As Alain Ducasse, of Michelin star fame, prepares to open his first UAE restaurant, we've compiled a list of eateries, including Mix by Ducasse, that in-the-know foodies could visit this month.
Han Shi Fu
If you’re a fan of Din Tai Fung, check out Han Shi Fu, which opened at Aloft City Centre Deira on December 9. The Asian fusion gastropub is operated by the same team, and offers classic Chinese dishes from Taipei, Hong Kong and Shanghai, albeit with a modern twist.
On the menu: soy butter popcorn; crystal ray crab dumplings; Taiwanese beef noodle soup; grandma Han's duck congee; assorted yakitori; ramen burgers; and foie gras sliders; plus matcha green tea velvet cake and Taiwanese boba milk tea.
Ambience: Intricately painted Chinese scrolls and ceramic wall decoration lend the space a sense of the theatrical right down to the quirky cutlery and playful plate settings. The restaurant has multiple dining areas, including a bar area with a resident DJ.
Details: Han Shi Fu is open from 11am to 2am on weekdays and until 3am on weekends. Call 04 228 1075
Located within The Pointe, the Palm Jumeirah’s latest hotspot, Chalet Berezka opened at the end of November. It serves Middle Eastern fare with some Eastern European, Central Asian and Mediterranean classics.
On the menu: Lamb chops; chicken and lamb kofta; salmon shashlik; Uzbek tandoori bread; beef stroganoff; apple pirozhki; and honey cake.
Ambience: The floral-themed restaurant spans across two levels, and has indoor and outdoor seating – directly facing the Atlantis. It will host weekend parties, with a DJ and live performances.
Details: Chalet Berezka is open from 6pm to 3am, Sunday to Wednesday and Saturday, and until 5am on Thursday and Friday. Call 052 156 7405
The Duck Hook
Of the two new restaurants – Hillhouse and The Duck Hook – slated to open at Dubai Hills Golf Club, the latter opened on November 29. Fittingly, the country-style gastropub gets its name from a type of golfing shot, and describes its food as “pub grub meets modern European fare”.
On the menu: Starters include Scotch egg; shrimp tempura; chicken tikka bites; duck pâté terrine; Ticklemore goat's cheese, broccoli and red onion tart; Atlantic prawn cocktail; and Severn & Wye hot smoked salmon and beetroot.
For mains, think beef Wellington for two; braised and roasted Welsh lamb shank; fish and chips; duck confit; steak and ale pie; chicken ruby curry; and a vegan Portobello mushroom, or Stockyard beef, burger.
And for desserts: Eton mess; sticky toffee pudding; and pineapple upside-down cake.
Ambience: The eatery overlooks the 18-hole golf course, and is done up in rustic browns and blues, with suitably quacky wall portraiture.
Details: The Duck Hook is open from noon to midnight on weekdays, and noon to 1am on weekends. Call 800 666353
Fun, holistic and Instagram-friendly is how this cafe describes itself. Bounty Beets opened at Le Meridien Mina Seyahi on December 11, in the space that used to be Gourmet by KCal – and features healthy (organic, gluten-free and vegan options) yet trendy dishes.
On the menu: Detox shots; plant-based nachos with vegan cream cheese; gluten-free pizza; avocado on toast; organic bone broth; sweet potato gnocchi; poke bowls; salads, grills and healthy burgers; and coconut caramel cheesecake.
Ambience: The giant wings of a butterfly are imprinted onto one wall, while the entrance is dominated by a pink wall with a strategically placed old-school black telephone. A "Bounty Box" is placed on each table, and the terrace is landscaped with tropical foliage and surrounded by palm trees.
Details: Bounty Beets is open from 8am to midnight. Call 04 399 3333
Mix Dubai by Alain Ducasse
French-born chef Alain Ducasse oversees operations at the three Michelin-starred Dorchester in London, and two Michelin-starred Morpheus in Hong Kong. Mix, which will open at the Emerald Palace Kempinski on December 16, is the chef’s first restaurant in the UAE.
On the menu: Sea bream ceviche; leche de tigre; Wagyu beef with green pepper condiment; marinated raw blue shrimps with caviar; pan-seared duck foie gras with dolce forte sauce and sea-scallops, lettuce cream and white truffles; and a delectable crab club sandwich, among others. The menu – described as French cuisine with local and international influences – will change every season.
Ambience: Mix Dubai is split into three zones, and is inspired by a galactic scene and a contemporary interpretation of Islamic mocarabes (honeycomb work), with a flowing ceiling made completely from transparent acrylic tubes that sweeps across the dining room. The focal point of the restaurant is a massive Fabergé Egg, while the top level houses the private Chef's Table, accessible through its own lift and with a dedicated kitchen, terrace and 12-seater table.
Details: Mix Dubai by Alain Ducasse will be open from 5pm to 1am on weekdays, and 5pm to 2am on weekends. Call 04 248 8860