The Michelin Guide is yet to be issued in Dubai, but a handful of its decorated chefs have moved ahead of the judges by opening restaurants there anyway. Here are five of the best.
Dubai Festival City
One of the most lauded chefs in the world, Pierre Gagnaire began his career impressing the ultra-fussy diners of Paris. Now the great Frenchman has restaurants around the planet, including the ever-popular Reflets in Dubai. This is classic French nouvelle cuisine, with all the pomp, ceremony and formality one might expect in Gagnaire’s homeland. Unusually for Dubai, the menu is seasonal, so it’s always worth checking the website ahead of visiting. However, if you like foie gras, fine wine and micro dishes with a dozen ingredients then this is the place for you.
Table 9, Hilton Dubai Creek
Famous for his Vesuvian fits of rage and colourful language, it’s hard to imagine Gordon Ramsay fitting into life in Dubai. Still, as ruthless a businessman as he is a furious chef, Ramsay put his name to Verre, which proved hugely popular for a decade. Last year the partnership was dissolved, leaving his protégés Nick Alvis and Scott Price to develop their own brand, Table 9. Maintaining those excellent standards but offering a bit more of a relaxed dining experience the new restaurant has gone from strength to strength and now offers a cookery school of its own.
Unless you’re staying in the sprawling Atlantis resort at the end of Dubai’s iconic Palm development, Nobu is fairly out of the way. However, if you’re a fan of Japanese food then it’s very much worth making the journey out to the water’s edge. These days Nobu is represented from Melbourne to Malibu and Dubai has also fallen for his charms. Some of the most popular fusion dishes here include his signature sashimi tacos and spicy quail tempura.
Rhodes Mezzanine, Grosvenor House
British favourite Gary Rhodes has made a real home for himself at Grosvenor House in Dubai. Long regarded as one of the finest eateries in the city, the light, bright and overwhelmingly white restaurant offers international diners a version of British cuisine that, in truth, probably overstates the true standard back home. In other words, you wouldn’t typically find white tomato soup or a braised squab pigeon with white asparagus and rich lemon gravy on a menu in the UK. Thankfully, you do here.
Titanic, Melia Hotel
Controversial chef Marco Pierre White isn’t technically a Michelin-starred chef anymore – he handed them all back in a strop. He is still, however, a dedicated restaurateur, and his latest offering in Dubai, the newly opened Titanic, is already turning heads. Although probably not the best choice for vegetarians, meat-lovers will rejoice at the magret of duck Marco Polo and the escalope of veal alla Millanese, among other dishes.