Photo Credit: amsfrank
In Dubai, it feels criminal to spend an evening in when there are over 5,000 restaurants awaiting your reservation call. All budgets, appetites and cultures are catered to. Settings range from Belle Époque grandeur to burnished steel modernism. You can travel the world, one bite at a time, and be transported to a Moroccan roof terrace, then to an Indonesian lakeside pagoda, followed by a North American diner. Wield chopsticks, Kings Cutlery or fingers, but whatever you do, don’t stay in.
For traditional mezze plates served in al fresco grandeur, Abd el Wahab Dubai is the place to beat. Located in the Souk Al Bahar in downtown Dubai, this restaurant gives Lebanese dishes like succulent grilled meats the gourmet treatment against the sparkling backdrop of the dancing fountains outside the Burj al Khalifa.
With its ornate dark wood paneling and authentic Thai dancer performance every evening at 8pm, the opulent setting of Benjarone will transport you to South East Asia. Then you taste the food. The collision of sweet and bitter flavors is utterly evocative, and dishes like glass noodle salad and green curry are reassuringly authentic. With ruby water chestnuts, coconut ice cream and taro on offer, you’ll want to hang around for desert.
It’s astounding how few restaurants make their pasta; thankfully, Armani has this, among other, claims to fame. Served in the sort of moody, polished surroundings worthy of an aftershave commercial or spy thriller, dishes are simple and elegant, but nonetheless impressive. Diners can expect perfectly al dente pasta, fragrant seafood, tender meat and precisely curated wines, and thankfully not a Bond villain in sight.
Warm colors, live Flamenco guitar music and bright Valencian dishes create the illusion of a cozy Spanish taverna, all from the ground floor of Al Qasr Hotel. Dishes like patatas bravas, chorizo and anchovies will clamor to delight tapas affiliates, while more extensive offerings include squid ink paella and roast chicken. The lunch deal is particularly good value for money, offering one tapa dish, paella and desert for only AED99 per person.
Giant, lip-smacking T-bone steaks, arm length racks of ribs and combo dishes involving the addition of shrimp and pulled pork will draw anyone with a mighty appetite in to the Texas Roadhouse. Garnering a great reputation with families in particular, the staff are friendly and entertaining, and this chain restaurant will prove anything but generic.
Those are just some of the culinary highlights that you can experience in Dubai. Some of the world’s finest flavors are placed on a plate for you to taste. To explore Dubai is to explore the world.