A stunning spot with a menu worth returning for…

With a luxe address, fountain and Burj Khalifa views, and Dubai Mall on its doorstep, Urla won’t struggle to bring in diners. And yet, despite having a location that ticks all the boxes, this Aegean restaurant has ensured that great food and service are top of its priorities.

Those who want a full-fountain experience should book at night, but there’s definitely something to be said for a late lunch at this alfresco spot. Parked underneath a parasol we plough through starters from ‘the sea’ and ‘the mountain’, as indicated by the menu split.

Kicking off with Kiwami wagyu carpaccio (Dhs180), we’re shown the correct method to eat it, which involves using pliers to wrap the raw meat around a raspberry before dipping into apricot jam. We can’t recall ever experimenting with this combination before but it’s surprisingly good. Shrimp kiss (Dhs180) also makes for a delightful warm starter, with three large croquettes served under a spoonful of caviar, bursting open to reveal a warm creamy filling.

The setting is undeniably pretty, with a large tree taking centre stage inside a spherical marble bar, with the world’s tallest building standing proud in the background. There are plenty of tables dotted across the terrazzo floor, sectioned off with greenery and large umbrellas.

Chandan Sojitra

For mains, we loved the Tulum cheese erişte (Dhs120), a traditional dish made with Turkish pasta and crushed walnuts. Not something we’d normally choose but after a strong recommendation from the waiter, we were pleased to have placed our trust in him. Service throughout the meal was faultless, which was appreciated when we struggled to understand some of the menu items.

Urla’s one of the pricier options in the area, likely thanks to the views, but definitely one to add to your list for a birthday lunch or date night dinner.

Urla, Address Downtown, daily, noon to midnight. Tel: (0)52 554 5997. @urla