UAE's most expensive dishes: from Dh3,000 'black diamond' ice cream to Dh1,000 gold biryani

The country's colourful culinary scene is not short of decadent offerings that are as delectable as they are pricey

Bombay Borough's Royal Gold Biryani costs Dh1,000 and serves four to six people. Courtesy Bombay Borough 
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If you're the kind of person who debates whether or not to add another topping to your pizza because it might be too expensive, then look away now.

But if you like to splurge on an extravagant (read expensive) meal every once in a while, then you have your pick of the UAE's colourful food scene.

This week, Spanish eatery 99 Sushi Bar & Restaurant unveiled its Otoro Crystal Toast, a tuna and uni toast topped with rare kaluga caviar costing a cool Dh1,200. Although not on the menu, the special dish, which comes in four portions, can be made to order at either of the restaurant's branches in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

For those looking for more options, here are some of the UAE's most expensive dishes: 

Bombay Borough's Royal Gold Biryani: Dh1,000

Launched in January to mark the DIFC restaurant's first anniversary, the gold biryani at Bombay Borough, as the name suggests, is topped with 23 karat edible gold. The dish includes lamb seekh kababs, lamb chops, chicken kababs and malai chicken roast, all covered in gold leaves, served on a bed of saffron-infused biryani. There's also a selection of sauces, curries and raitas as accompaniments.

The Royal Gold Biryani serves four to six people and requires 45 minutes to prepare.

Bombay Borough, DIFC, Dubai; 04 327 1555

Beluga Restaurant and Lounge's caviar menu: Dh363 to Dh43,928

The caviar menu at the Beluga Restaurant and Lounge starts at Dh363, going all the way up to Dh43,928. Courtesy Beluga Restaurant and Lounge

The brainchild of Ali Mahmoudi, who is also the owner of Gourmet House Caviar, Beluga Restaurant and Lounge has an extensive caviar menu, which can be added to any dish off the menu. Prices start at Dh363 for 30g of white sturgeon caviar and goes all the way to Dh43,928 for 250g Almas caviar.

Signature dishes at this restaurant, located at the lobby of the Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, include Truffle Linguine, Seafood Fettuccine, Bresaola and Burrata Pizza and Truffle Pizza Spiced Octopus.

Beluga Restaurant and Lounge, Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai; 04 340 8882;

Sccopi Cafe's Black Diamond Ice Cream: Dh3,000

The Black Diamond, served at Scoopi Cafe, costs Dh3,000. Courtesy Scoopi Cafe

Dessert parlour Scoopi Cafe in Dubai's Jumeirah 3 is known for its luxe creations. Waffle lollies, black truffle ice cream and edible charcoal aside, it also serves the UAE's most expensive ice cream: the black diamond. The Dh3,000 sundae comprises 23 karat edible gold, saffron, rare black truffle and vanilla bean ice cream.

If that's not lavish enough for you, there's also edible gold coffee (Dh50), charcoal ice cream with edible gold (Dh99), edible gold ice cream burger (Dh199).

Scoopi Cafe, Jumeirah St, Dubai; 052 668 1273

99 Sushi Bar & Restaurant's Otoro Crystal Toast: Dh1,200

99 Sushi Bar & Restaurant's Otoro Crystal Toast costs Dh1,200 and will have to be specially ordered. Courtesy 99 Sushi Bar & Restaurant

Created by the restaurant's founders Pedro and Fernando De Leon along with chef Ruben Guerrero, this dish is served on a Spanish crystal baguette, topped with 100g of the their signature fatty tuna tartare, 75g of Uni, Japanese sea urchin, and a 30g layer of kaluga caviar. The dish is split in four portions to share, if you're feeling generous.

The Otoro Crystal Toast is not on the menu but can be specially requested.

99 Sushi Bar & Restaurant, Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi; 02 672 3333; 99 Sushi Bar & Restaurant, The Address Downtown, Dubai; 04 547 224;

Doors Freestyle Grill's Gold Striploin Steak: Dh786 

Doors Freestyle Grill's Gold Striploin Steak costs Dh786. Courtesy Doors Freestyle Grill 

This Dubai steakhouse has something for any guest who wants to “dine like royalty” – a succulent striploin steak that is coated in a fine sheet of gold. The extravagant dish is yours to carve up for Dh786. The restaurant can also add gold on to other dishes upon request. Make sure to pre-order your dishes if you want them to shimmer in gold.

Doors Freestyle Grill, Al Seef Street, Dubai Creek, Bur Dubai, Dubai; 04 204 9299;

Marea Dubai's Golden Burrata: Dh220 

Tuck into a gold-coated burrata from Marea in DIFC. Courtesy Merea Dubai

For those that like their cheese with a bit of glitter, this Marea's Golden Burrata will do the trick. The DIFC haunt's golden offering comprises handmade burrata flown in from southern Italy coated with a 24-karat gold leaf and accompanied by fresh tomatoes, Taggiasca olive oil and salsa verde, for Dh220.

Marea Dubai, DIFC; 04 583 6366;

Burj Al Arab's Ultimate Gold Cappuccino: Dh120

Burj Al Arab's Ultimate Gold Cappuccino is priced at Dh120. Courtesy Burj Al Arab

You wouldn't expect anything less than a gold-infused coffee at one of the world's most luxurious hotels. Served at the Burj Al Arab's Sahn Eddar lounge, located within the hotel's famous atrium, this luscious coffee is topped with 24 karat gold for a truly indulgent treat. The cappuccino is then sprinkled with more gold flakes and embellished with the famous Burj Al Arab design. It is served with a Grand Cru Guanaja, a chocolate marshmallow that is sprinkled with a finishing touch of mill-ground gold, served on a customised set of fine-bone china, finished with gold and inspired by the hotel lobby.

Sahn Eddar, Burj Al Arab, Dubai; 04 301 7777;

Asado's Parrillada Argentina mixed grill: Dh945

Asado's Parillada Argentina mixed grill can serve up to four and is priced at Dh945. Courtesy Palace Downtown

The Argentinian restaurant at the Palace Downtown in Dubai not only comes with amazing views of the Burj Khalifa, but this made-to-order selection of premium cuts of meat, cooked on a parrilla, or an open grill, in the centre of the restaurant.

The mixed grill includes baby goat, baby chicken, beef ribs, lamb chops, sirloin, rib eye, tenderloin as well as sweetbread and chorizo, and can serve up to four.

Asado, Palace Downtown, Dubai; 04 428 7961;

Bice Ristorante's Sea Salt Sea Bass: Dh613 

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Covered by a crust of Italian rock salt from the seaside resort town of Cervia, one of the most important Italian salterns, this 1.5kg sea bass is served with roasted potatoes and a mix of vegetables.

The salt keeps the fish moist and juicy during the 30 minutes it takes to cook it in the oven, preserving all the flavour and aroma inside the fish. The crust is then broken in front of the guests as the waiter portions the fish at the table on a trolley, in classic Italian style. The dish serves two people.

Bice Ristorante, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah  The Walk, Jumeirah Beach Residence; 04 318 2319

Hakkasan Abu Dhabi's Peking Duck: Dh1,988

A Hakkasan classic, the satin-soft Peking Duck with thin crispy skin is available to order at the restaurant's Emirates Palace outlet. The Dh1,988 price is mostly thanks to the 30g of royal beluga caviar it is served with. If you'd like your Peking Duck a little less decadent, you can still have it for Dh348, for a half serving, Dh688 for a full duck. The traditional dish comes with 24 pancakes, spring onion and cucumber.

Hakkasan Abu Dhabi, Emirates Palace; 02 690 7739;

Hampstead Bakery and Cafe's Royal Brioche French Toast: Dh220

Hampstead Bakery and Cafe's Brioche Royal Brioche French Toast costs Dh220. Hampstead Bakery and Cafe

Breakfasts don't come as luxurious as at this homegrown restaurant. Light, fluffy, buttery, freshly-baked brioche is soaked in a tres leches, vanilla beans and saffron mixture, then covered with a 24 karat gold leaf and served with white chocolate ganache, strawberries and blackberries.

Hampstead Bakery and Cafe; Downtown Kitchens; Ground Floor Fountain Views, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd; 050 583 0155;