Although Dubai is best known for its glitzy and glamorous lifestyle, ultra-luxurious commodities and some of the most talked about tourist destinations in the world, everyday life here can be just as much of a hassle as anywhere else in the world. Traffic jams, the stress of constant deadlines and meetings and the hustle and bustle of a packed day can be wearisome even for the most enthusiastic of expats. However, despair not for Dubai also has some of the most beautiful and soothing settings in which to enjoy a flavorful and relaxing dinner guaranteed to alleviate the stress of modern life.
With so many options for visitors and residents to dine in style, short listing 8 restaurants is quite challenging. Listed below are 8 of Dubai’s most romantic restaurants chosen for their exemplary food and service, chic décor and breathtaking settings, which offer views of some of the emirate’s most stunning structures. Although this short list is by no means all encompassing (it’s actually more like a teaser to the staggering options available for dining in this dynamic city), these restaurants are much more than just a place to dine – they provide guests with an unforgettable experience.
Pai Thai (Al Qasr, Madinat Jumierah)
Located along the serene waterways of the Madinat Jumeirah, Pai Thai takes you on a journey of discovery with the traditional cuisine of Thailand bursting with invigorating flavors. You can get to the restaurant by either a golf cart or take an abra ride along the waterways, which is a far more romantic and scenic option. Get a seat outside where the atmosphere is great with the twinkling lights of the resort mirrored in the still waters of the canal. Traditional Thai dancing and music accompany the delightful food and service, as a dancer dressed in traditional Thai robes will suddenly appear at your table and sing an ode to you and your dining companion. The noodles and curries are delicately flavored as are many of the other dishes like the sundried crispy beef with coriander, garlic and chilli sauce. Excellent food served amidst beautiful surroundings makes dining at this restaurant a very special occasion.
Pierchic (Al Qasr, Madinat Jumierah)
If you could sum this restaurant up in one word, it would have to be ‘dreamy’! Set at the end of a pier overlooking the Arabian Sea and the fabulous Burj-al-Arab, Pierchic has got to be one of the most romantic restaurants in Dubai. Be sure to ask for one of the outdoor tables at the front of the restaurant for the best views as a seat in the back may hinder your views because of the tall wooden barriers surrounding the pier. The sun setting over the sparkling waters of the Arabian Sea is breathtaking, providing the ultimate setting for a quiet, romantic dinner. PierChic offers an extensive sea food menu served a la carte; their specialties are the tuna carpaccio with king crab panna cotta, white asparagus caviar and soft quail egg and the pan fired sea bass. Adventurous food lovers will not be disappointed by the mount-watering desserts, which include Blumenthal-inspired blue cheese brulee with black truffle ice-cream and the Valrhona chocolate fondue. The restaurant also offers a ‘Lunch on the Pier’ degustation menu at a bit of a bargain price; this menu changes weekly and is an excellent way of glimpsing the culinary style and variety of dishes laid out by the chef. With the gentle sound of waves lapping against the wooden piers, this restaurant is one of the best options for dining a deux.
Rivington Grill (Souk al Bahar)
Affectionately known as the ‘Riv Grill’ this popular restaurant is as well known for its sweeping views of the Burj Khlaifa and the Dubai Fountains as for its modern British menu that serves up specialties such as seared beef, Yorkshire pudding salad with horseradish cream, fish and chips with mushy peas and a delightful sticky toffee pudding. Kids have their own menu to satisfy their little taste buds including a simple but delicious serving of cheese on toast and bananas on custard. The service is superb with the staff greeting customers by name. The best tables are those on the terrace nearest the fountains for the best view of the musical fountain performances.
If you love good food as much as you love a spectacular view, then At.Mosphere will certainly not disappoint. Located at a staggering height of 442 meters on the 122nd floor of the iconic Burj Khalifa, this stylish haven in the sky offers unparalleled views of the Arabian Gulf. From the tasteful decor and soft lighting to the exemplary food, there is little to find fault with in this restaurant and lounge. Reserve a table by the window to get the best views possible and don’t forget to appreciate the wonderful interior art installations. Diners can opt to dine at the restaurant – The Grill – or relax in the lounge, which has a tapas style menu with a delicious selection of plates to entice even the most skeptic food critic. To appreciate the full menu, dine at the Grill which is popular for its signature dishes like the scallops with ricotta dumplings, free range Australian salt bush lamb and the delectable Gianduja chocolate mousse. The hype created by this restaurant is completely believable as this special dinign venue exceeds all expectations.
Bateaux Dubai (Bur Dubai)
Not to be mistaken for many of the dodgy tourist dhows that line the creek in Bur Dubai, this sleek and stylish boat stands far above the rest. Built in Paris from glass, this boat glides along the creek allowing diners to glimpse the creek-side buildings while enjoying a well laid out four course dinner which includes signature European dishes like the fennel risotto with grilled scallop, Coconut-milk poached Barramundi with sweet potato gratin and white chocolate crème brulee. The Bateaux Dubai is designed stylishly with a minimalist interior with glass walls and ceiling offering a sophisticated and unique option for visitors or residents to see the city.
Located right on the beach at the One&Only Royal Mirage hotel in Dubai, Eauzone features shaded wooden decks and floating ‘majlis’ surrounded by palm trees set against the brilliant blue sky and sea. Casual in the day time, this gently-lit waterside location transforms into a stylish, refined restaurant after sunset. Serving modern food with an Asian twist, the menu features enticing dishes such as the freshly baked hamour scented with delicate Asian spices and aromatic herbs. Particularly popular are the mount watering desserts like the sinfully rich double chocolate tart accompanied by a white chocolate sorbet and caramel chocolate sauce, possible the most wickedly delicious dessert in Dubai!
Majlis al Bahar
The Majlis al Bahar, the ‘seven-star’ sail shaped Burj al Arab’s eatery set at the hotel’s beach club is a short buggy ride from the iconic hotel. Request a table right on the beach for the most romantic dinner setting with a breath-taking view of the sail shaped hotel. The setting is distinctly more casual and relaxed than the interiors of the Burj al Arab, as is the menu. Service is quick, although less so than indoors. Creative fruity concoctions can be used to wash down delicious appetizers such as barbeques prawns, marinated burrata or a host of options from platters, tapas and pizzas. Order chicken or steak for your main followed by some creative desserts including chocolate pizza!
Located on the outer corners of the Palm Jumeirah, this waterside spot is elegantly stylish but with a decidedly relaxed ambience. The laidback and loungey feel of 101 is further enhanced by the broad and airy expanse of the interiors decorated with icy blue cushions. Staff is relaxed and casual but extremely knowledgeable about the menu and can be relied upon to make excellent recommendations. The European menu has a distinctly Spanish touch with exceptionally well prepared, classic Mediterranean dishes such as the calcotada (sweet caramelized onions) and rich rigatoni with chicken chorizo.