The signature dishes of Dubai's best restaurants
Quality cuisine and breathtaking locations: must-try dishes in Italian restaurants in Dubai
Once a small fishing village on the Gulf, now one of the most cosmopolitan cities on earth, Dubai is home to almost 200 nationalities and offers a truly memorable culinary experience for visitors. Many Italian chefs have flown to Dubai to take a little of their philosophy, know-how and food culture to the United Arab Emirates, and today Italian restaurants proliferate in the city, surrounded by incredible landscapes and picture-postcard viewing terraces. But which designer dishes are essential in Dubai’s top restaurants? Don’t worry, choose your favourite and we’ll take care of the ordering.
Dubai International Financial Centre, DIFC, Gate Village, 10, Dubai
ph. +971 43470003
Located in the heart of Dubai’s financial district, the Cipriani - today a worldwide icon - is furnished in nautical-style blue and white with wood detailing and leather seats. Split between two levels, it offers a magical terrace and a small bar where you can sample the classics of Harry’s Bar in Venice, served in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The dishes you shouldn’t miss? Obviously, the ever-successful Carpaccio alla Cipriani, invented by Giuseppe Cipriani when he heard that one of his customers at Harry’s Bar Royal, Countess Amalia Nani Mocenigo, had been advised by her doctor to eat raw meat. Cipriani created a dish of thin slices of raw beef sirloin and named it after the famous Venetian painter, Carpaccio. The verdict? Irresistible.
Gate Village, 1, Dubai
ph. +971 43860066
Opened to critical acclaim in 2012, Roberto’s has confirmed its status as a multi-award-winning landmark in the heart of Dubai’s International Financial Centre. A world-class team combines devotion to Roman cuisine with Venetian hospitality and a Milanese atmosphere, creating a truly cosmopolitan experience and Italian food that’s authentic, precise and contemporary. Executive chef Francesco Guarracino loves to experiment with the boldest of flavours, from beetroot, which joins gorgonzola in risotto, to wagyu beef paired with matcha tea. Don’t miss the slow-roasted octopus with artichokes and cacio e pepe sauce.
Armani Hotel,1 Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, Dubai
ph. +971 48883888
The pure essence of Italy comes to life at Armani/Ristorante, where genuine passion for superb quality ingredients, the most exquisite flavour combinations and contemporary presentation come together in an exclusive atmosphere which will tease palates and attract the most exacting gourmets. An exclusive dining experience for all the senses, the crowning glory being a new dish named Il sogno. Inspired by Pablo Picasso and the Cubist movement of the early 20th century, this harmonious combination of cherries, rhubarb and venison plays with bold flavours, vibrant colours and geometric plating to create a work of culinary art. A dream, inside and outside this dish from Armani/Ristorante.
Level 74, SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences, Marasi Dr, Business Bay, Dubai
ph. +971 46070737
The butcher-poet Dario Cecchini climbed to the 74th floor of SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences in Dubai’s Business Bay to deliver his knowledge. Here the lyricist of the bistecca alla fiorentina presents a contemporary steakhouse, Carna by Dario Cecchini. The name is not a spelling mistake: it is a little-known fact that Carna was a nymph-turned-goddess who, according to the Romans, protected the internal organs. The choice of name is certainly in line with the restaurant’s approach, which focuses on “nose to tail” use of the animal. The dish you really shouldn’t miss? Dario’s Signature Steak Tartare with smoked paprika, garlic, parsley, Dario’s olive oil and truffle aioli. You won’t regret it.
Rooftop - 20th Floor, Grand Millennium Business Bay Hotel, Al Abraj Street, Business Bay, Dubai
ph. +971 48733377
A genuine open-air spectacle. Bella, set within the Grand Millennium Hotel Business Bay, features a completely retractable glass ceiling, allowing you to observe the velvety night sky, when you can tear your eyes away from the glittering skyscrapers of Business Bay. It’s the ideal elegant setting for a perfect evening of Italian cuisine, thanks to the dishes created by award-winning chef Alessandro Miceli, who offers traditional culinary masterpieces with a touch of cutting-edge modernity. One of the cult dishes is definitely the Tavolozza, containing superb quality ingredients from the Crudo Bar.
Bvlgari Resort, Jumeira Bay Island, Jumeira 2, Dubai
ph. +971 47775433
The revolutionary idea at the base of Il Ristorante - Niko Romito in Dubai is the work of chef Niko Romito, who offers his talent and his art to the world of Bulgari Hotels & Resorts. Originally from Abruzzo in the heart of the Italian peninsula, he skilfully combines loyalty to his roots with the desire to reinterpret Italian flavours, re-writing tradition in a mix of simplicity and audacity. The concept behind his cooking effectively brings together a carefully curated mix of tradition and modernity, resulting in precise, delicious and elegant dishes such as the fabulous steamed scampi with mayonnaise, lettuce and chilli.
Restaurant Village, near Four Seasons Hotel, Jumeirah Road, Dubai
ph. +971 43490068
With its traditional Italian-style decor, neutral shades and a contemporary mix of colourful artworks, Scalini evokes the atmosphere of Italy’s southern coasts, combined with a nostalgic and sophisticated atmosphere. Guests can also dine on the delightfully intimate terrace, offering a menu that sums up the essence of classic Italian pasta, with comfortable, generous dishes designed for sharing with friends and family. The food is accompanied by beverages using fresh ingredients with roots in Italian flavours.
You really shouldn’t miss their truffle-based dishes like the tagliolini with black truffle.
Ground Mezzanine Floor, Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah St, Dubai
ph. +971 44323232
A chic poolside venue at Burj Al Arab, Sal offers a relaxing atmosphere and an exclusive setting. An irresistible combination where guests can admire the views from a privileged position while the sun sets on a seemingly infinite horizon. The SAL menu features fresh fish and seafood, as well as home-made trenette pasta and king crab with fresh basil pesto, tomato, chilli and balsamic vinegar. A menu that evokes warm summer evenings in Capri, designed to be loved and shared for an unforgettable flavour experience.
906 Jumeirah St, Jumeirah Al Naseem, Jumeirah Street Umm Suqeim 3, Dubai
tel. +971 42752555
It’s not difficult to fall in love with the simplicity, ingredients, history and lifestyle of Il Borro. Located on the turtle lagoon at Jumeirah Al Naseem, Il Borro offers the perfect location for sampling Dubai’s best Tuscan cooking. In line with the Ferragamo family’s vision and Il Borro’s commitment to biodiversity, organic agriculture and a genuine farm-to-table approach, the restaurant translates conviction into a genuine culinary experience. Dishes are modern interpretations of Tuscan classics, faithful to the sourcing of top-quality ingredients and accompanied by Il Borro products such as organic extra virgin olive oil, honey and selected vegetables from the Orto del Borro organic farm. And the signature dish? Obviously, the bistecca alla fiorentina garnished with rosemary roast potatoes.
Jumeirah Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai
ph. +971 44323232
Considered one of the city’s top fish restaurants, Pierchic is located on a private wooden jetty over the waters of the Gulf, with relaxing views and delicate soft lighting. It has become the kingdom of chef Beatrice Segoni, whose beautifully presented dishes have brought authentic new flavours to Dubai, to the delight and curiosity of her guests. “Every guest who tastes my food realises that I cook with my heart. Every restaurant’s success comes from the passion the chef puts in each individual dish”, says Beatrice, whose Plin di Faraona are undoubtedly a highlight!
Ground Floor, W Dubai – The Palm West Crescent, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai | ph. +971 42455588
Chef Massimo Bottura, the three-Michelin-starred creative mind behind Osteria Francescana (voted the world’s top restaurant in 2016 and 2018), takes his first restaurant outside Italy. Here diners can enjoy an extraordinary trip back in time to the Italian Riviera of the 60s, where all is society and sophistication, but relaxed in style. You can choose to eat outside or on the beach. Fun, colourful and reminiscent of bygone times, the decor aims to evoke the atmosphere of Fellini films like Amarcord, recreated here through the combination of pastel shades, seaside-themed wallpaper, old postcards suspended from the ceiling and an ice-cream cart, just like the ones that once toured the beaches of Romagna. At the helm is one of Massimo’s most trusted collaborators, Bernardo Paladini, whose cult dishes include Bottura’s favourite, tagliatelle al ragù.
Chic Nonna Dubai
Sheikh Zayed Rd, Dubai
Chic Nonna Dubai is located within the international finance district and offers a gourmet restaurant on the ground floor, complete with Chef’s Table and open kitchen, and a Club upstairs. It’s a unique place in which the great Italian tradition of hospitality and good food embraces the cosmopolitan soul of Dubai. It also offers an exceptional selection of beverages, including the best Italian and international labels, which are housed in a spectacular cellar visible in the Lounge. A veritable journey among the most authentic Italian flavours, courtesy of Vito Mollica, who will also bring to Dubai some of his most celebrated dishes, including - of course - his vitello tonnato.
Bluewaters Island, Dubai | ph. +971 42752577
A taste of southern Italy in Dubai. Located on the seafront of Bluewaters Island, Alici - meaning “anchovy” - transports you to the simplicity and luxury of the Amalfi Coast. There’s an impressive selection of raw dishes on the lower level and a pizza oven and counter decorated with tiles hand-painted by Gio Ponti upstairs,both offering large terraces with generous views of the Dubai Marina skyline. The menu includes some outstanding dishes such as the irresistible Spaghetti ‘Gentile’ - IGP Gragnano spaghettiwith anchovies, capers, black olives and toasted breadcrumbs. A delight to win over every palate.