Tired of frequenting the tried-and-tested eateries in your neighbourhood? Check out somewhere new with our round-up of new dining destinations across Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Turtle Bay Bar & Grill, Saadiyat Rotana
This is the first of the dining venues to open at the new Saadiyat Rotana Resort, with more to follow in the coming weeks, including Si Risorante Italiano and Hamilton’s Gastropub. Turtle Bay specialises in surf, turf and grilled food in a relaxed atmosphere. The venue, which offers indoor and outdoor seating options, also has a rooftop terrace. The views of Saadiyat Beach alone are worth the visit. Dishes include grilled meats and locally-caught seafood.
Located on pool level and open daily from noon until midnight. For more go to www.rotana.com
Chateau Blanc, Marina Village
A real “sweet” spot in the capital, this outlet is the second for the brand in the UAE (the first was in Jumeirah). Expect to find a patisserie packed with custom-made cakes and desserts, the cabinets filled with an array of French delicacies. Chef Lal De Silva, the man behind Chateau Blanc, began his career in Australia and then went on to work for Four Seasons Indonesia before setting his sights on his family-owned chain of pastry shops, The Harvest in Indonesia. Aside from the treats, which incidentally you can watch being made from the upper level, the menu includes breakfast, lunch and dinner items.
Open daily from 8am to midnight, for more go to www.chateaublanc.ae
Skinny Genie, Masdar City
Healthy eaters will be pleased to hear that Skinny Genie has opened a branch in the capital, the second for the UAE and the precursor to another one set to open in Dubai Media City. Coeliacs and those intolerant to gluten will be in their element here as the entire menu is totally gluten-free. While not big, the cafe certainly has character. The menu is extensive and includes pastries, sunrise bites, wraps and sandwiches as well as homemade pastas. Prices start from Dh8.
Close to the entrance of Gate 3 in Siemens Building and open daily from 8am to 11pm (9am to 11.30pm on weekends). For more go to www.skinny-genie.com
Warehouse Tapas Bar and Dino’s Bistro Italiano, Pearl Rotana Capital Centre
Warehouse Tapas Bar opened its doors this week at the new Pearl Rotana Capital Centre hotel. It will offer sharing platters, inspired by Mediterranean-style dining. The interior is a chic cellar style. The menu is inspired by Mediterranean-style dining and features a delectable selection of small bites. Its neighbour, Dino’s, is the new Italian restaurant set to open in May. It is one of the property’s two signature restaurants and will serve modern cuisine in a casual yet lively setting. Expect the usual fare including pasta, meat and fish.
Warehouse is open from 4pm to 1am, and Dino’s from noon until 3.30pm and from 6pm until 11pm. Go to www.rotana.com
Mina Brasserie, Four Seasons DIFC, Downtown Dubai
American chef Michael Mina knows a thing or two about modern American cuisine, having helmed about 30 restaurants across the United States. His second go – a Dubai outpost in DIFC’s Four Seasons hotel – replaces his first concept, Firebird Diner.
The contemporary brasserie is an about-turn, exuding sophistication and decorated in pastel blues and warm inviting tones. On the menu, you'll find Mina's tuna tartare, a dish prepared at your table. The foie gras peanut butter and jelly is a creative take on an American classic, and the smoked beef short rib is served, quite literally, smoking in front of you. Desserts include pumpkin pie and there's a s'mores bar.
Open from noon to 4pm and from 7pm to 11pm daily. Go to www.fourseasons.com/dubaidifc/dining/restaurants
Fish House, Intercontinental Dubai Festival City
Encompassing both the old and the new – inspired by local heritage, and the history of fishing and pearl diving – the Fish House is another new addition. Each day, the restaurant's centrepiece, the cold bar, houses the catch of the day. Diners can chat with the chef while choosing how they would like their fish cooked (deep fried, pan fried, poached, oven baked, breaded or barbecued), and what side and sauce they'd like.
Open Sunday to Thursday from noon to 3pm and from 7pm to 11pm. Weekends from 12.30pm to 3.30pm and from 7pm to 11.30pm. For more go to www.thefishhousedubai.com
Texas Roadhouse, La Mer, Jumeirah
The popular American family restaurant has various outposts in Dubai where it serves up hearty US fare to patrons who aren't afraid to wait in lengthy lines for a table. Whether it's the cuisine, or the staff's hourly line-dancing routine, people continue to queue in their droves. The menu features all the southern steakhouse-style favourites such as special ribs, "bone-in ribeye steak", beef brisket, fried pickles and mashed potatoes. The wooden interior, complete with cacti and wall hangings, will have you wondering if you've strolled into a western film.
Open daily from 11am to midnight, for more go to www.texasroadhouse.com/restaurant-locations/dubai-la-mer
Lowe, Koa (near Al Barari)
Mohammed bin Zaal, the project's founder, wanted to do something different at Koa, the residential development taking shape next to Al Barari. Its eatery, Lowe was developed in partnership with young, emerging New Zealand and Australian-based chefs Jesse Blake and Kate Christou, and is built around the idea of a central wood fire. Local ingredients play a major role, with bream, kingfish, Omani prawns, octopus and clams all sourced locally. "We will also be growing our own food in our kitchen garden," says Christou. "The variety of spices and grains has shaped our menu, and while we aren't cooking Middle Eastern food, there will definitely be hints of Arabic flavours."
Lowe is open this month. For more go to www.lamerdubai.com
Filful, Claren Towers, Downtown Dubai
Until now, this Beiruti street food concept's only Dubai store has quietly existed in BoxPark. In March, Filful expanded its footprint and took out store space downtown. Whether you're looking for a cheap breakfast (eggs from Dh18) or traditional food as seen on the streets of Lebanon (shawarma, foul wa Hummus, manakeesh bi zaatar, beid bi awarma), most dishes are under Dh20. Its namesake, filful, refers to the restaurant's chilli, described on its website as "the strongman of that delectable street food ... the one accompaniment that makes all the difference".
Open 8am to 1pm on Al Wasl Road. For more go to www.filfuldubai.com
Project P, online
Not a physical eatery as such, but “virtual pizza restaurant” Project P will nonetheless get you fed. The idea is a a “one-size-fits-all” approach – offering 13-inch gourmet pizzas for only Dh34 each. You’ll get a choice of three bases and five toppings, from 35 options, so no need to pick off the bits you don’t like. There are also eight pre-designed pizza options.
Available on Uber Eats and delivering to Dubai Marina, JLT and Discovery Gardens.
Bellavista, Grosvenor House, Dubai
A stalwart of the Dubai food scene, Grosvenor House is full of well-known eateries (Ruya and Toro Toro among them), so it's surprising there's any space left. The new concept is a casual Italian restaurant "with a view". Located on the fourth floor of Tower One, the venue opened to the public in February. Helmed by head chef Mourff Abiose, the restaurant champions "authentic, honest cuisine with warm service and a serene ambience". Inside, the space is bright and decked out in pastel shades – but the terrace is set to be the main attraction. With panoramic views of the marina, this is the spot for al fresco dining.
Open daily from 7pm to 11pm. For more go to www.bellavista-dubai.com
Beefbar/ Crazy Fish, Al Fattan Currency House, Downtown Dubai
Beefbar and Crazy Fish have taken up residence in Al Fattan Currency House in adjoining restaurants. One deals in prime cuts of meat, and the other in fresh seafood. Where Crazy Fish is all contemporary paintings and pastel hues, Beefbar relies on a slick decor of black marble, leather booths and warm lighting. If you know your steak, then the menu basically reads like a glossary of the flashiest names of the meat world - Giraudi: Ranger Valley Australian black Angus “black onyx”, Creekstone Farm American USDA certified black Angus beef and Japanese Kobe (a Beefbar Dubai exclusive for the Middle East). At Crazy Fish you’ll find the catch of the day - propped up on ice and staring right back at you. The restaurant only buys their fish from auctions in Spain or Italy, but the freshness of the catch is if it were just hauled off the boat a couple of hours prior.