If you’re a fish fiend, you’ll love these Dubai seafood restaurants.
Long lauded as one of Dubai’s most romantic restaurants, this over-water venue set at the edge of its own pier boasts incomparable views of the Burj Al Arab, balmy ocean breezes flowing through oversized windows, and glamorous décor with fishing net-style crystal chandeliers – to bring home the marine theme.
The contemporary gourmet menu showcases the finest seafood, from Beluga caviar and Gillardeau oysters, to Norwegian cod, Atlantic halibut and Cornish turbot. Don’t miss the grilled scallops with tapioca pearl, vanilla and bergamot butter, and poached lobster with roasted cauliflower and Dijon mustard sauce. The picturesque setting and luxurious experience makes this ideal for celebrating a special occasion.
Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah, Al Sufouh Road
+971 4 432 3232
The Surf Café
This restaurant on the Jumeirah strip is a relatively recent and very welcome addition to Dubai’s dining scene. Offering fresh, fantastic seafood in a laidback environment, the restaurant is frequented by beachgoers coming straight from a morning sun-and-surf session at the beach.
Exposed ceilings, chalkboard menus and unfinished flooring give the sun-drenched, two-storey space a relaxed yet trendy vibe to match its fuss-free menu. Downstairs is a sushi bar, while upstairs fresh seafood is displayed on ice – just pick what you want, and have it steamed, grilled or cooked a la plancha (grilled on a metal plate) with sauces and sides of your choice. Our pick is the snapper or king prawns a la plancha with chimichurri sauce. The menu also includes delicious, creative salads, plus some meat dishes, all using fresh, quality ingredients. Their homemade desserts and the coffee are excellent, too.
Jumeirah Beach Road, near Umm Suqueim Park
+971 4 346 6292
The Dubai outpost of a renowned NYC brand, Catch is stylish seafood at its best. Retaining the contemporary American vibe, the space matches industrial-luxe décor with an eclectic menu – ranging from innovative sushi (foie gras eel roll, anyone?) to king fish tacos.
Signature dishes include crispy whole snapper with peppers and oyster mushrooms, and the DXB sushi roll – tuna, crab, avocado, wasabi, yuzu and kosho mayo. Meat-lovers are well catered for, and indulgent desserts such as the s’more pizza are worth leaving tummy space for. With a buzzing vibe, Catch ticks all the boxes for a swish night out feasting on seafood.
Level 1, Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road
+ 971 4 332 5555
Housed in the funky Media One hotel, this restaurant and lounge offers much more than just crab – although it does have a great selection of this, served in different ways. The specialty is American-style surf ‘n’ turf dishes like West Coast clam chowder and Cajun shrimp po’boy, served in a hip, modern venue featuring distressed wooden crate-style tables and quirky light fixtures. The soft-shell crab is excellent, whether eaten as a starter or in Crab Tavern’s signature burger.
A great way to sample the highlights is with their seafood and crab sharing platter, which includes cold king crab, poached jumbo shrimp, crab claws, potted crab, and a very interesting crab doughnut (that’s sweet doughnut topped with crab). Meat dishes such as steak tartare and pot roast chicken are also offered, although the crab theme continues on to the sides as well, with a divine king crab and bonito mash.
Level 9, Media One Hotel, Al Falak Street, Dubai Media City
+971 4 420 7489
When you’re located as close to the sea as Alto Mar is – right by the Jumeirah Fishing Harbour – you know the seafood is going to be fresh. At this Mediterranean-style restaurant, it is also delicious.
The blue and white décor with marine accents is offset by a tranquil view of the bobbing boats at the harbour, transporting diners straight to southern European shores. So too does the menu, with a focus on local, seasonal ingredients and simple home-style cooking.
Choose seafood either cooked to your liking or à la carte, with highlights including seabream roasted in a “salt cave”, fried prawns with garlic, olive oil and lemon juice, and octopus grilled in the Portuguese lagareiro style (doused in olive oil after cooking) and served with baby potatoes.
180 4 C Street, Jumeirah Fishing Harbour
+971 4 343 5225