Dubai's best chef's table experiences
Shake up your date night with an element of surprise…
There are hundreds of unforgettable restaurants in Dubai but there is something to be said about sharing an intimate dining experience with your nearest and dearest.
For those who haven’t dined at a chef’s table before, guests are exclusively invited into the kitchen and taken on a culinary journey under the direction of a world-class chef. From 11-course tasting menus packed with flavours to leave-it-to-the-chef omakase menus with perfectly paired drinks, there are plenty of restaurants that offer this theatrical gastronomical experience.
Whether you are looking to escape the usual date night spot or have reason to celebrate with a group of friends, here is a list of the best chef’s table experiences in Dubai, tried and tested by team What’s On.
An 8-seater Omakase isn’t what you traditionally find on the rooftop of a residential building in Satwa. But then again, Moonrise isn’t a traditional Dubai dining experience. Forgoing Dubai’s typical tendency to lean on extensive entertainment, large scale venue fit outs or daily deals, Moonrise is a no-frills rooftop restaurant that’s all about the food. Each evening, there’s two seatings for chef Solemann Haddad’s menu, which has recently been refreshed after a summer break: the early seating is 6.45pm while the later one kicks off at 9.30pm.
Still in situ are dishes known and loved from the original menu, including ‘Explosion’; a foie gras Puri with date syrup and sweet saffron and pineapple chutney, but there’s also new additions. We loved the Trip to Masafi, which arrives as a piece of charred Madai topped with sweet corn on a bed of brown butter, and chef Solemann’s twist on a grilled cheese with 36-month aged parmigiano Reggiano and Hokkaido milk bread that’s finished with a shaving of truffle.
Every dish has a story behind it, with carefully selected ingredients reflective of a memory or occasion personal to the Michelin-lauded chef, and our favourite part of the experience is hearing him recall them as we move through the 11-course menu.
Moonrise, Rooftop Level, Eden House, Satwa, seatings at 6.45pm and 9.30pm, Mon to Sat, Dhs650 per person. Tel: (0)50 697 2946, moon-rise.xyz
Located on the Palm Jumeirah with breathtaking views of Dubai, Michelin Guide recognised Akira Back hosts an exclusive Omakase dining experience on the last Thursday of every month called ABnormal. Competition for a spot on the 10-seater kitchen counter is fierce but it is here that Chef Giovanni Ledon serves up a creative Japanese tasting menu featuring three starters, a 12-piece sushi set, and dessert. Each course is paired with premium Sake offering an authentic Japanese experience.
Surrounding the open kitchen, we watch the thoughtful preparation of each and every dish while the chef tells us the story and intentions behind every ingredient. As the night goes on, the dishes become more and more complex and the Sake evolves with us. Whilst every course was exceptional, we loved the unusual Japanese delicacies such as fatty tuna sashimi, eel sashimi, and the Japanese omelette. A delightful selection of exotic fruits with a white chocolate surprise was presented by Chef Giovanni for dessert, we couldn’t have chosen a better way to end the meal. But the best part of this transcendent dining experience, with no written menu, is the surprise and spontaneity.
ABnormal, Akira Back, W Hotel Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, every last Thursday of the month, 7.30pm, Dhs899. Tel: (0)4 245 5570, akirabackdubai.com
It has been a brilliant year for Tresind Studio. Not only did the restaurant walk away with the Restaurant of the Year in our What’s On Awards Dubai 2022, but it was also awarded a Michelin star at the inaugural edition of the Michelin Guide in Dubai back in June – the only Indian Michelin-starred restaurant in UAE.
In August, charming head chef Himanshu Saini launched a ‘Tasting India’ menu to celebrate 75 years of Independence taking diners on a tour of the four corners of India. The menu features 16 dishes, each of which was elegantly plated with finesse and beauty. We started off our journey in the North of India where we dined on an elevated pani puri – a memorable dish we still dream about, a light quince curry with galouti kofta and more. On to the Pursuit of the West, the duck cafreal teleported us back to the beaches of Goa and we polished off the shrimps in sour lentil broth (and if we’re being honest here, fought off the urge to ask for more). We continued our journey to the Splendours of the South where yet another magical moment took place as the chefs and waiters prepared a ‘Sadya’ for the diners. Sadya translates to a banquet in Malayalam where traditionally, a 24-course meal is served on the same plantain leaf with rice, side dishes, pickles and dessert so diners experience an explosion of flavours with each bite. And Chef Himanshu skillfully recreates this experience with one single dish. Our final culinary journey takes us to the Rising East with dishes influenced by Southeast Asia. We tucked into king oyster noodles and a kebab omelette, and were treated to two desserts – a gorgeous all-white insta-worthy presentation of panda payesh (a sweet rice pudding) with flavours of rose, almond and coconut; and a strawberry paan (an Indian mouth sweetener, freshener, and digestive) served up on a beautiful arrangement of red roses.
Just when we thought the dining experience was over, Chef Himanshu surprised us all with a third sweet treat. With the lights dimmed down, Frank Sinatra’s Fly Me To The Moon starts playing and the waiters arrive at our table with a crumbly white chocolate block drizzled with honey placed on top of a moon lamp and tea. A surprise ending that only broadened the smiles on everyone’s faces.
Trèsind Studio, East Wing Rooftop, Nakheel Mall, Palm Jumeirah, 6pm and 9pm, Dhs695 per person. Tel: (0)58 895 1272, tresindstudio.com