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4 Dubai Restaurants Which Make Dining Out a Special Occasion

Looking for a special meal out that’s a bit different from other restaurants? Our selection of Dubai restaurants each bring something special to the table.

Photo: courtesy Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

Sunday Roast at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
There’s nothing quite like a good Sunday roast to bring the family together, with Heston Blumenthal’s version at Dinner by Heston proving to be Dubai’s chicest example of the classic meal. Hosted in the contemporary British restaurant’s spacious grand dining room, with wide terrace views of Atlantis the Royal’s spectacular fountains, the Dubai team is led by chef Tom Allen. This fabulous weekend lunch option is the perfect way to taste-test some of the British chef’s greatest hits in style, at the Dubai Michelin star-awarded restaurant. With the menu staying true to the chef’s recreations of historic British recipes dating back as far as the 14th century, guests can enjoy a hearty three-course roast lunch every Sunday between 12pm to 3pm. An amuse bouche of melt-in-your-mouth chicken skin and delightfully crispy roast potato kicks off proceedings. For starters, choose between Heston’s iconic meat fruit (c. 1500), a glossy ball of chicken liver pate disguised as a fresh mandarin, hay-smoked salmon (c. 1847) with beetroot, or the compressed tomato, smoked goats curd, and a lovage oil salad. The main courses have something for everyone, with a choice between juicy, thick-cut slices of Hereford sirloin (c.1788) served with a large Yorkshire pudding, horseradish, and beef gravy, or the roast chicken (c.1672) with sides including crispy skin, herbed stuffing, bread sauce, and gravy. For vegetarians, there’s roasted cauliflower (c. 1661) with truffle sauce. The moreish sides include perfectly roasted potatoes, buttered baby carrots, and savoy cabbage with beef pancetta and onions. Save space for dessert, with the famous tipsy cake with spit-roasted pineapple (c. 1858) headlining, and other sweets including lemon (c.1747), and a liquid nitrogen ice cream trolley (c.1901) for an additional supplement. Which, after finishing, you may just need to indulge in another Sunday tradition of an afternoon nap.

Photo: courtesy Belcanto

Pre-show at Belcanto
Perched atop of iconic Dubai Opera, Belcanto is on a mission to prove that it’s capable of taking center stage.  Ringed with red velvet curtains, the dining room leans into the theatre theme with gusto, with its own spot-lit performance stage. Executive chef Fabrizio Lusenti has striven to recreate Italy’s most-beloved dishes in the Belcanto kitchen. Start your meal with the fresh crudo on offer, including smoked yellowtail carpaccio with tomato and strawberry soup, wild langoustines, and three choices of fine oysters. Appertising classics like fritto di calamari, Belcanto’s take on burrata, and parmigiana pay tribute to Italian’s cuisine culture. The extensive pasta selection includes crowd-pleasing tonnarelli cacio e pepe and risotto funghi e tartufo nero. A beautifully simple option is the kitchen’s delectable pizzas, an homage to Napoli authenticity with their puffy charred crusts and farm-fresh toppings, albeit with a Dubai touch – copious amounts of fresh truffle shavings or a molten globe of creamy burrata adding extra decadence to each slice. Mains cover veal tenderloin with fried sweetbread and parsley cream, to the seafood market’s catch of the day, with multiple beef, veal, and lamb sharing option for heartier appetites. Finish off with a delicious dolce, the classic tiramisu can’t be missed. As the evening progresses, a sultry-voiced songstress takes to the elevated stage with her band, delivering her best renditions of 70s, 80s, and modern tunes. While staff stay mindful of show starting times – they will happily advise on dish preparation times to ensure you will make it to your seat in time – Belcanto isn’t strictly a opera night only option, but instead a great Downtown Dubai restaurant option which proves that it’s a showstopper on its own merits.

Photo: courtesy Ossiano

Seasonal Menu at Ossiano
An iconic Dubai restaurant with a view, Ossiano is famous for its one-of-a-kind dining space, set alongside Atlantis the Palm’s floor-to-ceiling Ambassador Lagoon aquarium. If it’s a fine dining experience you seek, Ossiano offers the gold standard in impeccable service, with the precisely attuned waitstaff delivering flawless performances to match the seasonally changing menu and memorable aquarium setting. Beside ticking off the bucket list experience of dining alongside schools of darting fish, soaring manta rays, and miniature sharks, Ossiano has mastered the art of storytelling dining, with each interactive course building an immersive narrative which honors each ingredient. Chef Grégoire Berger is known for taking diners on a personal journey with his creative dishes, whether that’s a trip down memory lane to his childhood in regional France, or his more recent travels influencing his menus. Each course is served with a short introduction to the ingredients, the prepreation, and the inspiration, with the chef’s evident passion of the artistry of plating also on full display. Chef Berger’s most recent Escale menu offers up 11 ‘waves’ or courses, with diners accompanying the chef on a coastal trek, with all ingredients sustainably sourced from the oceans or within 50km of a coastline. Highlights include Japanese sweet shrimp, and what the kitchen calls ‘a rather untraditional candle’. The house sommelier is on call to suggest her recommendations and is more than capable to tailoring a pairing to match both your palette and Chef Berger’s offerings. Having debuted last year in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants at a ranking of 87, and holding a Michelin star, Ossiano’s credentials are well-deserved.

Photo: courtesy Tero

A Dubai Hills inductee, Chef Reif Othman has relocated his chef’s table concept, Tero, to newer digs. Sitting side-by-side with his other two Asian restaurant concepts, Reif Japanese Kushiyaki and Hoe Lee Kow, Tero is accessible via a secret backdoor entrance, taking guests via the kitchen, then through a lounge-turned-shrine to Japanese pop culture to set the scene. An exclusive experience, the petite restaurant can seat just 12 diners, for a truly intimate meal at the chef’s table. Choose between eight courses or the dramatic 12 courses line-up, with two seatings available at 6pm and 9:30pm, Wednesday to Saturday. In the absence of a fixed menu, Chef Reif, Chef Noor Ibrahim, and their team will unveil a modern omakase experience. Translating directly to ‘I leave it up to you’, the dishes are left up to the chef to curate for diners. At this Asian restaurant, a monthly theme will set the tone for the unfolding array of intriguing Japanese courses, with each course highlighting seasonal ingredients and imaginative flavor combinations. Classic Japanese favorites like hand-pressed nigiri, and deftly-sliced sashimi are prepared inches away from your front row seat. Opt for a fully immersive meal with a bespoke tea pairing, with specialty, hand-picked and rolled tea leaves sourced from across Japan enhancing the omakase ritual.


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