Here are some of the best plates we’ve tasted in 2017 – and you should too
Time Out Dubai staff
Scallop ceviche at LIMA This Peruvian dish is so popular that it was sold out when we first visited Lima in City Walk – so we went back again. Corn, tiger’s milk – lime juice, onion, coriander and chilli – provides a traditional ceviche base for fresh, beautifully prepared scallops, accompanied by seared cherry tomatoes and diced red onion. Dhs65. Lima, City Walk, Al Safa Street (056 500 4571).
BibimBap at Namu This hearty bowl is filled with all the rice and vegetables you’d expect – and topped with a free-range egg to mix in – but comes with the addition of rich Korean beef tartare and sweet pear. It’s a simple dish given an unusual, high-end twist. Part of Seoul Food Sundays. Sun 7pm-11pm. Dhs245 (soft drinks), W Hotel, Al Habtoor City (04 435 5577).
Avocado on toast at Jolie Not the most complicated of dishes, but this is one of the best we’ve tried. Smashed avo with a twist, this is almost guacamole-like, with a fragrant combo of diced tomatoes and chopped coriander. Underneath is a smudge of vibrant beetroot hummus as a nod to the café’s Middle Eastern roots. It’s topped with grilled halloumi, all aboard a crisp slice of sourdough. Dhs49. City Walk, Al Safa Street (04 345 6922).
Salmon tiradito at Waka Tiradito is a dish of raw fish whose closest cousin is sashimi. Waka’s version of this Peruvian-Nikkei hybrid comes with cubed raw mango, adding a welcome sweetness, alongside micro herbs and edible flowers that look almost too good to eat. But tuck in – you won’t regret it. Dhs48. Waka Restaurant & Bar, The Oberoi Dubai, Business Bay (04 444 1407).
Cream chicken at Carnival by Trèsind This quirky eatery is renowned for its unique and interesting dishes. And although Parmesan cheese might not be the first ingredient you expect to see at an Indian restaurant, this is worth trying nonetheless. Rosemary chicken is mixed with a creamy cheese fondue and finished off in a whole Parmesan cheese wheel. A rich dish, the chicken is delicately flavoured and perfectly cooked. Dhs145. Burj Daman, DIFC (052 242 4262).
Burrata di Andria at Il Borro We love the authentic, traditional menu at Italian import Il Borro. We love that it uses ingredients such as olive oils produced on the estate in Tuscany, and Italian Chianina beef – one of the oldest breeds of cattle in the world. But what really stands out for us is the burrata di Andria, with its creamy, stracciatella centre and toppings of sweet cherry tomatoes and fresh, aromatic basil. With a generous drizzle of that Il Borro olive oil, this is a delicate yet rich dish, exuding an intensity of flavour that your palate will thank you for. Dhs85. Jumeirah Al Naseem, Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 559 7869).
Black truffle pide at Morah The wood-fired pide at Morah are equally good as the views stretching across the city from this 72nd floor vantage point. Our pick is the black truffle version, which combines rich buffalo mozzarella with halloumi and tartufata. A thoroughly indulgent Middle Eastern-style mini pizza, really. Dhs85. JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, Business Bay (04 560 1799).
Baked Scottish scallops at The Atlantic If you’re heading to The Atlantic you’re most likely going along for some top-notch seafood (and you won’t be disappointed). From platters of oysters and massive prawns to the popular fish and chips, everything is excellently fresh. Don’t miss this baked scallops dish though. The perfectly fleshy seafood is expertly cooked in a delicate sauce, and is an ideal precursor to that aforementioned classic British main. Dhs119. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 442 5662).
Cheeseburger at BurgerItch A colossal fistful of comfort food so life-affirming it might even revive it, BurgerItch’s cheeseburger is a juicy double-meat feast topped with house sauce, all secured within a superbly squidgy potato bun. And we can’t get enough of it. Dhs40. Currently at Modesh World, Dubai World Trade Centre, until Aug 12. www.instagram.com/burgeritch.
Vegan veggie bowl at Tom&Serg For something wholesome, filling and unfathomably delicious, this is the one. The bowl contains an inventive almond hummus, green beans, avocado, cauliflower, broccoli, sprouts, seeds and the café’s light, creamy, “green goodness dressing”, and it’s a riot of flavour. The dish is just as much a feast for your eyes, as it is your stomach. It’s a giant serving of health that’s well worth the price. Dhs52. Al Joud Centre, Al Quoz (056 474 6812).
Cheese fondue at Publique This mountain-themed restaurant has a proper chalet feel, and proper chalet food. The indulgent cheese fondue is deliciously rich and creamy, while the croutons used to scoop up that cheesy loveliness are perfectly crisp yet fluffy. Warming and filling, a perfect summer treat (to beat the air-conditioning). And until the end of September, you can snap up a deal that gives you said cheese fondue to share, with a carafe of grape, for just Dhs140. Dhs140. Until Sep 30. Open daily noon-2am. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 430 8550).
Avocado cocktail at Chez Charles This brasserie-style restaurant in d3 serves up classic European dishes, done simply and well. Case and point is this avocado cocktail, which is delightfully retro in its use of Marie Rose sauce, yet brought up-to-date with a fruity, punchy salsa. Creamy avocado and large, juicy prawns make this a top starter that’s light, fresh and moreish. Dhs59. Building 11, d3 (04 512 2444).
Bufala Pizza at Il Faro Il Faro means lighthouse in Italian, and you can’t miss (nor would you want to) this Palm Jumeirah hotspot. Head to the quaint building set out to sea and dig into one of the pizzas from an extensive menu. Toppings are super-fresh (and generous), piled atop a perfectly blistered base. Opt for a traditional bufala version and you’ll thank us – creamy cheese, juicy tomatoes and crispy, chewy dough. Delish. Dhs82. Azure Residences, Palm Jumeirah (04 568 3137).
Veal tongue at folly by Nick & Scott We’ll get straight to it, folly is excellent. We like lots on its menu, from the smoked clams to the octopus, but this veal tongue has impressed us most. Conservative diners need not be alarmed. Smooth, tender slivers of meat sit artfully topped with crispy capers, peppery microgreens and sharp Parmesan. If you like roast beef, you’ll love this. Dhs45. Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 430 8535).
Fresh prawns al ajillo at Espana We weren’t wowed by everything on the menu of this relatively new Spanish restaurant, however, the classic prawns al ajillo are worth a visit alone. A light, fresh garlicky sauce houses a warming kick from a dash of chilli, while the plump prawns are deliciously tender. Mop it all up with the crispy bread and you could be in Spain (almost). Dhs65. Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, Garhoud (04 228 1777).
Short rib beef doughnut at Seafire Fusion food can be a risky business, but this one needs no assessment with a furrowed brow. Slow-cooked beef short rib, perfectly encased in soft, savoury dough, topped with charcoal Parmesan dust and served with a sweet, sticky barbecue sauce. It’s perfect, and enough to make a grown man weep with joy. Dhs85. Seafire, Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).