Looking to try somewhere new? Bookmark these…
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.
Here are 11 new restaurants in Dubai you need to try.
Papas is the personality-packed Italian restaurant from Solutions Group, replacing Marina Social in the InterContinental Dubai Marina. Designed to look like a wholesome trattoria that’s been plucked straight from the streets of Rome or Florence, the kitsch decor is warm and inviting. There’s even a wine window at the entrance, where you can order a glass of grape and capture the perfect Instagram moment. Outside, the venue’s gorgeous Marina-facing terrace offers some of the most sought-after tables in the city, where traditional Italian flavours can be enjoyed against the backdrop of the twinkling Marina skyline. Inside, there’s also an open, glass-walled kitchen, so guests can watch the chefs at work, where fresh pasta hangs in neat rows, just like Nonna would have made it. Must-tries include the panzanella, nduja and burrata pizza, veal ossobuco and Sicilian cannoli.
Papas, InterContinental Dubai Marina, 6pm to 12am Sunday to Thursday, 6pm to 1am Friday and Saturday. @papasdubai
Hidden away in the Kempinski Hotel, Mall of the Emirates, comes yet another new concept from Rikas Group, XU. A new licensed Cantonese restaurant, adorned with lanterns, neon lights, crimson-tiled walls, and mirrored ceilings, the mysteriously intimate spot opens for dinner only from 6pm to late. Whether you’re sat in the nightclub-esque lounge, by the open kitchen, or on the outdoor terrace, enjoy a sharing-style menu inspired by Cantonese cuisine with additional Southeast Asian flavours. Guests can choose from starters such as crispy lemongrass chicken and Peking duck pancakes, while mains include the usual suspects including sweet and sour chicken and a seafood clay pot with tamarind chilli sauce.
Moli by Shi
Fans of Asian fine dining are probably already well aware of Shi and its sophisticated Chinese charms. And now they can enjoy those same fabulous flavours at the restaurant creator’s new Dubai Hills Business Park project, Moli. As with Shi, the chic Chinese influences extend well beyond the menu at Moli. The venue is a blizzard of exquisitely studied details – in its ornate timber frame knots and ceiling paneling; the army of terracotta pots presented above the bar; crimson red drapes hemming the perimeter; the hidden Chinese characters and artwork; Asian mythologically-inspired cocktails; jasmine-bloom chandeliers; silk print restrooms; and the ‘mane event’ – the striking pair of stone lions overseeing reservations at the restaurant’s reception. Signature dishes include roasted duck with foie grass and caviar, sea cucumber with Magi Yaki sauce, and Peking duck, accompanied by homemade sweet-sour plum sauce and scallion pancakes.
Moli by Shi, Dubai Hills Business park, building 4, Sun to Thu midday to 1am, Fri and Sat 1pm to 2am. Tel: (0)4 276 3338. @molidubai
Bringing a retro slice of La Dolce Vita to Club Vista Mare is Limonata. Inspired by coastal Italian charm, the restaurant and beach bar is a family-friendly spot that’s vibrant, colourful and relaxed – perfect for your next chilled-out catch-up. Decked out in sunny yellow with pops of orange, guests can choose to dine in the restaurant, on the terrace, or perch up on loungers dotted across the sand for an Italian-inspired daycay. On the menu, expect a myriad of delicious dishes such as antipasti, refreshing salads, moreish pizzas, and indulgent pasta.
Limonata, Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah, daily 12pm to 2am. Tel: (0)58 140 5777. @limonatadubai
Now open as part of the culinary array at Zabeel House The Greens, 42 Midtown is self-described as a sophisticated restobar that ‘combines the spirit of New York with the charm of Dubai.’ A smart and sophisticated aesthetic is reminiscent of a cool NYC neighbourhood hangout, with dark woods, monochrome prints and verdant plants dotted throughout the dining room. The relaxed yet sophisticated social dining space also houses a long bar, where guests can perch up for after-work drinks or pre-dinner aperitivo’s. On the food front, crowd-pleasing flavours from around the world include truffle pizza, refined mini hot dogs, a 12-hour smoked brisket and a lobster roll.
42 Midtown, P2 Level, Onyx Tower 2, 12pm to 3.30pm and 5pm to 12am Sun to Thurs, 12pm to 2am Fri and Sat. Tel: (0)4 519 1111. jumeirah.com
Adding to the ever-expanding array of culinary offerings in DIFC is Uchi. An intimate fine-dining restaurant with a contemporary feel, this Izakaya-inspired restaurant combines a menu of inventive, Japanese-inspired dishes with a neat menu of crafted cocktails. Perch up at the counter or book one of the restaurant tables and dine through a menu that features dishes like sea bass crudo, asparagus ravioli, Wagyu sando and poached black cod. After dinner, linger longer at the bar, a stylish space that’s been designed for socialising.
Uchi, Gate Village, DIFC, 12pm to 1am Sun to Weds, 12pm to 2am Thurs to Sat. Tel: (0)4 298 5044. uchihospitality.com
London’s iconic Knightsbridge restaurant, Signor Sassi is now welcoming diners to the St Regis Gardens. Signor Sassi is as famed in London for its hearty portions of classic Italian cuisine as it is for its VIP clientele. The charm extends from the kitsch and maximalist decor, to the charming staff that all emulate the traditional Italian hospitality the London venue has been known and loved for since the 1980s. On the menu, you’ll find beautiful plates of antipasti, traditional pasta, succulent meat dishes, and beautifully presented seafood.
Signor Sassi Dubai, St Regis Gardens, Palm Jumeirah, daily 6pm to 11pm. Tel: (0)4 278 4848. signorsassidubai.com
Hidden away on a rooftop in the Mall of the Emirates, Eugène Eugène is a stunning oasis and greenhouse-inspired French brasserie. By day, Eugène Eugène is the perfect space for an elegant lunch and coffee catch-up, and by night, the glass hideaway transforms into a captivating, candle-lit dining room ideal for late-night cocktails. Drawing inspiration from greenhouses and market halls, the restaurant features hundreds of plants, a green marble bar, an inviting conservatory, an outdoor terrace, comfortable rattan sofas, and plenty of seating options to choose from. Culinary highlights from head chef Yannis Sgard include the Taleggio cheese pizzetta (Dhs55), the roasted whole baby chicken (Dhs125) with a non-negotiable side of pomme puree (Dhs34), and for dessert, the red fruit pavlova (Dhs50).
Eugène Eugène, Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha, daily 12pm to 12am. Tel: (0)4 379 8963. @eugeneeugenedubai
Row on 45
Row on 45, a new fine dining concept by renowned chef Jason Atherton, is now welcoming gourmands on the 45th floor of Grosvenor House. Each night, 22 diners are taken on a journey through a 17-course haute cuisine menu in an elegant restaurant setting inspired by chef Atherton’s London home. The evening unfolds in the champagne lounge before guests are guided through to the main dining theatre with a state-of-the-art open kitchen. For the finale, guests retreat to the intimate Chef’s Library where they are presented with desserts and fine beverages.
Row on 45, Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina, Wednesday to Saturday, 7pm to 1am. Tel: (0)4 402 2222. rowon45dubai.com
The Citronelle Club
Now open at SO/Uptown, the stylish new address in Uptown Dubai, at the edge of JLT, The Citronelle Club invites guests to enjoy a fusion of modern Asian dishes, presented with a refined French twist. A unique culinary journey is paired with sleek interiors, complete with a stylish bar and open kitchens where diners can watch the culinary team at work. As is a signature of SO/ Hotels, art and design take centre stage, and there’s vibrant artworks everywhere you look. Koi fish and dragons are signature motifs, weaved into more abstract works and hand painted pieces that create a design-centric space. Cosy corners make the perfect date-night spot, while big booths and a mirrored private dining room ensure larger groups of guests are catered for.
The Citronelle Club, SO/ Uptown Dubai, Uptown Tower, JLT, daily 6pm to 12am. Tel: (0)50 421 0753. @thecitronelleclub
Looking for a cool new spot to dine in Business Bay? Then check out Soul Kitchen, a personality-packed new eatery fusing the flavours of the Levant and Latin America.In shades of deep orange and olive green, guests are invited to dine on star dishes like the local sheri fish crudo, grilled calamari and tamarind glazed lamb chops. It’s paired with crafted cocktails and a handpicked wine list, plus a cool soundtrack to take you from early evening to late night.
Soul Kitchen, Business Bay, 5pm to 1am Sun to Thurs, 5pm to 2am Fri and Sat. Tel: (0)4 836 0900. @soulkitchendxb