Where: Gate Village, DIFC
What to expect: I always find eating at one of DIFC’s restaurants refreshing, a change to the oft-faceless in-hotel dining here. And fine-dining Italian restaurant Roberto’s with its contemporary decor, floor-to-ceiling windows – overlooking Burj Khalifa – and city clientele, tricks you into believing you’re slap, bang in the middle of, say, New York.
This is Italian food at its finest – classic dishes given a contemporary spin (think pasta in a light curry sauce) or a refined makeover (think lobster risotto) delivering artistic creations on oversized white plates that look lovely and pack a punch taste wise.
The menu is prolific, from antipasti, soups and risottos, to pastas, fish and grills using the finest ingredients, from sea scallops to rib-eye steaks. It also features a raw seafood market: platters of carpaccio marinated in Italian flavours, an oyster and caviar menu.
For starters, I took the well-informed chef’s advice, tucking into the Caprino (seared goat’s cheese with beetroot carpaccio), which was gooey, set off perfectly by the sour beetroot, before digging into a perfectly cooked Angus beef tenderloin, with Marsala sauce. Dessert delivered childhood foods all grown up – think chocolate and Earl Grey gelati and a sticky marshmallow concoction. A buzzy atmosphere, fab food and spot-on service.
Details: Lunch, dinner and drinks daily 12pm-2am. From Dh250 for a three-course meal.
This Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club restaurant is offering a four-course iftar set menu – mezze, mixed grills and Arabic sweets – for just Dh125. 04-2956000.
Break your fast at this Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa eaterie. Local dishes are given a twist – think duck kibbeh with foie gras. Set menu, Dh250, 7pm-midnight, 04-3165550.
This Grosvenor House Hotel restaurant is offering a special Eid lunch set menu the first two days of Eid. Dh235, 04-3176000.
Enjoy iftar at home with a three-course iftar set menu delivered from this rustic Italian JLT restaurant. Dh55 per person, 04-4539390.
Three of the best: Indian restaurants
Amala, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray
Giving authentic Northern Indian cuisine a modern twist, this bright and contemporary restaurant focuses on creating Mughlai curries and specialities from its Tandoori oven, like curried scallops and crispy lady’s fingers. Order anything from the menu for Dh255 per person. 6pm-1am, 04-4530444.
Handi, Taj Palace Dubai
Offering authentic north Indian fare, including Rajasthani, Kashmiri and Mughlai, this award-winning cosy restaurant features traditional Taj decor, an open kitchen and sitar-playing in the evenings. A must-try is the Biriyani cooked in copper pots and covered in dough. 7-11.30pm, 04-2113045.
Zafran, Dubai Marina Mall
Giving Indian fare a contemporary twist, this restaurant uses seasonal produce in its simple dishes. It has just launched its summer menu, which uses various spices to keep the body cool. We love the smooth and mild Chingri Malai Curry (Dh55). 04-3997357. Also in Mirdif City Centre, 04-2840987.