I know Dubai better than probably any other city in the world. It’s one of my favorite cities- mostly because of the food. Dubai is the ultimate melting pot- and it shows in the food. Here are 8 of my favorites!
- Kaleidoscope: Atlantis, Palm Jumeirah- I had to start with this one. For a few years, when we lived on the Palm Jumeirah, we would be here twice a month. We used to call it our neighborhood restaurant, and then after 5 years away from Dubai, this is the first place we came to. This buffet is going to ruin you for all other buffets. They have EVERYTHING. Indian, Chinese, Arabian, Italian, a literal chocolate fountain- the decor is luxurious, but homey. And the service is amazing- my mom loves the risotto there, and after a couple of times, they just started making it when she came in. Even if you’re in Dubai for 24 hours, you have to come here.
- Orchestra: Dubai Mall- Back in the day, my mom, sister, and I used to spend the day at the Dubai Mall a couple of times a week (this was when I couldn’t tell the difference between Versace and Home Depot. Sigh.), and we loved eating here. In addition to the best club sandwich you’ll ever have the fortune to eat, they have a shawarma pizza. Yep. It’s got za’atar, chicken, and blessed garlic sauce.
- Pier Chic: Al Qasr hotel- When they say pier, they mean pier. They’ve built an entire pier jutting out from the grounds of the hotel into the gulf. They’ve got both indoor and outdoor seating, and while the indoors is very pretty, why would you NOT want to sit outside? Well, it might be 110 degrees. Entirely possible. And, by the way, if you don’t like seafood, consider a different place. I tried foie gras here for the first time. I was 8 years old, and couldn’t understand for the life of me why it was so slimy. I was not a very happy camper once I figured out what I had eaten.
- Wafi Gourmet: Wafi mall- Is it a restaurant? Is it a grocery store? Is it a shrine to dates? Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Wafi Gourmet is all of the above. It can be anything you want- a restaurant with great Lebanese food, an artisanal grocery store with a slightly intimidating array of dried fruit, or if you really like dates, I guess it could be a shrine to them. It certainly has enough dates.
- Al Fayrooz: Al Qasr hotel- In the same hotel as Pier Chic is Al Fayrooz. This one is actually located inside the hotel- which is one of the most beautiful hotels you’ll ever see. While pretty much everything on Al Fayrooz’s menu is delicious, I’d recommend the high tea. And if you’re doing that, don’t eat all day. It started out like your standard high tea- pastries, scones, sandwiches with the crusts cut off. Then they brought out dessert. Confused though I was, I went with it, mostly because I really like chocolate. After that, they brought out MORE scones, with an entire tray of creams, custards, jams, and marmalades. Then some dates. By this time, none of us could move, we were so full. It was all good! Very, very good. But evidently, not good enough. Because then they brought the chocolate fondue.
- Scoozi: Dubai Mall- Italian-Japanese fusion. Enough said. Well, actually, maybe I better clarify. You’re not going to get sushi with spaghetti instead of rice. Rather, their menu is divided into one Italian part, and one Japanese part. They DO have a rather impressive sushi boat, and excellent Fettucine Alfredo, so it’s still very well worth a visit!
- Arboretum: Al Qasr hotel- I promise this is the last one from Al Qasr. I just had to put this one in. It gives Kaleidoscope a serious run for it’s money! They have pudding as far as the eye can see. They have sushi. They have soup. They have a whole table filled with bread. They have dates covered in gold leaf, for heaven’s sake. If Kaleidoscope wasn’t your cup of tea, this will knock your socks off.
- Asha’s: Mall of the Emirates- You have to go to Asha Bhosle’s restaurant. Turns out she can do more than sing! It’s in the mall’s fashion dome- so you can slip eating here in between going to Balenciaga and Longchamp. The decor is snazzy, the service is good, and the palak paneer is life changing.