Restaurants in Dubai

Dubai has a fantastic assortment of international-standard restaurants catering to all budgets and tastes. With a large expatriate community from the Sub Continent, it's little wonder there are some truly world-class Indian restaurants among the top-billings.

As Dubai is a Muslim city, many restaurants, especially at the cheaper end of the market, are not licensed to serve alcohol. In contrast, restaurants in tourist and business hotels almost always serve alcohol, although with taxes drinks can be expensive (particularly wine).

The restaurants below have been classified into three pricing categories:
Expensive (over Dh500)
Moderate (Dh150 to Dh500)
Cheap (under Dh150)
These prices are for a three-course meal for one with a bottle of house wine or equivalent, including tax. Sales tax at 10% is added to all bills. Service charges at 10 to 15% are also frequently added but, if they are not, a 10% tip is expected.

Al Muntaha

Price: Expensive

Al Muntaha, meaning 'The Ultimate' or 'The Top', in Arabic, arguably has the best location in Dubai, suspended 200m (656ft) above the Arabian Gulf, at the top of the Burj Al Arab hotel. Service is immaculate and the slanted glass windows give the restaurant the feel of a great ocean liner heading out to sea. Al Muntaha also delivers on the plate: try the roasted prime beef rib with mustard crust. Reaching the restaurant in one of the world's fastest panoramic elevators is almost - but not quite - enough to put you off your dinner.

Address: Burj Al Arab Hotel, Jumeirah Beach, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Telephone: (04) 301 7600.

La Baie

Price: Expensive

This fine dining restaurant would not look out of place in a major European capital, with its mellow piano music, unfaltering service and elegant table settings. One of the most exotic starters is the marinated sturgeon carpaccio with caviar and yoghurt sauce, while a highlight among the mains (and rumoured to be the chef's favourite) is the grilled hammour fish on a bed of green lentils.

Address: Ritz Carlton Dubai, Jumeirah Beach, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Telephone: (04) 399 4000.

Verre

Price: Expensive

Gordon Ramsay's Dubai venture has proved a resounding success and is firmly established in the city's top-tier gastronomic list. The minimalist décor might not suit all tastes but the simple surrounds and the well thought-out lighting help focus deserved attention on the food. A nice touch is the chef's specialities - tasty morsels of food that come between the impressive courses. Mains include ravioli of lobster, salmon with a fricassee of peas and horseradish or poached chicken on a bed of tagliatelle. The desserts are divine. The three-course lunch specials offer excellent value.

Address: Hilton Dubai Creek, Beniyas Road, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Telephone: (04) 212 7551.

Al Mahara

Price: Expensive

Making a fair stab at being the most expensive restaurant in Dubai, the Al Mahara often divides local opinion. Some say it is overpriced for what you get, but others swear by it, especially if someone else is paying. The experience begins with a three-minute mock submarine ride to the restaurant, located alongside a giant aquarium. This puts diners in the mood for savouring the high-quality seafood that has won the restaurant numerous awards, including the What's On category for Best Seafood Restaurant in 2008.

Address: Burj Al Arab Hotel, Jumeirah Beach, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Telephone: (04) 301 7600.

India Palace

Price: Moderate

With venues scattered across the city, the emphasis at this popular restaurant is on Rajasthani cooking backed up by themed décor and artefacts shipped in from the region. The open kitchen is a nice touch, as are the family booths upstairs, with privacy available at no extra charge. The excellent-value menu features starters such as lentil soup and prawn bisque with fresh vegetables, while mains include chicken and vegetarian kebabs and a range of delicately spiced curries. Alcohol is not available but the lassis (yogurt-based drink) are excellent, especially the unusual lassi seasoned with salt.

Address: Opposite Dubai Marine Hotel, Bur Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Telephone: (04) 286 9600.

Pierchic

Price: Moderate

Seafood-loving trendies are flocking to Pierchic, in the glamorous Madinat Jumeirah development, the place to be in Dubai at the moment. Located on a wooden pier, with views of the expansive Arabian Gulf, the venue is perfect for trying some local and international seafood dishes. Mains include the likes of poached Atlantic lobster with snow peas, enoki mushrooms and passion fruit dressing, or Arabian chilled seafood platter laced with Iranian caviar.

Address: Al Qasr Hotel, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Telephone: (04) 366 6730.

Café Chic

Price: Moderate

Top quality ingredients, smooth service and a menu that cuts deftly between the classics and some daring variations make this is a top dining choice. Relax afterwards in the cigar bar for supreme decadence.

Address: Le Méridien Hotel, Garhoud, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Telephone: (04) 217 0000.

Cactus Jacks

Price: Cheap

It may never win any culinary awards but Cactus Jacks seldom disappoints a hungry stomach. A Mexican theme for the décor includes Aztec fabrics and bright designs, as well as multicolour tiled pillars. The restaurant has a live DJ at weekends and things can turn quite wild after 2300, when the spicy Tex Mex food and the tequila kick in. Parties of eight diners or more receive a 30% discount on their bill.

Address: Millennium Airport Hotel, Al Garhoud, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Telephone: (04) 282 3464.

Deira City Centre Food Court

Price: Cheap

Of the many food courts that are dotted all around Dubai, this is one of the most popular. On sale is the full smorgasbord of international foods, with the only unifying feature being that all the stands are cheap. The most popular stands serve up simple Chinese and Indian specialities accompanied by boiled rice. They also have a play area for kids.

Address: Deira City Centre Mall, Deira, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Telephone: (04) 295 1010.

Thattukada

Price: Cheap

The excellent South Indian restaurant at the Palm Beach Rotana Inn serves great-value food. Diners sit on long, wooden benches and are surrounded by film posters on the walls. The Kerala-influenced dishes include kappa erachi (tapioca and chicken curry) and karimeem porichathu (fish fry) and are guaranteed to fill diners up without breaking the bank.

Address: Palm Beach Rotana Inn, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Telephone: (04) 393 1999.
Edited by Tina Banerjee
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