As far as new restaurants in Dubai go, few are as impressive – and long-awaited – as The Guild. The stunning new space has opened its doors at ICD Brookfield Place, comprising multiple dining destinations under one roof, akin to navigating the streets of a trendy New York City neighbourhood. Guest enter through a theatrical red curtain to an all-day cafe and brasserie filled with greenery and light, with a polished scarlet-hued espresso bar and breakfast dishes like eggs en cocotte and hearty full Englishes. The journey continues to the Potting Shed – an aperitif hideaway for just 40 guests encased by a greenhouse roof with 20th-century furnishings and, again, plenty of greenery. Next on the journey is a champagne bar, a rock pool with Atlantic lobsters and sea urchins, and an expansive dimly-lit dining room known as The Salon – the spot for seductive dinners and intimate rendezvous. Finish your evening at The Aviary, a hidden gem for 16 guests with retro-vintage allure, a grand piano and dedicated whiskey and cigar alcove. With renowned chef Tom Arnell’s Eatx group behind the concept, there’s no surprise the food lives up to the sumptuous setting.
ICD Brookfield Place, theguilddubai.com, @theguilddubai
TERO – The Experience by Chef Reif Othman
Testament to Dubai’s ability to nurture foodie concepts, another new experience born from a supper club is TERO – The Experience by Chef Reif Othman. The beloved homegrown chef has relocated his supperclub from its Dar Wasl Mall location to a uber-cool new licensed secret spot inside his new Reif Japanese Kushiyaki. Accessed by the kitchen, the new spot is a homage to Reif’s own love for Japanese pop culture, and guests enjoy an aperitif in a quirky, neon-lit space with booth seating, a Pac-Man machine and a case stacked high with trainers, skateboards, Be@rbrick Figurines, coffee table books, before moving into an intimate open-kitchen to enjoy a choice of eight or 12 courses Omakase style. The menu regularly switches up, with guest dishes like Kagoshima Wagyu, but diners can always expect Reif’s signature, creative-style dishes. Our 12-course experience included dishes inspired by Reif’s culinary roots, with sushi scallop and seared foe gras, rich and comforting kushi maitake mushroom broth and stracciatella with truffle. 6pm or 9:30pm, eight dishes for AED888, 12 dishes for AED1,212; @terobyreif
In-the-know Dubai foodies will be familiar with Hawkerboi, the elusive character running secret sell-out supper slubs from equally secret locations across the city. Now, the Banksy-like figure has opened his first permanent restaurant, an ode to the hawker stalls of Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand with an Asian-style street-food-inspired menu, open kitchen and seductive red neon lighting. The mysterious figure has taken up residence at The Park, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, and diners can expect classics from the cult supper clubs, plus a plethora of innovative and delicious new dishes. These include cereal fried chicken wings, spicy smashed cucumber salad, chicken and truffle shumai, wagyu skewers, Peking style roast duck and charcoal short ribs with buttery paratha – and lots of strong, evocative flavours like Thai basil, ginger, garlic, basil, kaffir lime and sawtooth coriander. Spread across a main dining area, two terraces and bar area, the music is loud, the lighting low, the cocktails are killer (order the Thai basil Aperol spritz) and the kitchen lively.
The Park, JLT; eatx.com/hawkerboi; @hawker.boi
Located at the increasingly chic St Regis Gardens on Palm Jumeirah, Chez Wam is a new addition to Dubai’s French dining scene. Loosely named after the french phrase ‘chez moi’ (meaning at my house), the slick space is helmed by renowned chef Hadrien Villedieu (of Alain Passard, Joel Robuchon and Jean-Pierre Vigato fame) and serves contemporary French cuisine in a trendy Sixties-style setting. Take a seat amongst the dark wood, leather and reds, enjoy the sets from an oversized vinyl DJ booth and enjoy creative dishes like duck skin bao with foie gras, deep-fried camembert stuffed with black garlic and a deconstructed lemon pie with salted meringue.
St Regis Gardens, Palm Jumeirah, @chezwamdubai, chezwam.ae
The latest beachside hangout from stylish Rikas Group, Tagomago takes guests to the golden shores of Ibiza and the Balearic Islands, with a colourful Spanish theme, 120 sunbeds and a menu of delightful Spanish cuisine. This space – all hot pink and sunset orange – occupies what used to be the beloved Italian restaurant Il Faro on Palm Jumeirah and has big plans for the lines of a house yacht and swimming pool built into the sea and framed by rocks. While the beach club gets most of the attention, the restaurant is a killer destination in itseld – comprising a breezy tapas bar and dining space that’s open until 1 am. Sit on the bar with a crisp glass of Spanish white and sangria best paired with salty padron peppers, Manchego cheese boards, twists on patatas bravas and croquettes, or take a seat in the colourful rattan-filled restaurant for paella, fresh seafood and hearty Iberian dishes.
Azure Residence, Palm Jumeirah,@tagomagodubai, tagomago.ae
When it comes to drinking, dining and generally enjoying life, Nikki Beach Dubai has dominated the manmade Pearl Jumeira Island, but now there’s a new resident, Bungalo34, which has opened in the hotel’s stylish residences. The new concept comes from the much-loved Tashas Group (of Avli and Flamingo Room fame) and brings the flavours and vibes of a Mediterranean summer to the shores of Dubai. Guests can pile off the beach and into the gold- and citrus-hued space for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with a menu of Riviera-inspired dishes like wood-fired pizza, fresh seafood, pasta and pasta salads. While many Dubai Riviera spots opt for neutral hues, Bungalo34 embraces colour and joy – and there are red striped umbrellas, patterned soft furnishings and original artwork on the walls.
Nikki Beach Residences, Pearl Jumeira Island; bungalo34.com, @bungalo34
Dinner by Heston
In London, Dinner by Heston is arguably one of the most famous restaurants to celebrate an occasion. Housed in the Mandarin Oriental Park Lane, its grand dining room draws in those needing something truly special for big birthdays or reunions, and the Dubai outpost is set to do just the same. The famed concept’s long-awaited Dubai outpost was first announced back in 2018 and has finally opened its doors at the shiny new Atlantis The Royal hotel. As one of just two sites in the world, it brings Heston’s signature menu of creative and contemporary dishes inspired by historic gastronomy, like the signature ‘Meat Fruit – chicken liver parfait encased in brilliant orange resembling a mandarin. There are two outdoor terraces, a sprawling separate bar – Resonance by Heston – and a private dining room.
Atlantis The Royal, Palm Jumeirah; atlantis.com, @dinnerbyhb
Sunset Hospitality is shaking up Dubai’s dining scene again by bringing another global big hitter to Dubai, located at the Address Beach Resort in JBR. Hong Kong-born Mott 32 has six outposts worldwide serving modern Cantonese cuisine in a sultry setting, and Dubai’s outpost is on track to follow suit with being one of the best Chinese restaurants in its city. The new restaurant sits on the 73rd floor of the five-star beachfront resort and its outdoor terrace has views of the city’s most iconic sites: Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah, Ain Dubai and, on clear days, the Burj Khalifa. Signature dishes include flaky jasmine flower smoked black cod, the much-loved Mott 32 applewood roasted peeking duck and dim sum, plus plenty of plant-based dishes, served alongside an impressive list of spirits, wines and cocktails.
Address Beach Resort, JBR; mott32dubai.com, @mott32dubai
Estiatorio Milos Dubai
It’s one of life’s simple pleasures to look out at the ocean and dine on fresh seafood like wild oysters and ceviche and sip on a glass of something cold. This is the case at Estiatorio Milos Dubai, the latest opening from the global Greek restaurant founded by acclaimed chef Costas Spiliadis. The new outpost comes to the city by way of New York, Athens, Las Vegas, Miami and London, and is set in the new Atlantis The Royal hotel. Guests can dine on Greek and Mediterranean classics, plus dishes from a raw bar, and enjoy a sprawling outdoor terrace with views over the resort’s fountains.
Atlantis The Royal, Palm Jumeirah; atlantis.com
For lovers of the laid-back Riviera lifestyle, it’s always a treat when a new Mediterranean-themed beach club and hangout opens in Dubai. One of the newest is Verde Beach, a new waterfront playground at Jumeirah Beach Hotel encompassing a club and restaurants where guests can spend the day sunbathing, drinking and dining, and carry on the festivities long into the evening. Interiors are typically Mediterranean with rattan swinging lamps and neutral touches and the menu is filled with Riviera classics – paired with a fantastic French wine list and great champagne selection.
Jumeirah Beach Hotel; jumeirah.com, @verdebeachdubai
Decorative and discreet La Niña is one of a handful of swanky new restaurants living up DIFC’s ICD Brookfield place – a building known for its day-time cafes, gyms and offices. Brought to you by the team behind Bagatelle, Myrra and Opa, La Niña takes guests to the Iberian Peninsula, particularly Portugal, with its striking interiors straight out of a mansion in Lisbon and its menu of Portuguese classics. Decorative blue tiles stretch up to the double-height ceiling and there are beautiful white columns, chandeliers, red velvet booths and tables with crisp white tablecloths. The interiors are small, creating an intimate feeling, as the majority of seating is on the light-flooded terrace which offers views of the twinkling DIFC skyline.
ICD Brookfield, DIFC; laninarestaurant.com, @laninadubai
A night of hedonism: it’s the promise new restaurant-cum-nightclub Babylon makes to its guests as they step into a space inspired by the legendary Mesopotamian city, home to a lost wonder of the ancient world. The new spot sits in the former site of Argentinian Gaucho, neighbours with DIFC big hitters like Zuma, Sucre and Shanghai Me and boasting decorative interiors by Lázaro Rosa-Violán: think lots of ornaments, heavy fabrics and materials and a decadent colour palette of jewel tones complemented by floral motifs. The menu is classically Dubai fine dining: sushi, a raw bar, plus lobster, scallop and tuna carpaccio, caviar, miso-butter steaks and tuna. Guests are also treated to live entertainment with a dinner and a show experience.
Gate Village, DIFC; babylondifc.com, @babylondifc
Another new addition at the Atlantis The Royal, Ling Ling is the sultry and playful younger sister to the globally renowned Cantonese concept Hakkasan – housed in Atlantis, The Palm. The trendy new venue is located on the 22nd and 23rd floor of the hotel offering spectacular views across the Palm Jumeirah and onto the hotel’s grounds and is set to draw in a well-heeled, jet-set type crowd with its edgy and sophisticated vibe, a menu of Pan-Asian cuisine and cosy dining spots.
Atlantis The Royal; atlantis.com, @linglingdubai
Mythos Urban Greek Eatery
Diners familiar with JLT’s stylish neighbourhood restaurant Mythos Kouzina & Grill will be delighted to hear the homegrown spot has opened a second outpost in The Square at City Walk. Its typically Cycladic – all neutral and white-washed with rattan and beachy touches – and there’s a cosy and charming outdoor garden terrace adorned in olive trees and with plenty of potted greenery and Grecian touches like rattan chairs and terracotta pottery. The menu features Mythos’ much-loved hearty Greek classics like assorted traditional dips, creative vegetable dishes, fish, meat, salads and Greek comfort food.
City Walk; mythosdubai.com, @mythosdubai