The best Chinese restaurants in Dubai right now
The tastiest Chinese restaurants in the city as curated by the What’s On team…
It’s an exciting time to be a Chinese food fan in Dubai. Gone are the days where the main options were fried rice and chicken chow mein from sad little take out containers. There are now restaurants mastering the art of roasted Peking duck, steaming juicy parcels of xiao long bao (aka soup dumplings), and creating perfectly plump dim sum. Chopsticks at the ready, folks. Here’s a list of the best Chinese restaurants in Dubai right now…
It’s pretty difficult to resist the call of Alvin Leung’s Peking duck. Nicknamed the demon chef, Leung’s other restaurants – in Hong Kong and London – have garnered a constellation of Michelin stars. His newest restaurant located in Caesars Palace Dubai, serves a range of cuisine from the Far East, with riffs off Cantonese and Malaysian classics. But the star of the show is the Peking duck. Here it’s Dhs625 for a whole bird, with no options for smaller portions. It’s a huge, shimmering beauty of a bird, though. The staff bring shredded cucumber and hoisin sauce alongside bamboo steamers of buns infused with calamansi – a Philippine lime. The duck arrives on two huge plates, one with sliced duck, and the other with pieces on the bone. It’s enough to feed an army, making it great for group outings.
Caesars Palace Dubai, daily 6pm to 12am. Tel: (0)4 5566666. @demonduckdubai
Hakkasan, Atlantis the Palm
One of Dubai’s best restaurants is this fine-dining Chinese restaurant. Yes, the signature oak latticing is eye-catching, as is the lush, exotic greenery on the terrace at this pretty restaurant; but the food more than matches the surroundings. There are delicate fish courses, dainty dum sum platters, great duck options and satisfying noodle dishes.
Hakkasan, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai, 6pm to 11.30pm, daily. Tel: (04) 4262626. atlantisthepalm.com
This contemporary destination for Northern Chinese cuisine offers much glamour in its DIFC space. It’s a dramatically designed restaurant, which originated in Hong Kong before expanding to the US and London. The largest number of dishes come from Sichuan, using its famous peppercorns as a base for many dishes. The result can be pretty fiery. Highlights include the fried Sichuan lobster bao, Peking duck and the Hutong dan dan noodles in a spicy sesame and peanut broth.
Gate Building 6, DIFC, daily noon to 2.30pm and 6pm to 1am. Brunch 12.30pm to 4pm. Tel: (0)4 220 0868. hutong-dubai.com
Maiden Shanghai almost has two different guises. Six days a week, it’s slick, sultry upscale restaurant serving tip top Chinese cuisine, such as a crispy shredded beef, chicken and sweetcorn soup, silky vegetable noodles, eggplant claypot and a delicious shallow-fried tofu. But on Saturdays, the restaurant transforms into the hugely-popular – and mega-raucous, weekend brunch. Regardless of which dining experience you prefer, the food impresses at both.
FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai. Tel: (04) 4559989. fivehotelsandresorts.com
This stalwart of Dubai’s dim sum parlours opened way back in 2011 and is always a pleasure to visit. Its perennial popularity with Chinese expats ensures a lively atmosphere, and its authentic, perfectly prepared little dishes are head and shoulders above many offerings around town. Some of the city’s best little packages of Cantonese treats are served in its DIFC venue with a huge separate menu for dim sum, in addition to its a la carte offerings. Alternatively, Royal China is also available on Deliveroo, meaning won ton soup and sesame prawn toast lunches all week.
Precinct Building 4, DIFC, daily 11am to 11pm, weekend brunch 12pm to 2pm. Tel: (0)4 354 5543. @royalchinadubai
Inspired by the glamour of Shanghai in the 1930s, this Art Deco space is a visual stunner. The menu leans to Chinese cuisine with an extensive selection of dim sum, bao, Szechuan-style Prawns and Cantonese roast duck with a wide selection of more pan-Asian cuisine, too.
Gate Village, Building 11, DIFC, daily 12pm to 4pm and 6pm to midnight. Tel: (0)4 564 0505. shanghaime-restaurant.com
Another long-established Chinese restaurant, Shang Palace has managed to stand the test of time in Dubai, despite the ever-increasing competition. It has that old-school charm about it – no frills, just good Cantonese cuisine. Its dim sum menu has over 30 varieties (check out the Sat and Sun brunch offer for unlimited dim sum for Dhs180 per person), while its a la carte menu focuses mainly on duck, Cantonese and Sichuan specialities.
Shang-ri La Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, daily 12pm to 3pm and 6pm to 11pm, Brunch Sat and Sun 12pm to 3.30pm. Tel: (0)4 405 2703. shangpalacedubai.com
Sleek restaurant and late-night lounge, Tan Cha, can be found in JW Marriott Marquis. Oozing Asian glamour, the large space boast plenty of seating, as well as views of the canal from the outdoor terrace. The menu features modern contemporary Chinese food, which arrives of creatively designed plates and boasts everything from bumblebee designed boa buns to tea-smoked chicken served in a bird cage. Regular guests are even treated to personalised chopsticks.
Tan Cha, JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Business Bay, daily 6pm to 2am. Tel: (0)56 681 8881. @tanchadubai
In spring 2022, Yingsu took over the old Ramusake spot in JBR with the promise of dishing up an authentic Chinese dining experience within a lively, party atmosphere. Inside the restaurant, long rows of restaurant tables give the feel of a communal dining hall, an ode to China’s bustling street food markets. Yingsu wants to be the place diners come to party, so don’t expect a quiet night out. The menu has been well designed to incorporate plenty of familiar Chinese dishes, including dim sum, spring rolls, bao buns, chow meins and the like.
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Dubai – Jumeirah Beach, JBR. @yingsudxb.com
This Dubai stalwart is the granddad of fine dining Chinese restaurants in Dubai, having opened in 2003, a time when there still wasn’t too much mainstream interest in regional Chinese food. It’s still a firm favourite thanks to its regal decor, fantastic setting alongside the Madinat waterways, and excellent food, doing a variety of dim sum, vegetarian dishes and other Cantonese style favourites. The whole roasted Beijing duck is the showstopper here.
Jumeirah Mina A’Salam, Madinat Jumeirah, daily noon to 3pm, 6.30pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 4323232. jumeirah.com
Din Tai Fung
This immensely popular Taiwanese chain introduced Dubai to the glorious world of xiao long bao a few years ago and now there are four chains in the city; Mall Of The Emirates, Al Ghurair Centre, Dubai Mall, and its newest opening in Nakheel Mall on The Palm. Its most famous dish are the fragile, tender soup dumplings delicately hold piping hot broth and chicken/shrimp/truffle meatballs. Other highlights on the menu include the sesame noodles, the crispy wontons, and any of the fried rice dishes. Once you’re seated (which, be warned, can take up to 1 hour), service is swift. It’s the ultimate in no-frills Chinese dining. Long may it reign!
Mall Of The Emirates, Dubai Mall, Al Ghurair Centre and Nakheel Mall. instagram.com/dintaifungae
Up there as one of the most authentic Cantonese restaurants in Dubai, Long Teng prides itself on its excellent dim sum and seafood offerings. Located inside quite a stark commercial building in Business Bay – with an additional outlet inside Time Out Market – the multi-award-winning venue offers the gamut of dim sum favourites – from prawn har gao and chicken siew mai – to more unique specialities, including beef ho fan flat noodles, lobster in XO sauce and, of course, crispy roasted Peking duck.
U-bora Towers, Business Bay. Tel: (0)4 241 1666 @longtengseafood
This pretty restaurant located on the Fountains floor of Dubai Mall serves authentic Shanghai-style cuisine, and is particularly popular with Chinese visitors who are looking for a true taste of home. We’d even argue that its xiao long bao are just as good as Din Tai Fung’s.
Lower ground mall, Dubai Mall, daily noon to 11pm. Tel: (0)4 2246819. newshanghaime.com
Streetery Asian Food Hall
This wonderful Asian Food Hall is the brainchild of Nicky Ramchandani. After witnessing the growing popularity of his original Thai and Chinese brand Zen, he decided to expand by bringing over his favourite street stalls from Singapore and Hong Kong. The atmosphere is a little rustic, and a touch dive-y by design. In fact, it’s a lot like the real hawker stalls you’d find in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Diners eat fast and scrappily, using thin wooden chopsticks while sitting on colourful plastic stools. Be sure to order the following: xiao long bao, scallion pancakes, chicken rice and roti canai.
Streetery Food Hall, Cluster D, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai, daily 11am to 11pm. Tel: (04) 5873373. @streetery