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wgallois

Good and bad in Dubai

132 posts in this topic

Thank you Verjuice. I'll have to remember those for next time, we just came back!

My husband does a lot of business in Dubai and when I can, I tag along.

Buddha bar is an incredible space. I actually liked it much better than the one in Paris. We didn't eat there so I can't comment on the food but on a monday evening it was very pleasant. Not too crowded, lots of intimate spaces to sit and chill out with friends. I've heard that on Thursdays and Fridays its a nightmare to get in.

My husband and I did go to 44, we loved it. Completely agree with you. Great atmosphere, very good drinks, and lovely bar snacks. Its a bar/lounge that's up there with any in NY/London/Tokyo/hong Kong - but without the crowds, which makes it much nicer.

Chandelier was not up to my previous memory but still nice.

We had good meals at Shoo Fee Ma Fee in the Madinat Souk and a pleasant turkish-ish meal at Ottoman's. I would go back to either.

I happily perused the aisles at the new carrefour in the emirates mall. I found three types of Indian Mango, I'd never seen before. They are happily ripening on my kitchen counter here in London - I plan to eat them tonight to taste and compare!

Yes, one of my delights in Carrefour is that I can find - mid eastern, thai, french, and indonesian/portuguese things I like and don't get here in London- mid eastern spices, thai fruit, apericubes, and puto muffins!

Also came back with Lemon Salt which I'd never seen! What do you do with this? I love the mouthwatering tartness.

Verjuice, I love Lebanese, so next time I'll definitely go to Al-Nafoorah. In fact, I'll send my husband who will be back in about two weeks. Of the middle eastern cuisines - this is my favorite so far although, I'm just beginning to explore the differences. I looked for books on each type while I was in Dubai, but the only one accessible seems to be that big pinkish Middle Eastern Cooking book written by the Greek woman. I bought it.

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Hi everybody.

I would like to get some updates on restaurants. My husband and I will be in Dubai by the end of August for a couple days.

We are mainly interested in Lebanese cuisine or Moroccan. We are getting there on Saturday night very late (landing at 10 pm), is it a problem to get dinner that late?

Reading through this post I was thinking of

Mawal (Al Bustan Rotana Hotel)

Chandelier

Al-Nafoorah at Jumeirah Emirates Towers (we are staying there)

Mejana in Le Meriedien (I couldn't find this restaurant reccomanded by Nora, is it still there?)

Shoo Fee Ma Fee in the Madinat Souq

Tagine

Marrakech Restaurant at Shangri-La Hotel

Any other reccomendation?

Maybe the best option on Saturday night would be Al-Nafoorah since we are staying there but I not sure when they'll take the last order.

Are all these places serving alcohol?

I am also interested in good dates and confiture, what do you think would be the best place for it (is it Bateel as stated in the guide I already bought?).

Thanks

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Hello

The best of the best today is the new restaurant "Karam" at the Kempinsky and it is really the best Lebanese food in Dubai or the GCC for that matter.

There is a new fish place with a Lebanese twist at the Dubai Marine called Flooka.

Morrocan don't have a clear winner and the Royal Mirage is best for ambiance as food levels is very similar in the other places.

For date jam and such, Bateel is good and don't forget to get the chocolate covered dates filled with almonds or hazelnuts and carry a large water bottle.

You can find Bateel at the new Burjuman and go up to Hediard for a Blue Mountain coffee to exercice your credit card.

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I just realised that you are getting there at night.

In which case your only alternative is to go to Mawal at Murooj Rotana which is very close to the Towers and they start late as the BellyDancer is at 11.15pm and stay open till 03.00am.

Good food, good service, good dancing and Shisha in A/C splendour!

Nafoorah was the best but sadly not anymore.

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Moving to Dubai at the end of the year. Had a very disappointing recon visit in terms of food, but staying in a hotel in jumeirah (the jumeirah hilton), I couldn't really have expected more.

Can't wait to have my own kitchen out there...

ETA: Had drinks at the 44 and dinner at the Buddha Bar... Drinks portion of the evening by far the better half, great bar, delicious nibbles. The drinks themselves weren't stunning (too much ice), but one of the best bar experiences I've had for a while. Novelty factor of people smoking (gasp) while having a drink, which is banned in Ireland (as in New York).


Edited by Catriona (log)

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The Hilton Jumeirah has two fantastic restaurants:

- Bice, voted the best Italian in Dubai couple of years ago

- Pachanga which is a mix of Mexican/Argentian/Cuban with live entertainment.

- Even the room service is great, ask for Farouk to prepare off menu dishes.

I hope you don't mean that you had a disappointing experience at the Hilton?

The Budha bar food is good, you shoud go for starters either the Crab salad or the Trio Tartar followed by the Wagyu filet.

As for drinks at 44 or the B bar, well it's drinks for the hordes and the simpler is always better.

However they have a top Barman at the Hiton Jumeirah Sky Bar and he does a mean Caipirinha

Have fun.

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I think, like many people, I wanted more "local" food. BiCE: fine, I've eaten in the one in Milan, felt no need to do it in 45 degree heat.

I had a short time to figure out whether I wanted to move there or not, and I guess I just felt that I could have done better in gastronomic terms. The room service at the hotel wasn't bad, though, some good mezze.

The service at that place is abysmal, though, the pressure to consume more and more and more drove us away from therre in the end. Really unpleasant. So the only thing to do was eat in the rooom (you've ordered, they can't bug you every 2 and a half minutes to order more wine), and that's not really the point. I didn't goto Dubai to see the inside of a hotel room.

I wouldn't recommend the Hilton to anyone, just for that reason. Think it's probably better in either Pachanga or BiCE (otherwise the reviews couldn't possibly be good).

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It is a shame that you were not happy with the service as they rank quite high in this department.

Maybe it was one of these stays, however, I would definitely rank the Hilton Jumeirah at the top of the list.

So until you try another hotel, we agree to disagree.

Wishing you a pleasant stay anywhere else.

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Yes, Nicolai, I look forward to becoming an expert, and to discussing more positive restaurant/hotel experiences with you!

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I am back from holidays, finally.

I couldn't try everything I had on schedule, I think the Dubai thing to jump from one taxi to another somewhat restrained me from crossing the all town just to go to a restaurant. I managed to go to Karam Beirut. It was not bad but I didn't find it better than the lebanese food I can get in London.

I went also to Al Nafoorah, just because we were staying at the Emirates Towers and as last dinner in Dubai it was just easier. I am happy I have been there, I liked it more than Karam. We didn't order a lot but still I found it has a fresher touch, we had a zaatar salad, which I had for the first time and was curious to try, steamed artichokes with lemon, grilled fish and dessert.

Instead I can suggest future visitors to stay far away from Marina Seafood.

img0769ry2.jpg

My husband wanted to go there for the view. It was one of the worst meals ever, the place was empty and we still waited 45 minutes for our appetizers.

Same night, we were around the creek so we went to Bastakia Nights. Probably is a very touristy place

img0785ka2.jpg

The dinner was not memorable but it was still pleasant. More than anything I have been very happy with the service, it was very late but they let us in anyway, they didn't rush us. I really tought: ah, finally exist still some old school professional waiter!

img0788oi1.jpg

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Hello all ! This is my first post ! I have been lurking here for a while steadily digesting the wonderful content of this site and in particular the very informative information on this post. I am based in Central London and I am off to Dubai later tonight for 5 days on holiday and following the recommendation of you lot I have booked:

Al Nooforah @ Emirates Towers

Sloane's @ Grosvenor Park (followed by cocktails at Budda Bar or Bar 44!) - apparently this is an international buffet...

I will try to go for a bite at Chandelier too - Dubai marina was not finished when I was in Dubai 14 months ago ! I am staying at Sheikh Zayed Road so it's pretty central for most places. What's happened to Retro? That was one on my shortlist ! Can't find it on the Le Meridien Mina Sayahi website now ! :huh:

Also, high end places are fine, but when I visited last time I ended up being taken to Karama to a fab local place called Yahalla (or something like that). It was fab, spent £10 and had a real feast! Can anyone recommend any gems like this too??

Oh I also got taken to Asha's (Indian at Wafi City) 4 months ago when I stopped over in Dubai for business. I am not usually a fan of fusion or contemporary interpretations of certain cuisines (preferring the original) but I really thought Asha's was spot on, shall be revisiting - the service was great and the cocktails were bespoke and worked very well ! :biggrin:

Oh does anyone know if Peanut Butter & Jam is still on at the Wafi rooftop? If so what days?

Finally can anyone recommend a nice romantic place for dinner. I am not fussed as to the cuisine. Something like PierChic (but I have been there last time - it was lovely).

I'll go armed with my two cameras and will post pics back at the end of next week - I am quite trigger happy so there should be some nice pics to follow !

:cool:

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Ooh, have a good time. My plans to move to dubai have been abandoned since I last posted on this thread...

I loved Bar 44 - but later in the evenig, Buddha bar may be the thing, I don't know - depends on what you're looking for!

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I've been researching for my trip in the spring, and have found a place called Bastakiah Nights to be highly recommended. It would be in the high-end range, I think (I can't find info on prices, but the descriptions made it seem expensive). There's also a place called Automatic Food, or Automatic Schwarma or Automatic something that's supposed to be quite good Lebanese. I think this one is lower-end than Bastakiah Nights, but I can't guarantee that.

Sorry for the late reply. Hope you're having a good trip, and please report back!

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Just had dinner at Ashas. Great stuff. Food is excellent, and the place is real nice.

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Dubai doesn't get much traffic on eGullet, it seems, but does anyone have any updates on the food scene there?

I'll be there for about 2 weeks visiting friends. I've gone through arbuclo's blog and have picked up some recommendations there, and also have some from other UAE topics here and there.

High-end, low-end, Lebanese, local (Emirati), etc. I'm looking for pretty much any kind of food in any price-range, as long as it's good.

Forgot a couple of things...

I'm especially looking for lunch places where I can eat a meal solo. My friends will be working during the day, so I'll be on my own most of that time. I want to eat well, but won't be able to eat at places that serve family-style, since it will just be me.

And, one of the places arbuclo mentioned in her blog was Retro at Le Meridian Mina Seyahi. According to their website, there's no Retro onsite. Did it close or have a name change?


Edited by prasantrin (log)

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There are simply too many restaurants to list.

As you are looking for lunch places, maybe you can narrow it down to which area in Dubai you will be as you will have to consider Dubai traffic before any other consideration.

So if you can advise as to which area you will be? and I will try to name few places where you can enjoy your lunch.

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Retro at Le Meridien is now called Tang.

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Retro at  Le Meridien is now called Tang.

After browsing through their website again, I thought that might have been the case. Do you know if it is the same chef and style of food as when it was Retro? It seemed like an interesting place to dine when arbuclo wrote about it, but if it's changed much, I might give it a pass.

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There are simply too many restaurants to list.

As you are looking for lunch places, maybe you can narrow it down to which area in Dubai you will be as you will have to consider Dubai traffic before any other consideration.

So if you can advise as to which area you will be? and I will try to name few places where you can enjoy your lunch.

I'll be all over the place, just wandering around. It turns out my friend actually lives in Sharjah, though she works in Dubai.

I'll be spending most of my free time in Dubai at all the typical places--spice souk, gold souk, Wafi City (to go to Goodies!), Carrefour, that date shop arbuclo went to in her blog (Salehia? Salenia??), the perfume souk, Bastakiya area (I'll be in Bur Dubai often, I think, as I have friends in that area, too), Jumairah Mosque (on a Thursday or Sunday for the tour!), Deira covered souk, etc..

If you know a few really great places that you'd highly recommend, I'd actually be willing to plan my daily itinerary around them! I'll have all the free time in the world, and am not really scheduling anything! It's supposed to be a relaxing holiday, so that's just what I'm going to do...relax! :biggrin:

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Rona, you're going to Dubai!??? My brother in law and best girlfriend work there. If you want some tour guide or even lunch company, I can hook you up with them. Just PM me and I'll email them about you. :)


Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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So it is lunch for one:

Lunch in Dubai is populated with so called Business-men/women and is an entertaining ballet of well dressed people from the posing crowd.

You can have a nice bite to eat and enjoy the show in the following places:

1- Emirates Towers – Mosaico

2- Media City – Al Mazaj

3- Madinat Jumeirah – Any restaurant on the promenade

4- Emirates Mall – Any restaurant at the food court

However, if I were in your shoes, I would go to any of the Jumeirah hotels with my swimming trunks and lay on the pool/beach to have lunch and watch the world go by.

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I was wondering if there is one restaurant that stands out as in a league of its own in Dubai?

If you mean a restaurant above all restaurants, then the answer is No.

If you mean some gems in their own categories, then many.

Unfortunately, most restaurants are located in hotels and very few are independently owned and operated.

So when you say hotel, then it is restaurant chains either independent or hotel owned. In both cases, it is packaged material under the guise of celebrity chefs or famous eateries.

They are good but without any wow factor unless we are talking about the setting or the view!

Then again, it depends on your expectations and whether you are looking for cutting edge Adria or fine dining where on top of the Limoges plates, ladies are provided with cushions under their feet and to rest their Chloe bags!

I suppose Roman lecti cubiculares will make a come back soon!

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Don't know if his restaurants qualify as good or bad according to the experts here :wink:, but Ingo Maas, the executive chef at the J.W. Marriott Dubai, has put out a new book on Arabian cuisine, written with his sous-chefs...you can see a couple of photos over here!


"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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