- This is a list of newly opened or upcoming spots in Dubai, Abu Dhabi as well as the other emirates
- This list will be regularly updated, so keep checking it for the latest
The UAE food scene is not new to restaurant openings, but the year end has brought a series of exciting names that are worth a mention.
Snowboarder-turned-chef brings the adventure to the plate with Akira Back, the upcoming Asian fine-dining restaurant at The W Hotel, The Palm Jumeirah. Chef Back, who has nearly 25 years of culinary experience and a number of namesake restaurants across the globe, brings his take on modern Japanese cuisine to the Middle East. His Korean heritage and his American upbringing also finds a dollop of seasoning on the palette.
Expected to open: January 2019
Where: The W Hotel The Palm
Indya by Vineet
Chef Vineet Bhatia is not a new name of the Dubai food scene, with his contemporary Indian restaurant, Indego at the Grosvenor House, already a firm favourite among patrons.
The Michelin-starred chef will is bringing a fresh new concept to Dubai with the launch of Indya by Vineet, set to launch later this year at Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa. The restaurant will take a contemporary approach to Indian street staples. According to its site, the new venue will have an outdoor terrace as well.
When: It was initially set to open in November, but will now open in 2019.
Where: Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
With locations in London and Melbourne, this will be the third outpost of the culinary concept developed by the Michelin-star chef, who will work alongside his chef-director Ashley Palmer-Watts on the Dubai opening. The restaurant will include its own bar, two outside terraces, as well as a private dining room.
The restaurant will offer contemporary flavours of British dishes inspired by recipes dating back to the 1300s, which itself stems from Blumenthal’s fascination with history and gastronomy triggered in the late ‘90s after reading a 15-century manuscript known as The Vivendier.
Incidentally, the new property will also be home to another future hotspot — a popular Iranian–American celebrity TV chef and author, Ariana’s Persian Kitchen.
When: No confirmed opening date as yet.
Where: The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences
Located in the upcoming Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, Tasca is a new restaurant by culinary genius Jose Avillez. Named after the Portuguese word for tavern, Tasca will be Avillez’s first international opening, aiming to follow the success of his Michelin-starred Lisbon eatery, Belcanto.
Located on Beach Road, the poolside restaurant will serve authentic Portuguese cuisine with a contemporary twist, with both indoor and outdoor dining.
When: While no opening date has been announced for the restaurant, the hotel is available for room bookings from March 1, 2019
Where: Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai
While many new restaurants are serving a contemporary take on traditional dishes, Purani Dilli will focus on the flavours of Old Delhi and repackage it for the UAE.
According to the restaurant, every culinary creation on the menu will pay tribute to the cultural legacy of Delhi, influenced by legacy of Mughlai cuisine. While dishes lean heavily on recipes borrowed from the legendary kitchens of the Mughals, diners can feast on an assortment of kebabs, biryani and nihari inspired by the famed Chandni Chowk and Jama Masjid.
The Indian restaurant will also offer live entertainment by singers as well as a chudiwalla (bangle seller) in the lobby and the cycle rickshaw for some insta-worthy moments.
When: Opens on January 14
Where: Four Points by Sheraton, Downtown
Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spas' latest culinary offering, has now opened its doors to D diners. The concept brings a taste of Italy to the heart of Dubai Marina. The earthy interiors, wooden flooring, suspended lighting, marble table tops and neutral textiles make for an Instagram-able location. La Strega promises uncomplicated, authentic Italian food such as Spaghetti Lobster as well as more regional interpretations of Ravioli Burrata with cherry tomato sauce. Diners can also indulge in a selection of antipasti, octopus, mussels, burrata as well as steak and fish served straight from the grill.
Information: Open from 7pm to 12am at Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa
All’Onda is a blend of Asian and Italian cuisine. The menu will include a selection of seafood, homemade pasta and risottos and Venetian chicchetti, as well as an extensive grape list sourced from the Northern regions of Italy. Dishes includes Buffalo Ricotta Ravioli with Vine Tomato Sauce and Basil, Peppered Beef Tagliata with soft Burrata and a herby Pangrattato Indian Osso Buco with Saffron Risotto and Risotto All’Onda, made with Madras Curry, Prawns and Shiso. The All’Onda restaurant has a sleek design throughout, reflecting its Venetian heritage, and covers the entire top floor of the Kempinski Emerald Palace Hotel.
Where: Kempinski Emerald Palace Hotel, Crecent West Palm Jumeirah
Bounty Beets is a new-concept dining outlet with a fun an holistic approach to living. It's all about sustainably-sourced, fresh produce with a view of the sunset. The menu offers avocado on toast called ‘You’re all I Avo Wanted’, and an entire breakfast section titled ‘First Breakfast, then I’ll Change the World’. Their fare includes organic, gluten-free and vegan options as well as items typical of what you’d find in LA’s Juice Bars and Health Cafes, like detox shots, plant-based nachos, vegan cream cheese, gluten-free pizza and a mouth-watering selection of bowls. The menu offers a variety of food and drinks with something for everyone: popular breakfast dishes, salads, gluten-free pizza, soups, poke bowls, grills, healthy burgers, desserts and a bar serving cocktails, colourful lattes, juices, smoothies and detox shots.
Where: Le Meridien Mina Seyahi’s Club
Popular Indian restaurant chain Copper Chimney, which first opened its doors in 1972, has seen many a celebrity walk through its doors over the decades. Well known for its flavourful kebabs and the artistry that unfolds in its tandoor clay ovens, Copper Chimney has recently found its way to the Millennium Plaza Hotel.
The restaurants signature grills include the reshmi malai chicken and the kalimirch chicken, both heavily influenced by the flavours found in old Delhi, along with the wafer-thin kadak rumali and the paneer tikka, which is marinated more than eight hours.
If the selection of grills aren’t enough, there are eight types or birianis to choose from — even one to keep the vegetarians happy.
Where: Millennium Plaza Hotel.
Opening to the public just last week, Kizmet serves what it calls a modern take on soul food, which is inspired by dishes its staff grew up with. Dishes on the menu include small plates called ‘My Girlfriend Is Not Hungry’, which is nothing but a serving of avocado fries with habanero mayo.The restaurant also has a social working space for those looking for a change of scene from their office.
Where: Downtown Dubai, next to Dubai Opera.
Han Shi Fu
Han Shi Fu is the youngest Asian fusion gastropub and restaurant on the block, taking diners on a culinary journey through Taipei, Hong Kong, Shanghai, New York and Los Angeles.
Showcasing traditional dishes executed with a modern twist, highlights on the a la carte menu include crystal ray crab dumplings, signature Taiwanese beef noodle soup, duck congee and Matcha green tea velvet cake. Film-inspired drinks also on offer.
Han Shi Fu has also launched ‘The Bund Girl’ every Tuesday evening from 8pm where ladies can get three complimentary drinks and 20 per cent off the bar menu; those dressed in traditional Qibao will receive an extra two complimentary drinks.
Where: Aloft City Centre Deira.
Sanderson’s focuses on nutritious, sustainable and wholesome food using quality, seasonal ingredients cooked from scratch daily. Backed by a strong belief that the food we eat can have a powerful effect on health and state of mind, Sanderson’s has unique recipes and dishes to showcase each ingredient while also being healthy and flavourful. Expect colourful yet natural, wholesome dishes including a Pineapple Smoothie Bowl, classic Beef Burger with a twist and the Veggie Rice Paper Wrap with tamarind.
Where:The Walk, Al Seef Resort & Spa in Abu Dhabi
If your travels take you down to the Marina Cubes, tucked away in Mina Rashid under the shadow of the QE2, then take time out to sample the sweet tidings of the new Emirati-owned cafe, Pastryology.
The cafe has curated a menu inspired by flavours from all over the world, including the UAE. Classic favourites appear on the menu, including the fluffy carrot cake, tiramisu pudding and espresso Rocky Road tarts. Homegrown desserts also feature — think sticky date and a s’more brownie and kunafa saffron cheesecake.
The concept is the brainchild of Emirati couple, Aisha Sharaf and Tariq Taher.
Where: Marina Cubes, Mina Rashid.
Multi-Michelin starred chef Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen made its debut in Dubai last month, marking the brand’s second global outpost and it’s first in the Middle East. Located at the Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai, the dining experience is inspired by the international hit television show where guests will find themselves in a studio set-up.
Breakfast at the restaurant serves up a combination of Emirati specialities, alongside Western classics, with one item guaranteed on the menu — Eggs in Purgatory, a famed Ramsay dish. Lunch and dinner to include signatures including pan seared scallops, lobster risotto, beef wellington.
Where: At the Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai.
Stoke House Dining, Bar & Terrace
The recently opened Stoke House Dining, Bar & Terrace, located at the Damac Hills estate, overlooks a lush golf garden that makes for a convenient luncheon spot following the morning tee time.
The menu varies, but hits all the right buttons with signature steaks, classic burgers, fresh seafood delicacy and salads. The terrace area serves as the ideal alfresco dining spot as the weather cools down and features BBQ evenings and pasta nights with live cooking under a massive spinning Parmesan wheel.
The bar area will also host weekly quiz nights.
Where: Damac Hills Estate
The Duck Hook
The Duck Hook offers classic “pub grub meets modern European fare”. The idyllic hideaway allows for uninterrupted views of Dubai’s city offers a range of starters or snacks, including duck scotch egg, shrimp tempura; chicken tikka bites and more. Main courses include beef Wellington for two; braised and roasted Welsh lamb shank; battered fish and chips; duck confit or a steak pie. There’s also tasty chicken ruby curry and a vegan Portobello mushroom or beef, burger. The best part is, the Duck Hook offers free flowing filtered water.
Where: Dubai Hills Golf Club
Open 12noon-12am daily, 12 noon-1am at weekends
Not yet opened
Buddha-Bar at the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah
If the weather lures you towards the Northern Emirates, then check out the new six-month pop-up of the Siddharta Lounge by Buddha-Bar at the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah.
Opening on December 19, the pop-up lounge will accommodate 120 guests and offer breathtaking views of the Arabian Sea, pool access, mixology bar and a sushi counter. The lounge will also host weekly live music and regular performances along with a series of concept nights.
Where: Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah.
Initiated by three Emirati sisters whose passion and love for food was passed on from their mother; “Asma” is set to open its doors end of December in Dubai Mall. The new dining places a contemporary twist on Middle Eastern cuisine, bringing flavours of Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt and Syria to food lovers.
Asma’s menu reflects influences from the Gulf to destinations in the Mediterranean Sea, including Asma’s Arayes, Musakhan and Beetroot Labneh, cooked with passion and personality, and main courses that range from the freshest sea food like Sea Bream Chermoula, Octopus and Smoked Tomato Prawns to tender meat like Lamb Cutlets, Meat Shakshuka and the famous Middle Eastern Kebab. F
Where: Dubai Mall