Date nights and fancy dinners in DIFC, were a much-missed pastime during months of lockdown. But as Dubai’s restrictions continue to ease, the city’s fine dining scene is slowly and safely returning. From old favourites to new stylish hangouts, here are the MOJEH-approved restaurants that have recently reopened their doors.
THE LONDON PROJECT
With lush botanicals, stunning sea views and Insta-worthy booths, The London Project is one of Bluewaters’ must-visit hangouts. The restaurant has recently reopened with a brand-new menu that offers a trip around London; from Camden’s street eats, to Mayfair’s refined polished flair and Shoreditch’s rustically cool cuisine. Start with Oxford beef cheek croquettes, followed by the signature wagu burger and Queenies chocolate torte to finish. Thelondonproject.com
Situated in the Opus building by Zaha Hadid — an architectural marvel in Business Bay — Roka brings its unique style of contemporary Japanese Robatayaki cuisine and urban design to Dubai for the first time. The sister restaurant of Rainer Becker’s renowned dining hotspot, Zuma, this new Dubai eatery launched in March but closed shortly after amid lockdown restrictions. Which means you’ve probably not had a chance to sample the tasty sake teriyaki or melt-in-the-mouth maki rolls. Rokarestaurant.com
Homegrown restaurant group, The Maine, has reopened its eateries in JBR and Studio City, and added a new dining destination to its name: The Maine Land Brasserie at Zaha Hadid’s Magnum Opus in Business Bay. The third venue for the group by Joey Ghazal boasts chic crystal chandeliers, rattan chairs and a neo-speakeasy aesthetic that resembles an old-world steakhouse. On the menu, enjoy Burgundy snails, Dibba Bay oysters, bespoke steak cuts and the hard-to-resist mushroom truffle flatbread. Themaine.ae
If lockdown has left you dreaming of Indochine’s classic Amok Cambodgien, then you’ll welcome the news that the famed French-Vietnamese restaurant has returned to DIFC’s dining scene. Chef Steven Nguyen’s signature dishes — which blend tradition with boundary-pushing flavours and unconventional techniques — are back on the menu, with the popular Vietnamese ravioli and lamb char siu ready to be served. Simply follow the neon sign to find your way back to a Belle de Jour. Indochinedxb.com
Perched atop the fifteenth floor of Andaz Dubai The Palm, Hanami is a recently opened Japanese restaurant that refines and reimagines traditional Tokyo street-food. With Chef Yutaka at the helm, each dish — think Takoyaki, Nigiri and charcoal grill-skewers — is served in authentic street style with plates made for sharing (and photographing, just before you dig in). The venue is also picture-perfect with uninterrupted views of the coast and the city’s glittering skyline. +971 4581 4037