New Dubai restaurants opening in January, from a beach club to a Korean steakhouse

City’s latest hotel SO/Uptown welcomes a Parisian resto-lounge

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Following the numerous restaurants that launched in 2023, notably those serving Japanese, Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine, the new year has also begun with a bang.

Dubai, especially, has launched more than a restaurant a week, as residents and visitors alike get out and about to enjoy the cooler weather. Here are eight of the latest to sample.

Alova

Cuisine: South American

The fine-dining restaurant, now open in Damac Paramount Tower B, brings Latin – most notably Peruvian – dishes to Business Bay. The interior is replete with potted plants, and there's even a whimsical sculpture of a llama, the oldest domesticated animal in Peru.

On the menu are a range of ceviche and anticuchos, plus bay scallop conchitas with Parmesan cheese, fish nuggets and the crunchy-creamy puka tika.

Daily, 6.30pm-11.30pm; Business Bay; 04 331 1054

BCH: CLB

Cuisine: Mediterranean

Unlike its peers, the latest beach club to open in Dubai is not on Palm Jumeirah’s West beach, but rather in the area’s W hotel. An outside-to-inside layout comes complete with an expansive deck with daybed loungers (from Dh300), double beds and poolside cabanas, plus all-white seating wrapped around jewel-toned tables.

While music is the main event at BCH: CLB, it also serves a variety of cold and hot dishes.

These include tuna pop tarts, sea bass ceviche, burrata pizza, watermelon-feta salad and the delectable-looking mountain toast, which comes with Wagyu, caviar and truffle on buttery brioche.

Open Sunday to Wednesday, 11am-7pm, and Thursday to Saturday, 11am-midnight; W Dubai – The Palm, West Crescent; 058 575 0805

Cala Vista

Cuisine: Italian

Open for long, lazy lunches and late-night feasts, Cala Vista is at Jumeirah Mina a’Salam, with views of Burj Al Arab interspersed between its olive trees.

Helming the kitchen is chef Luca Crostelli, son of the award-winning chef behind Pierchic, Beatrice Segoni. From Crostelli’s menu, diners can sample beef carpaccio, sea bream crudo and fritto misto to start; wood-fired pizzas with gluten-free dough available; home-made pasta including ricotta spinach gnudi, eggplant tortelloni, and lobster spaghetti; plus mains such as grilled fish, Italian meatballs and veal cutlets.

Classic tiramisu aside, dessert includes Amalfi lemon sorbet with lemon cream, crumble and basil jelly.

Daily, 12.30pm-midnight; Umm Suqeim 3; 800 323 232

Celeste

Cuisine: French

Red velvet drapes, checkerboard floors, leather sofas, wooden elements and gold accents, this lounge at SO/Uptown Dubai Hotel is inspired by Paris’s Montmartre neighbourhood to one of Dubai’s newest hotels, SO/Uptown in JLT.

Live music acts will channel eclectic Parisian-Pigalle, while the menu includes delicacies such as oysters, Sturia caviar and truffle mille feuille.

Opens January 22; 6pm-2am; Jumeirah Lakes Towers; 04 820 8888

Ilios

Cuisine: Greek-Mediterranean

The rooftop restaurant in Radisson Beach Resort Palm Jumeirah channels the Grecian capital Athens and the island of Mykonos by way of its vibrant food and plate smashing tradition. A coming Saturday brunch, meanwhile, will draw its inspiration from romantic Santorini.

On the a la carte menu are appetisers such as tiger prawn saganaki; feta cheese pie; and octopus carpaccio in Romesco sauce with pumpkin seeds, diced, crispy potato and kumquat. Mains include yiouvetsi short ribs orzo in tomato sauce; melitzanosalata, smoked eggplant in roasted red bell pepper chutney; and lobster fettuccine. Loukoumades and a Greek orange pie make up dessert.

Opens January 27; 1pm-2am Tuesday to Sunday (closed Monday); West Beach, Palm Jumeirah; 058 559 4222

Salvaje

Cuisine: Japanese

Following outposts in Panama City, Miami, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris and Saudi Arabia, Salvaje opened with a bang on the last day of last year, and began welcoming a la carte diners this month.

At The Address Opera Residences in Downtown Dubai, the two-level resto-lounge is designed by award-winning Spanish interior designer Lazaro Rosa-Violan (also the man behind the coming SushiSamba in Abu Dhabi) and is replete with tropical colours and patterns, and luxe materials.

Chef Fermin Azkue’s menu showcases the “wild side of Japanese gastronomy”. The signature SLVJ roll, for instance, comes with snow crab, chives, hamachi sashimi, guacamole, toro tartar truffled egg sauce and porcini. Prime steak aside, other dishes include Japanese tacos, angry chicken, short-rib yakisoba noodles, duck fried rice and red prawns with yuzu hollandaise.

Daily, noon-4pm and 7pm-1am; Downtown Dubai; 04 570 3653

Smoki Moto

Cuisine: Korean steakhouse

Korean food is having a moment, and the latest addition to the scene is a licensed spot beachside at Marriott Resort, Palm Jumeirah.

Split into a butcher shop, lounge, Korean pancake station and the main grill area, Smoki Moto offers dishes that are authentic and premium.

On the menu are such delicacies as foie gras bibimbap, truffle potato jeon, 48-hour galbi-marinated chicken, Wagyu brisket in soybean stew and chilled noodles. Desserts include mango and passion fruit bingsu and red bean creme brulee.

Open Monday to Thursday, 5pm-1am, and 5pm-2am, Friday to Sunday; Palm Jumeirah; 04 666 1111

Tamada

Cuisine: International

On the 74th floor of SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences, the fine-dining venue promises to cater for Dubai's diverse palate and cultural vibrancy, and the name is inspired by the Georgian word meaning “toastmaster of the feast”.

The focus is on premium ingredients, notably caviar. Dishes include roast baked potato with caviar, 12-hour braised beef cheek, Russian smoked salmon, Wagyu beef Tomahawk steak, bluefin tuna, and star anise with raspberry and lemon confit.

Open Wednesday to Sunday, 8pm-3am; Marasi Drive; 04 607 0737

Updated: January 23, 2024, 5:06 AM