) 4466664. Taxi: InterCon Dubai Marina.

3. Poulet rôti and foie gras


Where: La Serre

How much: Dhs625 (for two)

Poems should be written about this enormous roast chicken dish at La Serre, winner of the coveted Best Restaurant Of The Year gong at the 2015 What’s On Awards. The family-sized portion combines two of the most excessive ingredients of all: foie gras and truffle, and to triumphant effect. First stewed together to create a lip-smacking sauce, extra foie gras is then pan-fried and served on top of a fried baguette. It’s a fancy restaurant so resist licking the tray. |  

Vida Downtown Dubai, Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, daily noon until 3pm, 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 4286969 Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall.

4. The Manwich 


Where: The Hide 

How much: Dhs85

Be warned – the Manwich is not for the faint of heart. Nor is it for low carb lovers, strict vegetarians or anyone trying to stick to their ‘New Year, New You’ diet. Instead, this signature dish and people’s favourite at The Hide is a carnivore’s dream: a gigantic, meaty sandwich coated in cheese and filled with a waistband-busting tender smoked brisket, gooey vintage cheddar, crispy fried eggs and crunchy pickles, offset with a heavy dose of cider and mustard marinated leaves. As untameable as it is tasty, you’ll probably struggle to pick it up – or finish it off. Luckily, it makes for one delicious breakfast treat.

Jumeirah Al Qasr, Al Sufouh Road, Dubai, Sat to Thur 6.30pm to midnight, Fri 7pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 3666750. Taxi: Jumeirah Al Qasr.

*IN PICTURES: The 20 best things YOU ate in Dubai last year*

5. Neptune’s Folly


Where: The Maine Oyster Bar And Grill

How much: Dhs800

There’s a particularly groan-worthy Dad joke you’ll remember that goes, “I’m on a seafood diet. I see food, and I eat it.” Well, doing so would be a rather impressive achievement when faced with the jaw-dropping seafood tower at Boston-inspired spot The Maine Oyster Bar And Grill inside DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel. This celebrated recent addition to Dubai’s dining scene boasts a gut- busting shellfish three-tiered platter brilliantly named Neptune’s Folly, which features six fresh snow crab legs, eight giant prawns, 18 Jersey oysters and two scallop ceviches.

DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel, Jumeirah Beach Residences, Dubai, daily noon until midnight. Tel: (04) 4576719. Taxi: DoubleTree Hilton JBR.


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6. The heaviest… burger


Where: Claw BBQ Crabshack And Grill

This aptly named Beast burger weighs in at a beeftastic 5.2lbs. Topped with lettuce, tomato, fried onions and pickles, this belly-busting burger is surrounded with an extra helping of chili cheese fries. If you finish it in under 45 minutes not only will your pained, post-burger expression be immortalised in a photo on the wall of fame, but Claw will foot the bill too.

Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, Sun to Thur 5pm to 2am, Fri and Sat noon until 2am, Dhs295. Tel: (04) 4322300. Taxi: Souk Al Bahar.

 7. The priciest… master kobe beef

Where: Seafire


You too can eat like a sumo wrestler if you’ve got your credit card handy. According to the Seafire chefs, the cattle used to achieve master kobe beef status are part of the best black Japanese wagyu bulls to “ever leave Japan”. The proof is in the taste too. Its extra-high marbling grade means this is one of the most succulent steaks in the city. We should hope so too: the price tag for a 350g hunk comes in at almost a thousand dirhams.

Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, daily 6pm to 11.30pm, Dhs980. Tel: (04) 4262626. Taxi: Atlantis.

8. The cheesiest… pizza


Where: Russo’s

Italian Anthony Russo was dead set on bringing authentic pizza to his hometown in Texas, and now his brand spans across continents. But that’s not the only major expansion in Russo’s history: there’s also its famous 28-inch pizza. The pie can be made up of as many as four varieties of Russo’s most popular pizzas — the margherita, the rustica, the works and the pepperoni — or it can be enjoyed as a plain cheese pizza.

Panorama Building, The Greens, Dubai, daily 11.30am to 11pm, Dhs115. Tel: (800) 787767. Taxi: Next to Regent International School.

9. The longest… manakish


Where: Reem Al Bawadi

Nobody likes making decisions, especially when it comes to the toppings on your manakish. Luckily at Reem Al Bawadi you can tuck into up to six flavours of its mana’aosha surprise. At a metre long and weighing 1.85kg, this thin bread includes za’atar, akawi cheese and, our favourite, nutella topped with pistachios and bananas. | 

Reem Al Bawadi, Marina Walk, Dubai Marina, Dubai, daily 9am to 2am, Dhs150. Tel: (04) 4522525. Metro: Damac Properties.

*THE ULTIMATE LIST: The 50 best dishes we ate in 2015 – and we eat a lot*

10. The spiciest…. wings

Where: Wingsters

A frightening ‘initiation’ challenge at Wingsters takes wings to a dark new level. Steeped in a mix of the hottest things the chef can lay his hands on, usually a combination of the world’s hottest chillis and peppers, the wings measure in at a whopping 6.4 million points on the Scoville scale, which is a measurement of the pungency of a chilli. For reference, police grade pepper spray at five million. Contestants must eat eight wings within four minutes without drinking fluid, and then endure a five-minute after-burn. Warning: will definitely induce sweating, crying and severe upset tummies. Read more about the terror that was trying these wings here.

Wingsters, Marina Diamond 1, Dubai Marina, Dubai, daily 11am to 2am, Dhs65. Tel: (04) 4279900. Metro: Damac Properties.


If you’re one of those people who always choose dessert over starters, check out this lip-smacking list that’s bound to make your sweet tooth ache.

11. Honeycomb sundae

honeycomb sundae accents

Where: Accents

How much: Dhs70

We know the saying ‘all that glitters is not gold’, but in this case it definitely is. Accents’ latest dessert starts out as a luxurious but pretty standard sundae: three scoops of velvety ice cream, made in-house and infused with their own handmade honeycomb toffee, with a good crunchy chunk hidden underneath. All in all what you’d expect, until it’s topped with chocolate pearls and honeycomb chunks coated in 24-carat gold leaf. That – and the rich dark chocolate sauce – gives this dish a gold star seal of approval.

InterContinental Dubai Marina, Bay Central, Dubai Marina, Dubai, daily 6.30am to 11pm. Tel: (04) 4466777. Metro: JLT.

12. Dubai’s treasure chest


Where: Serendipity 3

How much: Dhs350

This gargantuan offering comes from the newly opened Serendipity 3, originally from New York where it’s famous for its celebrity fans. It begins with a chocolate chest, which is then filled with – take a deep breath – ten scoops of ice cream, cookies, three large cake slices, deep fried Oreos, battered Snickers, Hershey’s Kisses, M&Ms, waffle cones, sauces, hot fudge and finally heaps of fresh berries. See, there’s one of your five a day in there somewhere.

Festival Square, Dubai Festival City Mall, Festival City, Dubai, daily 10am to midnight. Tel: (04) 2843149. Taxi: Festival City.

13. Bol de Mousse au Chocolat des Alpes


Where: Forty Four

How much: Dhs44

How does unlimited chocolate mousse sound? At this new French- and Belgian-inspired bistro, you can delve into an all-you-can eat mousse fiesta. Served with a side of whipped cream, this airy mousse is made using everyone’s favourite Swiss chocolate Toblerone.

Warwick Hotel, Dubai, daily 4pm to 3am. Tel: (04) 5069890. Metro: Financial Centre.

14. The Absolutely Massive Monster Milkshake


Where: Circle Café

How much: Dhs145

We’re going to tell you a secret: you won’t find this handsome hunk of deliciousness on the Circle Café menu, but if you ask for the ‘secret menu shake’ you can join the monster milkshake club. This colossal shake (and this month’s What’s On cover star) is an eye-bulging blend of vanilla ice cream, peanut butter, crushed pretzels, roughly half a litre of chocolate sauce, full fat milk, whipped cream, M&Ms, more chocolate sauce, and marshmallows. You’ll be recovering for days, but it’s worth it. 

Circle Café, Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, daily 10am to midnight, Dhs145. Tel: (04) 3380049. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall.

15. Fruit platter 

Where: Zheng He’s 


How much: Dhs45

OK, so fruit platters are hardly the Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnsons of desserts, but this one’s different. The plate is heavily laden with colourful, tropical fruit and comes out steaming thanks to the dramatic use of dry ice. If that’s not enough, the chocolate-covered lychee sorbet on top is the stuff dreams are made of.

Mina A’Salam, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, Sat to Thur 6.30pm to 11pm, Fri 12.30pm to 3pm (brunch only). Tel: (04) 3665866. Taxi: Mina A’Salam.


From sweet corn ice cream to lamb’s testicles, we dive into Dubai’s most unusual dishes.

16. Chocolate fondant 


Where: Garden, JW Marriott Marquis

How much: Dhs50 

At first glance, the chocolate fondant at this Peruvian restaurant seems like your typical dessert – and a great one at that, with a rich, fudgy fondant that oozes warm chocolate sauce as soon as you start to dig in. But the addition of purple corn ice cream (purple corn is a common ingredient in Peru) takes it to a whole other level, with its cool, subtly nutty flavour and vibrant colour.

Garden, JW Marriott Marquis, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Sat to Wed 7pm to midnight, Thur and Fri 7pm to 1am. Tel: 4140000. Taxi: JW Marriott Marquis.

17. Brain fry


Where: Ravi Restaurant

How much: Dhs20

To some, it’s the stuff of dreams, to others, it’s in their nightmares, but if you’re looking for the city’s most unusual dish, head to Ravi. Chopped lamb’s brain is fried with green chili and spices and served brazenly to your table. |  

Al Dhiyafa Road, Satwa, Dubai, daily 5am to 3am. Tel: (04) 3315353. Taxi: Al Dhiyafa road. 

18. Lamb’s testicles

lamb testicles boulevard

Where: Boulevard Kitchen

How much: Dhs47

Spencer Black is the chef behind the nose to tail food concept at Manzil Downtown Dubai’s restaurant. Aside from offering sheep’s brains, tongue, kidneys and heart, his most talked about dish are testicles. “We cube them and then sear them in olive oil, garlic, lemon, butter, salt and pepper,” Black says. Eat your heart out, Bear Grylls.

Boulevard Kitchen, Manzil Downtown Dubai, Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, Thur and Fri 7am to 2am, Sat to Wed 7am to 1am. Tel: (04) 4285888. Taxi: Manzil Downtown.

19. Goats’ cheese churros


Where: Marina Social

How much: Dhs40

Traditionally served in Spain as a long, fried doughnut, the churros is typically a sweet and satisfying dessert. But at Marina Social,  Jason Atherton has taken the savoury route adding goats’ cheese to the mix. It makes for an unusual but delicious starter.

InterContinental Dubai Marina, Dubai, daily 6pm to 11.45pm. Tel: (04) 4466664. Taxi: InterCon Dubai Marina.

20. Charcoal and pericani


Where: Enigma, Palazzo Versace Dubai

How much: Dhs750 (set menu)

As the name suggests, Enigma aims to keep diners guessing. Even the menu is a secret. We’ve had word of one unusual dish from the Quique DaCosta menu, which looks like a stack of charcoal bricks served on a bed of blazing rosemary. Could we really be eating coal or is all not what it seems? (This dish will be at the restaurant until the end of March, as in April another star chef will take over the kitchen).

Palazzo Versace Dubai, Dubai, daily 7pm to 10.30pm. Tel: (04) 5568820. Taxi: Palazzo Versace.

– Which of these dishes have you tried? And which do you want to try? Let us know in the comments below.

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