Michelin Guide Dubai announces 2023 list, with Tresind Studio winning two stars

New Michelin-starred restaurants include Avatara, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and Moonrise

Tresind Studio got two stars in the Michelin Guide Dubai 2023. It serves fine-dining and fusion Indian fare, including this ghee roast crab with burnt cinnamon and curry leaf tempura. Photo: Tresind Studio
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The Michelin Guide has released this year's list for Dubai, handing out one star to 11 restaurants, two stars to three restaurants and choosing 17 venues as part of its Bib Gourmand category.

The culinary group announced the 2023 list at a press conference at Atlantis The Royal on Tuesday. This brings the number of Dubai's Michelin-starred restaurants from 11 – announced in June last year – to 14.

“Gastronomy has always been key to Dubai,” said Issam Kazim, chief executive of the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, during his opening speech at the ceremony. “Dubai is both a cosmopolitan city with a lot of different flavours, as well as one of the most visited places in the world right now.”

This year's stars

A total of 11 restaurants got one Michelin star each, with 11 Woodfire, Al Muntaha, Armani/Ristorante, Hakkasan, Hoseki, Ossiano, Tasca by Jose Avillez and Torno Subito all retaining their single-star status.

New restaurants to obtain a star included Avatara, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and Moonrise.

One star is conferred upon venues that use “top-quality ingredients, where dishes with distinct flavours are prepared to a consistently high standard”, according to the Michelin website.

Three restaurants secured two stars apiece. Il Ristorante – Niko Romito and Stay by Yannick Alleno both retained theirs, while Tresind Studio went from having one star to two.

Aside from food quality, the guide awards two stars to restaurants where the “personality and talent of the chef are evident in their expertly crafted dishes”.

“We were six months old when we got our first star. Now 11 Woodfire is a year old and we have found our own voice,” Akmal Anuar, chef and founder of 11 Woodfire, told The National.

“We’ve ensured what gave us a star is delivered to all our patrons. It has been a year of push.”

No Dubai restaurant has yet been awarded three stars, which is the highest Michelin accolade. It is given to venues that demonstrate “superlative cooking”, such that the dishes are “elevated to an art form” and are destined to become culinary classics.

Bib Gourmand restaurants

Three new entrants made it to the Bib Gourmand category, which represents value-for-money spots. These are: Japanese-inspired venue 3Fils, Balkan restaurant 21grams and fine-dining Indian spot Aamara.

All 14 restaurants from the 2022 list retained their Bib Gourmand status: Al Khayma, Bait Maryam, Brasserie Boulud, Fi'lia, folly, Goldfish, Ibn AlBahr, Indya by Vineet, Kinoya, Ninive, Orfali Bros, Reif Japanese Kushiyaki, Shabestan and Teible.

Named after Bibendum, the Michelin Man and official company mascot of the Michelin Group, the Bib Gourmand category is “not quite a star, but most definitely not a consolation prize”, according to the guide.

Stasha Toncev, founder of 21grams, said: “We have been privileged to bring Balkan cuisine to the forefront of the culinary world. This accolade and recognition from Michelin reflects our commitment to showcasing the rich flavours, vibrant traditions and diverse culinary heritage of the region.”

Special awards

A new category was introduced for 2023 – the Opening of the Year award. This was conferred upon chef Ariana Bundy for her restaurant Ariana's Persian Kitchen located in Atlantis The Royal. “You don't know what you've done for Iranian people and Iranian women,” Bundy said in a heartfelt speech at the ceremony.

Three restaurants won the coveted Michelin Green Star, which recognises restaurants with a strong sustainability approach. Last year's winner Lowe retained its green star, while Boca and Teible were awarded one each this year, too.

Omkar Walve of vegetarian-only restaurant Avatara took home the Young Chef Award.

Elsewhere, the Service Award was won by Tomislav Lokvicic from La Mar by Gaston Acurio, while fellow Atlantis The Royal restaurant Dinner by Heston Blumenthal received the Sommelier Award, given to Arturo Scamardella.

Putting Dubai on the culinary map

Chefs and industry players have welcomed the Michelin Guide's presence in the UAE, and say it is a testament to the city's rising dining scene.

Immediately after the announcement of Tresind Studio's one-star accolade last June, its head chef Himanshu Saini told The National how it was a moment of reflection to “evolve the cuisine even further and push for two stars”, which is exactly what Saini and his team have done.

A similar sentiment was shared by chef Niko Romito of Il Ristorante. He described the achievement as “a very important acknowledgement of our work and the vision”, and said it meant they will have to “keep in our direction, but enforce our efforts to constantly improve ourselves and do better”.

For chefs who have yet to earn the Michelin nod for their restaurants, the guide provides strong motivation.

“It sets a tone for competition among chefs to be the very best. This means we are always adapting and enhancing our culinary skills to do the next best thing. It also is a driving force for businesses, since a lot of people tend to visit your restaurant after obtaining a star,” says Manisha Advani, executive chef of MyGovinda’s and Soul Sante Cafe.

How Michelin stars are born

The famously anonymous Michelin inspectors are full-time employees, most of whom are former restaurant and hospitality professionals. After their random visits to restaurants, the team meets and discusses their experiences to make a final selection.

“The inspectors were amazed by what they discovered in the field, from heart-warming eateries and mesmerising hotels to the unique spark that Dubai has,” said Elisabeth Boucher-Anselin, director of communications for Michelin Experiences. Gwendal Poullennec, the guide’s international director, echoed this thought via a recorded video message, noting that the inspectors were impressed by the “growth and evolution of Dubai’s culinary scene over the past year”.

Five universal criteria are taken into consideration:

1. The quality of the ingredients

2. The mastery of cooking

3. The harmony of flavours

4. The personality of the chef reflected through the cuisine

5. The consistency both over time and across the entire menu

Service, according to the guide, has no bearing on a Michelin star,

These strict guidelines make the Michelin Guide a coveted list for chefs and restaurants, who also benefit from the customer pull of the stars. Gastro-tourism has grown over the years with many jet-setting foodies planning their trips around dining options.

Following on from the Dubai guide, Abu Dhabi got its first Michelin Guide last year, with a total of 42 restaurants making the cut, three of which got a Michelin star each. Michelin has not said yet when this year's selection for the capital will be made.

“The Michelin Guide has historically elevated various cities' culinary reputation and has attracted food enthusiasts worldwide, making each city that has a list worth travelling to,” said Pavel Nigai, the head chef of Katsuya at Hyde Dubai.

“For us, industry players, its presence inspires local restaurants to strive for excellence.”

Full list of Dubai restaurants with Michelin stars

  • 11 Woodfire
  • Al Muntaha
  • Armani/Ristorante
  • Avatara (new for 2023)
  • Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (new for 2023)
  • Hakkasan
  • Hoseki
  • Moonrise (new for 2023)
  • Ossiano
  • Tasca by Jose Avillez
  • Torno Subito
  • Il Ristorante – Niko Romito (two stars)
  • Stay by Yannick Alleno (two stars)
  • Tresind Studio (two stars)

Full list of Dubai restaurants in the Bib Gourmand category

  • 3Fils (new for 2023)
  • 21grams (new for 2023)
  • Aamara (new for 2023)
  • Al Khayma
  • Bait Maryam
  • Brasserie Boulud
  • Fi'lia
  • folly
  • Goldfish
  • Ibn AlBahr
  • Indya by Vineet
  • Kinoya
  • Ninive
  • Orfali Bros
  • Reif Japanese Kushiyaki
  • Shabestan
  • Teible

Full list of restaurants in the Michelin Guide Dubai 2023

  • 3Fils (Bib Gourmand)
  • 11 Woodfire (one star)
  • 21grams (Bib Gourmand)
  • 99 Sushi Bar
  • Aamara (Bib Gourmand)
  • Akira Back
  • Al Fanar
  • Al Khayma (Bib Gourmand)
  • Al Mandaloun
  • Al Muntaha (one star)
  • Amazonico
  • Ariana's Persian Kitchen
  • Armani/Hashi
  • Armani/Ristorante (one star)
  • At.mosphere
  • Avatara (one star)
  • Avli by Tashas
  • Bait Maryam (Bib Gourmand)
  • Boca (green star)
  • Bombay Bungalow
  • Brasserie Boulud (Bib Gourmand)
  • Carnival by Tresind
  • Ce La Vi
  • Celebrities by Mauro Colagreco
  • Chic Nonna
  • Cipriani
  • City Social
  • Clap
  • Coya
  • Demon Duck by Alvin Leung
  • Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (one star)
  • Fi'lia (Bib Gourmand)
  • Folly (Bib Gourmand)
  • Fouquet's
  • French Riviera
  • Gaia
  • Goldfish (Bib Gourmand)
  • Hakkasan (one star)
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • Hoseki (one star)
  • Hutong
  • Ibn AlBahr (Bib Gourmand)
  • Il Borro
  • Il Ristorante – Niko Romito (two stars)
  • Indego by Vineet
  • Indya by Vineet (Bib Gourmand)
  • Jaleo
  • Josette
  • Jun's
  • Kinoya (Bib Gourmand)
  • La Mar
  • L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon
  • Little Miss India
  • L'Ovlivo
  • Lowe (green star)
  • Marea
  • Masti
  • Maya Bay
  • Milos
  • Mimi Kakushi
  • Mina Brasserie
  • Moonrise (one star)
  • Mott32
  • Netsu by Ross Shonhan
  • Ninive (Bib Gourmand)
  • Nobu
  • Orfali Bros (Bib Gourmand)
  • Ossiano (one star)
  • Pierchic
  • Pierre's TT
  • Reif Japanese Kushiyaki (Bib Gourmand)
  • Rhodes W1
  • Rockfish
  • RSVP
  • Ruya
  • Sea Fu
  • Shabestan (Bib Gourmand)
  • Shang Palace
  • Siraj
  • Stay by Yannick Alleno (two stars)
  • Sucre
  • Takahisa
  • Tan Cha
  • Tasca by Jose Avillez (one star)
  • Teible (Bib Gourmand and green star)
  • The Artisan
  • Torno Subito (one star)
  • Tresind
  • Tresind Studio (two stars)
  • Zuma
Updated: May 24, 2023, 8:36 AM