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The best new restaurants in Dubai

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If you’ve exhausted all of your usual dinner spots, you’re in the right place as new restaurants in Dubai are always popping up. Whether it’s a fancy fine-dining spot for a romantic date night, or somewhere more cool and casual to gather with your mates, we’ve got the inside scoop on the must-visit places across the city.

These are the best new restaurants in Dubai.

Now open

Vaga

A new addition to the Bluewaters culinary scene is Vaga. Inspired by the term for a nomad, vagabond, the two-floor restaurant is a contemporary space serving up a fusion of Arabic and Armenian cuisines. Must order dishes include Manti, that combines beef ravioli deliciously with mint, yogurt, tomato sauce, and chili; a classic Armenian Lahmajoon of lamb mince, tomato, onion, parsley, and chili atop a crispy base; and Khorovats, which celebrates the culinary stalwart that is the Armenian barbeque, serving up a smorgasbord of delicious grilled meat. On the corner of Bluewaters Mall, the first floor terrace boasts some of the best views of Ain Dubai, while in the warmer months an indoor terrace on the ground floor will be a popular place to sit.

Vaga, Bluewaters, off Dubai Marina, 12pm to late daily. Tel: (0)56 800 0990, vagadubai.com

Alaya

Two of Dubai’s restaurant heavyweights, Evgeny Kuzin and Izu Ani (known for creating Gaia, Shanghai Me and most recently La Maison Ani) have teamed up again for yet another DIFC restaurant called Alaya. Described as a ‘tribute to the Middle East’, Alaya is now open next door to Gaia in DIFC. With a focus on carefully selected ingredients and rigorous cooking methods, every dish requires fresh herbs and spices such as cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg, cardamom or the lemony flavours of sumac. You’ll also find prime meat and seafood; many different kinds of nuts including pine, pistachio, almond and sesame; as well as freekeh, pulses, and plenty of squeezes of lemon.

Alaya, Gate Village 4, DIFC . Tel: (0)4 570 6289. alaya-dubai.com @alayadubai

RSVP

Boxpark is home to a new French ‘fun’ dining concept, RSVP. The unlicensed venue brings the essence of Joie de Vivre to a relaxed setting, inspired by old world eateries from Paris. The beautiful, light-filled space welcomes guests for an early morning espresso, long lunches and late-night rendezvous. Chef de Cuisine, Aadel Ouaoua combines traditional French techniques with his love of classic Japanese cooking and added a Mediterranean touch, so you can expect a bit of everything on this eclectic menu.

RSVP, Boxpark, Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah, 10am to 12am daily. @rvsprestaurant

EKAI

As if DIFC’s dining scene wasn’t already full enough, there’s a new restaurant to dine and unwind at in the financial district’s Burj Daman building. A spot designed for late-night dinners and revelry until the early hours, EKAI features opulent decor, a stage for nightly performances and a menu of Mediterrasian fusion dishes.

Podium 5, Burj Daman, DIFC, Dubai, 6pm to 3am daily. Tel: (0)4 554 3392, ekaidubai.com/

The Byron Bathers Club

Byron Bathers Club

Restaurateur and all-round bonzer Aussie bloke Tom Arnel (of Tom & Serg fame) has taken over the space of Bidi Bondi, and is replacing it with a new Aussie-inspired multi-concept called The Byron Bathers Club, which is now in soft opening. The Byron – as it aims to be affectionately known – will be a seafood focused beachside dining destination offering a la carte breakfasts, lunches and late-night dinners. Taking inspiration from Australia’s celebrity hotspot, Byron Bay, the new concept hopes to become a Palm local offering a range of diverse concepts, including Byron’s Bar & Bistro, Ulu’s Oyster bar and Tigerlily’s Beach. It’s not licensed yet, but alcohol service will start soon.

The Byron Bathers Club, Al Manhal Building, Shoreline, Palm Jumeirah (formerly Bidi Bondi). @byronbathersclub

Belcanto

Replacing what was The Loft at Opera, and Sean Connolly at Dubai Opera before that, is Belcanto. Described as an experiential dining concept, offering fine-dining Italian cuisine, Belcanto is headed up by Tuscan Chef Giacomo Lombardi. The space, a piece by Bishop Design, has been designed with quintessential Italian styling in mind, while drawing inspiration from the elegance of Dubai Opera. Monochromatic palettes include teases of wood, crushed emerald greens, blood-red cordovan hues, heavy velvets, printed filigree fret-cut leathers, and striking crystal chandeliers. Belcanto, which roughly translates as ‘beautiful song’, takes diners from Prologue to Epilogue, with dishes built on classic stories reinterpreted for this exceptional venue.

Belcanto, Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai 6pm to 12.30am Mon to Thurs, 6pm to 1.30am Fri to Sun. Tel: (0)4 456 0936, belcantorest.com

Jun’s

Jun’s is the brainchild of award-winning chef Kelvin Cheung that’s recently opened on Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, presenting a modern menu of flavours from North America and Asia. Rooted in Cheung’s Chinese heritage, North American upbringing, and French training – coupled with the freshest ingredients from local farms – Jun’s will take you across the world on a journey that traces the chef’s culinary travels. It’s served up in a restaurant space where no attention to detail hasn’t been considered, with eye-catching details including a marble top bar, jade accents and a serious of 3D ceiling installations.

Jun’s, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, 6pm to 12am daily. Tel: (0)4 457 6035, junsdubai.com

53 Dubai

New dinner and a show restaurant 53 Dubai is located, unsurprisingly, on the 53rd floor of the Sheraton Grand Sheikh Zayed Road. From its lofty perch, 53 commands some pretty incredible views of Downtown Dubai and the stunning city skyline thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows. While you may struggle to tear yourself away from the jaw-dropping views, you’ll want to have your eyes firmly to the stage once the entertainment begins, with dinner shows expertly choreographed by Lebanese artist Jean Zakr. The globally-influenced menu is an all-taste pleasing array of dishes that take inspiration from around the world. Masterminded by chef Esteban Terragosa, recipes inspired by flavours from the Mediterranean, Latin America and across Asia will offer something for everyone.

53 Dubai, Sheraton Grand Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, opening June 2022. Tel: (0)4 583 5353. @53.dubai

Cleavers

cleavers

Changes are afoot at Phileas Foggs. The go-to neighbourhood hangout has switched up its offering by removing The Orangery and replacing it with brand new elegant steakhouse concept, Cleavers. The new restaurant looks very much like The Orangery, but now houses a menu of modern British cuisine that uses classic ingredients to create simple yet imaginative dishes, with premium steak cuts and a mighty meaty menu at its core. Highlights include beef tartare, several steak cut selections and the enormous Cleavers signature burger.

Cleavers, Phileas Foggs, Montgomerie Golf Academy, Tue to Thur 6pm to 12.30pm (last seating at 10pm) and Friday to Sunday 6pm to 1.30am (last seating at 11.30pm).  Tel: (0)4 572 4477. @cleaversdxb

Bussola, Jumeirah Golf Estates

Bussola

Bussola has been a crowd-favourite for many years, positioning itself as a brilliant place for happy hour sundowners, oven-baked pizzas and casual, family-friendly dining. Now, the award-winning restaurant has opened a second location in the popular residential district of Jumeirah Golf Estates. It takes over the spot previously held by the Sports Bar, but the space looks completely unrecognisable, with white pebble stone walls, pretty olive trees and views across the golf course. Chic cream and grey furniture is paired with light wooden tables and monochrome patterned cushions for a home-away-from-home look. Guests can expect fresh and flavourful dishes such as homemade pasta, burrata with heirloom tomatoes, fresh seafood and succulent meat dishes.

Bussola at Jumeirah Golf Estates, Jumeirah Golf Estates Golf & Country Club, Dubai, Mon to Fri 12pm to 3pm and 6pm to 11pm, Sat and Sun 12pm to 4pm and 6pm to 11pm. Tel: (0)4 586 7760. dubaigolf.com/bussola

Mayabay

Mayabay Dubai, export of the upmarket Mayabay Monaco is now open in Jumeirah Al Naseem. The luxe new restaurant will be found at the beautiful turtle lagoon. For those who love their food, you can tantalise your tastebuds with Mayabay’s signature Japanese-Thai cuisine in a sophisticated dining setting. On the menu, authentic Asian dishes include caviar dim sums, Thai Sashimi De Boeuf Wagyu (pan-seared Wagyu beef sashimi), Yam Ped Tap Tim (duck salad with pomegranate), Larmes du Tigre (French sirloin) and signature classic pulled Maya Crispy Duck.

Mayabay Dubai, Jumeirah Al Naseem, daily 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (0)4 275 2500. @mayabaydubai

Eunoia by Carine

 

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French Mediterranean inspired restaurant Eunoia by Carine is the next venture in Chef Izu Ani’s string of projects, this time in Hyatt Centric Jumeirah. The space is designed as the sister restaurant to beloved Dubai institution, Carine – and incorporates the same bright and airy aesthetic with heartwarming simple dishes, done well.

Eunoia by Carine, Hyatt Centric Jumeirah, La Mer, daily 7am to 11am, 12.30pm to 3.30pm and 6.30pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 302 1241. @eunoiabycarine

Tabu

On the 23rd floor at The St. Regis Downtown, Business Bay, Tabu is a new Japanese restaurant offering dinner with a side of entertainment from multiple stages. On the menu guests can expect a variety of sushi, salads, ceviches, hot and cold starters, Ishiyaki stone bowls, Yakimono, as well as a selection of main dishes and different steak cuts.

Tabu, The St Regis Downtown Business Bay, daily 6pm to 2am. Tel: (0)52 950 1309. @tabudubai

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