Bring on the heat
Bring on the heat

Those who love a meal spiced to the nines will love Dubai. These restaurants will satisfy even the most avid heat-seeking diner, along with friends and family who might not score so well on the Scoville scale. Spicy or not, these restaurants have a delicious range of dishes to offer.

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Mint Leaf of London

Mint Leaf of London

With its sleek interiors and stunning Burj Khalifa views, Mint Leaf of London fits in nicely at Dubai’s vibrant business district. Equal parts style and substance, the restaurant’s authentic Indian cuisine will leave you more than impressed. Tandoori paneer or tikka with pepper and broccoli chutney; butterfly tiger prawn with chilli preserve or spicy tandoori duck with star anise are just a few of the stunning flavour combinations that make this place ideal for spice lovers. Up for the challenge?

Recommended dish: Try the Red Snapper in Mangalorean Curry – the unique kokum flavoured sauce adds an extra zing to the spicy fish curry.

Level 15, South Tower, Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC   +971 4 706 0900

Spice Emporium

Spice Emporium

While meat, poultry, and vegetable dishes are on the menu, the restaurant specialises in seafood, with spicy deep-fried cod and hot seafood soufflé packing a particularly potent punch. And just as the fiery flavours transport the diner to Bangkok, the décor of the restaurant – tables of dark wood, evocative artwork and open kitchens where flames leap into the air – ensures that the authentic ambience of Thailand is carried through the whole experience.

Recommended dish: The Pad Kee Mao Talay is well-known as a spicy dish in Thailand. Dig into the delicious seafood wok-fried with Thai herbs, green peppercorns and hot basil.

The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Al Sufouh Road, Dubai Marina   +971 4 362 2222

Amala

Amala

There's a reason Northern Indian cuisine has spread to become popular throughout the world, and that is simply because the flavours work. Amala focuses wholeheartedly on doing what cooks in India have been doing for centuries: serving up tasty, flavourful and devilishly spicy dishes. Of course, as one would expect from any restaurant in the grand surroundings of the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, the exquisitely decorated venue – with marble floors and impressive mosaic-tiled pillars – is something befitting Indian royalty.

Recommended dish: The Lal Rara Gosht – prime cuts of lamb and mince slowly cooked in fresh spices and Mathania chilies.

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Palm Jumeirah   +971 4 453 0444

Calicut Paragon

Calicut Paragon

Amongst Old Dubai’s winding streets are tons of markets, stalls, local produce and restaurants. One busy restaurant in particular – Calicut Paragon is the perfect way to try South Indian cuisine in a laidback setting, without losing out on authenticity. It’s hard not to notice how busy this restaurant is – and for good reason too. The dishes are tasty, generous and affordable. But most importantly, they’re full of flavour thanks to the spices used in Kerala cuisine.

Recommended dish: Test your heat-limit with the Chicken Mulakittathu – a staple hailing from Malabar.

Mattar Al Tayer Building, 20b Street, Al Karama   +971 4 335 8700

Hakkasan

Hakkasan

Following in the illustrious footsteps of the original Hakkasan in London – the first Chinese restaurant in Europe to be awarded a Michelin star – Hakkasan Dubai is known for serving modern Chinese cuisine at its very best. The venue is classy and on trend, without losing the feeling of olden-days China by virtue of intricate wooden panels that separate the large dining space. It can't be long until the Michelin guide comes knocking with one of its coveted stars for this place.

Recommended dish: The spicy prawn served with lily bulb and almonds is a popular choice here, even for those with more delicate palates.

The Avenues, Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah   +971 4 426 2626

Mizu

Mizu

You can be sure to find some tongue-tantalising options from this local sushi spot. Dubai may have a long list of highly-rated sushi places (thanks to the abundance of fresh seafood from the Gulf), but there are just a few that can really fire up the spice level. Luckily, you don’t have to venture off too far from central Dubai to try out some wicked sushi rolls. Mizu – located in Emaar Boulevard, is as exotic as Japanese can get, with a reputation for thrilling the heat-seekers.

Recommended dish: With fair warning, we recommend the Mizu Volcano Roll and Hot Lava Roll.

Claren Tower, Emaar Boulevard, Downtown Dubai   +971 4 454 2706

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