Highlights of 2017 and our favourite Dubai restaurants

Hope you are having a lovely festive season!

We haven’t written a blog post in a long time. In fact, we only done seven posts this year. It might be only few but they are some of our favourites on this site. In fact, when we did a WordPress theme change for our third anniversary this September, we ended up deleting several old posts that did nothing for us – which we were mostly obliged to write because we agreed to “review” some new restaurant.

F that! Reset. There will be none of that on here anymore.

Lately, we’re more smitten by the travel bug and enjoy writing about holiday itineraries and where to eat and what to see. It’s also something we like reading online because hello… when we’re not on holiday, we’re planning the next one 🙂 That’s normal, no?

The eating hasn’t stopped though. There are so many new restaurants opening up on a daily basis in Dubai and some of them have received two thumbs-up or even more, won our hearts. While we haven’t gotten around to doing detailed posts about them, we’d love to share them with you in a round-up of our highlights of 2017. In no particular order, they are:

3FILS

If you ask me what’s my favourite restaurant in Dubai, 3Fils it is. Homegrown, casual, right on the waterfront, interesting changing menu which is delicious and inexpensive, with a Singaporean chef at the helm. Tick tick tick! Makes me happy every time I eat here and I cannot stop raving about it to anyone who will listen.

CALIPOKE

We’re big suckers for sushi so when this Californian import made its way to Business Bay, we had to go check it out – and we’ve been huge fans ever since. Freshest ingredients, garlic oil on rice, generous portions of avocado, big intense punch of crunch and flavour which never leaves you feeling guilty after. Weekday lunches have never looked so good!

MAMA’ESH

This little homegrown eatery in Business Bay celebrates Palestinian cuisine. It is so simple yet always feels like we’ve had a feast! They really want to feed you all the goodness from their homeland and how do you say no when the kitchen keeps enticing you by sending out tray after tray of piping hot fatayers? My personal favourites are the chilli minced meat and cheese fatayer, nabulsi cheese, and Palestinian zaatar mana’eesh.

BB SOCIAL DINING

This one is the newbie in town. Located in Gate Village 8 in DIFC, it is spread over three floors with a lounge/bar, restaurant, and a couple of outdoor gardens that give you very out-of-Dubai vibes. ‘BB’ comes from ‘Habibi’ which is all about love, community, friendship – all things we can totally get behind. We look forward to going here more often this winter.

THE MEATING ROOM

If you love meat (who doesn’t?), you’ll love the Meating Room. It was started by three friends from Dubai who love to eat and love to feed people. We’re totally inspired by their story and in awe of how quickly they’ve grown their fanbase in their home city. Also, mad respect to the person who came up with this lamb chops masala. Finger licking good – we just can’t get enough!

SEAN CONNOLLY

We’re loving this new restaurant located on the top floor of the Dubai Opera. Burj Khalifa views aside (from some seats on the little outdoor area), we love the crab sliders with the most divine green goddess sauce, an impressive cocktails list, as well as the selection of oysters. Look out for their Thursday happy hour specials at AED5 an oyster. Best way to end the work week.

SPICEKLUB

For reals, you ask? A vegetarian Indian restaurant makes the list? Oh YES! It’s comfort food and they’ve really nailed the molecular gastronomy concept without compromising on taste. Theatrics aside, the flavours are spot on. Again, casual dining is the winning theme of the year.

GRAPESKIN

We stumbled upon this wine bar in LaVille Hotel, Citywalk and have gone back since for many a girlfriend catch-up. They have a decent wine list (suggestions based on your mood) with nibbles and sharing platters to line your tummy if you’ve gone straight after work. Because its Dubai, there’s sheesha outdoors too which is perfect for the winter.

CUISINERO UNO

Another homegrown concept which opened this summer, Cuisinero Uno is the brainchild of Chef John Buenaventura who worked in many a five-star kitchens around Dubai before opening his own in Steigenberger Hotel. They serve an innovative tapas style menu with hints of Emirati, Mediterranean, Spanish and Asian flavours. It is laid-back and the team are so passionate about their work, it feels like you are hanging with your friends.

YUI

Located in the Dubai Design District, this Japanese eatery is known for its handmade ramen noodles and Donburi (rice bowls), but what we go for are the pan-fried gyoza which are so full and meaty and have the most crispy skin. Two portions, every time!

EXPERIENCE BY REIF OTHMAN

Thanks to the Singapore Tourism Board, we got to experience a specially curated Singaporean meal at Experience by Reif Othman. He is one of the hottest chefs in town and for this meal, he made some of our favourite dishes from the lion city including chilli crab and homemade kaya spread. What was even more fascinating was the venue – its located on the 37th floor of the H Hotel (above his restaurant Play) and is decorated like a beautiful home, with floor to ceiling windows, an open kitchen, and seats only 12 people. This chef’s table experience was one of a kind – Reif is super chatty, funny, and extremely talented – it was such an honour to be so up close to him and taste his food in that setting. An experience definitely recommended for any special occasion.

Despite how exciting the year has been, we have a whole lot planned for the coming year including more videos, travel, and possibly even an online shop! (We’re putting this here so we remain accountable to at least try and work on it). Looking forward to an even more fabulous year in 2018!

Happy New Year and thanks for reading!

Namrata and Nancy

Author: Nancy & Namrata

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