There are so many new restaurants in Dubai! We can say a lot about Dubai. It’s hot, it’s small and it’s all about money. But you can’t say it has a boring dining scene. There have been a lot of new openings, and there’s a few still ahead, so here’s the rundown for you.
We have a buzzing dining scene with lots of new restaurants in Dubai opening all the time. There’s a high turnover due to the high rents, meaning it’s quickly clear whether a restaurant has what it takes to make it, or it doesn’t, making space for something else. And of course, there’s the newly developed areas such as the latest phase of City Walk (licensed, yay) and the newly opened Jumeirah al Naseem and a few other new hotel properties popping up. The nice thing about that is that there are always lots of new places to try out and read about. To get you started we’ve listed a few of the new restaurants to hit Dubai this year, some already open, some to be opened soon.
Black Tap, Jumeirah al Naseem – Do you remember those endless Instagram shots of gravity defying shakes? That was Black Tap. Flown in from New York, Black Tap does crazy shakes, burgers and craft beer. They opened at Jumeirah al Naseem last year and are set to open a second Dubai branch at the new Rixos in JBR later this year. Get your filters ready!
Publique, Souk Madinat – Missing that cozy wintery feeling that you get in Europe or North America? Of course someone did, and then decided to bring a wooden alpine ski lodge concept to Souk Madinat. Enter Publique. Lots of wood, and other rustic touches add to the (fake) fireplaces and make a cozy new restaurant. The menu features lots of mountain-fare with a twist, with a lot of cheese, as it should be.
Folly, Souk Madinat – Created by Gordon Ramsay protégés, so the food must be pretty good. The idea is not that you do the starter, main, dessert type order but rather order a number of savoury dishes to share as starter and main. It’s getting rave reviews for the well executed and subtle dishes and the innovative cocktail list so we think this new restaurant in Dubai is worth a trip to Madinat.
Lima, City Walk – Peruvian cuisine has been hot for a while, as you probably know. Coming from Central, one of Peru’s most famous and best restaurants, chef Virgilio Martinez has opened Lima at City Walk. Dubai’s Lima is a branch of Virgilio’s London Lima, which has a Michelin star. It’s also a sharing concept, with dishes themed around areas in Peru, or events or current topics in Lima city. And of course, this phase of City Walk is licensed, so Pisco Sour here we come.
Graze, City Walk – Beautiful La Ville at City Walk has opened Graze – a steakhouse. There are some dishes to share at this new restaurant to Dubai, but of course the meat is where our eyes go and there’s ample choice of cuts and specialties. The other dishes, which could also be sides, are done well and a notch above the usual mashed potatoes and creamed spinach. Think broccolini, sprouts and eggplant.
Il Borro, Jumeirah Al Naseem – Expect a traditional Italian menu with favourites such as carpaccio and ossobucco, as well as pastas and pizzas. Given that this is the Ferragamo family’s heritage it’s of course not just simple Italian eating. There’s a few true Tuscan specialties to choose from, including pici which is a big spaghetti variation, as well as tartare from Tuscan sourced beef. The flavours are rustic and fresh, and the décor is serene and pleasant.
Katsuya, Jumeirah al Naseem – Sushi mixed with minimalist design at this new restaurant at the stunning new Jumeirah property. But, let’s be clear, it’s creative sushi with ingredients like jalapeno peppers and foie gras. And the cocktail list is no sake joke either. Apparently from the top it looks like a bento box, which, while you’re inside feels more like a lot of nooks. We’e happy Katsuya is back and is licensed!
Matto, Oberoi – Italian was always popular but it seems to have gone into overdrive at the moment, with another new restaurant in Dubai choosing Italian as its cuisine. It’s a bit more casual than the typical hotel Italian, and has a great rustic industrial décor to draw in young hip crowds. The menu is reasonably traditional with parmigiana, pizzas and pastas, but the quality of the ingredients really stand out and make the dishes full of flavour.
The Lighthouse, d3 – This is a concept store with a restaurant, so you can enjoy browsing design furniture and home ware, design books, hipster chocolate and try Dubai’s newest restaurant. The cuisine is Mediterranean with lots of olives, feta and fresh veggies so we are happy. It’s quite casual for the level of food which is a nice change for a day when you just want to wear your flip flops and still have an outstanding meal. They also do breakfast which is a nice addition to Dubai’s slightly limited options.
Chez Charles, d3 – You probably already knew about Chez Charles if you’ve ever thrown a dinner or reception for a larger crowd or wanted gourmet groceries delivered to your door. One of the best caterers in town, Charles has now broadened his horizons to a restaurant in the hip d3 area. It’s French influenced, and of course uses expertly sourced ingredients so expect to be treated to a full gastronomic experience at this new Dubai restaurant.
La Mome, Nassima Royal – You know we love French bistros called Pastis. Well, La Mome is like a modern, clean version of Pastis. So we love that too. On the 49th floor it comes with stunning views of Sheikh Zayed, and it has a very atmospheric bar area that could easily make you forget your reservation all together. This new Dubai restaurant is therefore also a great date night venue. Expect traditional rustic French cooking but not your standard steak frites – more snails, roast pigeon and fondant for dessert.
Riviera Beach Grill, Rixos JBR – If you can’t afford a break to the French Riviera this year, consider heading to this Dubai newbie restaurant at JBR instead. There will be no breeze blowing through your hair and no stunning azure ocean to look at, but there is a rustic beach vibe and plenty of freshly grilled seafood with a cold, crisp glass of white wine by the Rixos pool. Consider making it a day-cation and buying the beach and pool access.
La Boheme Magic, JBR – Having lived in JBR we could not not write about this restaurant FINALLY opening. La Boheme occupies the top floor of the quirky villa, the ground floor is set to open later. La Boheme is unfortunately unlicensed but does have shisha so it’s not a write off for the weekend just yet. The restaurant itself looks like it came straight from Versailles with lots of glitz and glamour with some Alice in Wonderland touches added on to it. It’s marked as a grill, even serving game, so meatlovers should try out this new Dubai restaurant soon. There’s also live entertainment.