Stars And Bibs: Here’s Why Dubai Should Be On Every Gourmand’s Must Try List

Dubai culinary destination FI

You’ve seen the sun bouncing off the glass buildings from your vantage point at the Burj Khalifa. You’ve experienced the ‘void’ at the Museum of the Future. You’ve marvelled at the architecture of the Burj Al Arab. At the Gold Souk, you browsed the glittering rings and necklaces enticingly staring at you before finally settling on one to take home. You’ve gone back and regaled people with stories about Dubai- exciting, feverish, shiny. Each adjective holds true. And now Dubai is vying for another top spot, another title. Dubai is angling to become a destination for those seeking gastronomy adventures.

The city is often referred to as a cultural melting pot- Dubai has more than 200 nationalities living here. This means that the culinary scene here is witnessing a confluence of cuisines that’s unlike any in the world. We’re talking big, bold flavours, dishes with plenty of history, the the highlighting of recipes that come right from a mother’s kitchen.

Dubai Tourism recognises the potential of the city and its culinary delights and hosted Indian journalists, taking us on an elevated dining experiences that had our taste buds tingling. The city now also has its own list of Michelin-starred restaurants, ones that have captivated everyone’s imagination. You can check the list of Michelin restaurants in Dubai here. 

Sucre, Dubai



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We started our experience with a dinner at Sucre, the Dubai outpost of the popular Argentinian restaurant. True to its premise, the space is warm and lively, the staff great with recommendations (and really clued in about the taste of the dishes and the drinks) and the vibe, easy-going. We got there about 7:30, famished from the day’s activities and the bread and olive oil dip and the stuffed olives were gone in seconds. The drinks hit all the right notes. Potent and flavourful, these were the perfect way to kick off our gastronomical tour.

Sucre is located in the tony financial neighbourhood of DIFC in Dubai. You can check out its offerings here. 

Orfali Brothers Bistro Restaurant

Our next stop was Orfali Brothers Bistro Restaurant which served us food so good, I considered packing up my bags and moving to Dubai permanently.


I would strongly recommend making reservations here, the place get pretty busy, pretty quick. There’s a great vibe to this restaurant – the wait staff is milling about, plates generously stacked with food, the aromas wafting in from the open kitchen. Mohammed Orfali, one of the three brothers, works the room, chatting with guests, regaling them with tales of the food and the history behind it. I love that cutlery here can be done away with, it’s merely there should you be fussy about food not getting on your fingers. Who are you, if you’re that person? The great thing here is that almost all the dishes can be tweaked to your culinary preferences and vegetarians will be spoilt for choice here. We tried the Corn Bomb (corn in its various forms), Guess What (what a fun name), Umami Eclair (mushrooms with chocolate sauce? You’d better believe it), Orfali Bayildi (even eggplant haters will appreciate the flavours of this), Eat H (a tangy concoction that found a fan in all of us) and so much more.

Don’t miss the vegetarian fare at the Orfali Brothers Bistro Restaurant and definitely keep space for dessert. The stunning display will draw you in anyway. Find out what they have on offer on their website, here. 

3 Fils


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Sitting pretty by the beach in the Jumeirah Fishing Harbour is 3fils, a spot that has found favour with locals and expats alike. The food here is flavourful and punchy- perfect for a weekday lunch or a dinner with friends or colleagues. There’s a one hour wait for a table on the weekends, I was told. There are some standout dishes here- the ones you simply cannot miss. The Seaweed Salad tops that list. I asked for extra candied walnuts and then all of us at the table snacked on these. The Nesesume Summer Salad is also delicious and the chicken wings are worth a try. Skip the triple cooked chips. Make sure you call for a portion of charcoal- won’t tell you what’s in it but it’s a very instagrammable dish. And absolutely do not leave the place without trying the African Powerhouse. This is a dessert and they say there is a separate space for it, I would say skip your meal and make this all your course. It’s worth it. Oh and of course, the Karak Ice Cream that comes with a small performance.

Check out 3fils and its offerings here. 

Shanghai Me

Asian flavours are taking over the world and Dubai is no exception. Our next stop was Shanghai Me, a restaurant that had us jotting down dish names for the next time we went visiting. If you’ve wondered how many ways there are to cook edamame, Shanghai Me has some suggestions and their steamed edamame is delicious. You’d think there’s that much you can do with cucumbers and avocados, right? Turns out, there are plenty of options. The Avocado, Salted Cucumber & Roasted Nuts Salad here could be a whole meal and it hits all the spots- sweet, crunchy, savoury. We tried the spring rolls- not their standout dish but still something I enjoyed tremedously. My fellow diner tried the Silver Cod with Yuzu Miso sauce that she now swears by. We were pretty full by then though the sushi offerings looked pretty enticing. Another time.

Here’s what’s on the menu at Shanghai Me Dubai.



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There’s an air about Zuma- it’s popularity in the circles is undeniable. On a regular Tuesday night, Zuma was buzzing with activity, with nary an empty spot. The drinks flow freely, the conversations are heady, the vibe is infectious. It’s obvious that the place is often used to catch up with colleagues after work, the business crowd is out in big numbers here. Zuma is known for its drinks, the bar is churning out orders with an urgency. Smita, one of the other people at the table, waxed eloquent about the Raspberry and Passionfruit Martini (she’s a passionfruit convert since she landed in Dubai). The Geshi Smash also had plenty of takers. The Live Solera Dubai had the table divided- camel cheese can do that, I understand. I enjoyed the vegetarian sushi, the flavours were pungent, just the way I like them. We had a few other dishes- a green salad and more- but I would recommend Zuma for the drinks and the energy rather the fare here.

You can check out what’s happening at Zuma Dubai here. 

To read more about restaurants in India, click here. 

- Digital Editor


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