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Food & Drink

Book a table at the best restaurants in DIFC

Sun, May 2, 2021

Dubai’s financial heart has an unmistakable foodie soul, so dig in and discover a few of our favourite restaurants to dine at.

Dubai’s financial heart has an unmistakable foodie soul, so dig in and discover a few of our favourite restaurants to dine at.

1

Amazónico

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You’ll feel the rainforest-chic vibes as soon as you step in. Less jungle and more joyous, the restaurant presents a tasty tour of Latin American cuisines, with a touch of local pizzazz. The roof terrace is a must-experience but, wherever you choose to be seated, settle in as you’re in for a tasty ride. Favourites such as the yellowtail tiradito with passion fruit and shiso leaves, and Mexican style seabass ceviche are tremendous, but save room for the perfect charcoal-grilled meats – the asado de tira 16-hour slow-cooked short rib with tomatillo sauce and physalis chutney is worth returning for.

2

BB Social Dining

When it comes to a good time and great food, BB is hard to beat. With a concept themed around coming together, the menu traverses the best of Pan-Asia and the Middle East, so you can expect bowlfuls of flavour. Everything is designed for sharing, and we’re partial to the habibi bao with sesame beef, harissa lamb skewers, duck ramen, truffled wagyu rib-eye BBQ and the ‘baonut’ dessert. There’s plenty of tasty options for vegans and vegetarians too, making it one of the most accessible and all-round fun places to dine in the city. We’ll see you there.

3

BOCA

A homegrown favourite that’s still growing strong, BOCA has been serving up inspired modern European dishes in style since 2014. With everything from tasting menus paying tribute to local ingredients grown in hydroponic and traditional farms across the UAE, to organic produce carefully selected from ethical farms further away, the restaurant’s commitment to sustainability is worth celebrating. Thanks to BOCA's head chef Matthijs Stinnissen and his wonderful team, the final results are almost always magic.

BOCA
Food & Drink
    4

    Carnival by Trèsind

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    Indian food is often overlooked in the fine dining scene, but not in Dubai. Bringing the heat and a touch of theatrics is Carnival by Trèsind. Helmed by one of the city’s most talked about chefs, Himanshu Saini – the same name behind creativity-fuelled modern Indian restaurants Trèsind and Trèsind Studio – the food at Carnival is often themed and influenced by the seasons. It’s worth splurging for the tasting menu but there are plenty of bestsellers for smaller appetites, such as the raj kachori with ‘nitro’ yoghurt and spicy tandoori chicken.

    5

    CLAP

    A rooftop to remember, CLAP is a Japanese gem in the city. We recommend going all in with the omakase experience, where you'll leave the hard decision of ordering to the experts, as chefs choose a masterful selection of dishes for your dining pleasure. If you’d like to stay in control, the salmon ‘clap cloud’ tingles with a hint of spicy miso, while the Japanese-style pizza and lobster tempura also present seafood surprises. The robata grills and signature sushi rolls are terrific too, but don’t leave without trying the CLAP wagyu shabu shabu, a hotpot experience that never fails to impress. Come hungry.

    6

    GAIA

    A celebration of all thing Grecian, GAIA is a collaboration between two Dubai homegrown icons – Evgeny Kuzin from hospitality group Bulldozer and celebrated chef Izu Ani. Bringing a sense of conviviality to the table, starters such as the refreshing watermelon salad, smoked aubergine melitzanosalata, stuffed vine leaves and baked feta cheese set the scene for brighter mains like the cooked-to-your-liking fish, lobster pasta, lamb cutlets and more. If dining as a group, consider booking the chef’s table on the lower level beside the kitchen, right where the magic happens.

    GAIA
    Food & Drink
      7

      Hutong

      A Hong Kong classic that’s on a mission to share fiery North Chinese cuisine with the world, Hutong has injected a serious dose of spice to the neighbourhood of Dubai International Financial Centre. We can’t get enough of the warming Chilean seabass dim sum or the beef xiao long bao, but a word to the wise: pace yourself because the flaming whole Peking duck is nothing short of divine. Add to that a selection of tender, moreish meat dishes, refreshing vegetarian choices and Schezwan-style seafood and, like us, you’ll leave utterly satisfied.

      8

      Indochine

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      A New York export that feels right at home in Dubai, Indochine is a dreamy escape for lovers of culinary creativity. Its interiors are elegant with plenty of green foliage and plush seating, setting the scene for a chic night out. The menu meanwhile offers exotic French-Vietnamese favourites, such as the betel leaf beef with wagyu tamarind and chilli, a delicious duck and banana blossom salad, escargots with lemongrass and herb butter, and the ‘typhoon’ prawns a spicy garlicky hit of flavour. Come here for big, bold flavours that tempt and tease.

      9

      L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon

      One of the world’s most acclaimed names, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon at Dubai International Financial Centre doesn’t disappoint. The restaurant by the late Joël Robuchon – renowned for being Michelin's most decorated chef until his passing in 2018 – is a tribute to French culinary savoir-faire. Expect fine dining done right, complete with white tablecloths and sparkling service. And when it comes to the food, it’s all very, very good – our favourites include la langoustine (shrimps in a crisp papillote with basil), la sole (sole fish à la meunière) and la caille (caramelised quail with foie gras and truffle mash).

      10

      Shanghai Me

      With art deco inspired interiors, silver service and an elevated dining experience, Shanghai Me is a dreamy destination. As the name suggests, the restaurants serves up Asian flavours but with a decadent twist, making every dish worthy of a special occasion. There’s so much to love, including signatures such as the crispy duck salad with pine nuts, sesame prawns on toast, mushroom and truffle rice clay pot, grilled cod with yuzu miso sauce, and the unbeatable yellowtail carpaccio.

      Shanghai Me
      Food & Drink
        11

        The Artisan

        It’s not often that you can taste detail, but The Artisan at Waldorf Astoria, DIFC will surprise you. There’s an admirable commitment to craftsmanship here – for example, all the pasta is fresh and housemade, pizza dough is left to ferment for 72 hours adding an inimitable flavour, and authentic ingredients are sourced only from the finest suppliers (think Parmigiano Reggiano straight from Emilia Romagna). Whether you order the tartufo truffle pizza, meaty ossobuco ravioli, the superb slow-cooked octopus or anything else from their menu, you’ll savour every single bite.

        The Artisan
        Food & Drink
          12

          Zuma

          Zuma

          A restaurant that needs little introduction, Zuma remains the culinary lighthouse of the DIFC. As one of the first dinner concepts to open in business district – well over a decade ago now – it elevated the address as a serious foodie spot, and a slew of fine dining and casual restaurants soon followed suit. Time has done nothing to age Zuma’s appeal, with sold-out brunches, dinner reservations worth waiting for, and a business lunch that’s still the talk of the town. Its secret? Exceptional contemporary Japanese fare served in a timeless, special occasion setting. A definite must-try while in the city.

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