Fusion, Fuss and Fancy: 8 places in Dubai that Take you Away from Reality!

19 May, 2014 / Posted By Mayuri

Sometimes, a meal out needs to be more than just a good feed in a pretty atmosphere. In Dubai we are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining – there’s enough restaurants in this city to allow us to eat out at a different one every single day for 10 years and still not get to them all. So how do we decide where to go? Here’s a selection of restaurants that will help you eat outside the box, a list of eight places that will give you a selection of food you could never prepare in your own home. These are my favourite places that really make dining out worthwhile.



This is Dubai’s closest thing to Molecular gastronomy. Pierre Gagnaire is known for his associations with the founder of the movement (Herve This), and for his experimental (whilst also perfectly French) food in his many restaurants around the world. Gagnaire himself is not in the kitchen that much – he’s off getting Michelin stars elsewhere – but he does get in at least once every three months, and keeps a firm eye on what goes on the menu and out the kitchen door. Expect dishes like green pea ice cream, lamb with oregano, tamarind and argan semolina, veal with sorrel and raspberry, and 7 different desserts on one dish.

Festival City, Licensed, 400+AED per head





Vietnamese food is already a wonderful fusion of French and South East Asian flavours, so it’s unlikely you’d need to tamper with tradition too much to make it an appealing cross-culture menu. Voi however take the fusion a step further and present dishes in what many would believe to be a European fine dining manner. Look out for their trio of tuna, crispy barbecued quail, tiger prawns with foie gras, “pot au pho”, and their incredible white chocolate and coconut dessert. All of this in the Lavish Zabeel Saray, which itself is a fusion of Arabian luxury and new money.

Palm Jumeirah, Licensed, 350+AED per head



Toko is a Sydney version of a fine dining Japanese restaurant, but you might also want to throw in a little lounge bar, some Dubai flash and some particularly non-traditional Japanese ingredients like quinoa, truffles, sweet potatoes and tomatoes, and dishes like chocolate fondant, rhubarb crumbles and Boston lobster carpaccio. The menu has something that will please even the most diverse of crowds, yet still dishes out plenty of Japanese classics, and in good style too. Their robata avocado is one of the most commonly instagrammed dishes in Dubai. I suppose people wonder how on earth something so simple can be so gratifying.

Downtown, Licensed, 300+AED per head


IndegoIndego by Vineet

Fine dining Indian is enough of a step for many, but Vineet Bahia takes it a step further, and gives us plenty of reason to move away from the Satwa curry houses and into a different sphere. It’s a sexy restaurant in it’s own right, but plonked in the centre of the uber-cool Grosvenor House, and in the midst of places like Buddha Bar, Rhodes in Residence, Toro Toro and Siddhartha, there’s plenty nearby to keep you warm and well fed. Expect to find things such as honey cured salmon with seas salt lemon upna, goats cheese samosas with carrot foam, cashew-crusted edamame and chutney tomato rice koftas and pista-orange panna cotta with chocolate soil.

Dubai Marina, Licensed, 300+AED per head



Many wouldn’t think to go here just for the food. Eauzone’s food reputation is a victim of the restaurant’s purely perfect ambience. It has to be one of the prettiest and most romantic in Dubai, with it’s candlelight glittering over the shallow waters that surround each table on it’s pontoon or strip of boardwalk. But the food is just as good. There are plenty of more mainstream-flavoured dishes (with an emphasis on seafood), but also look for some clever concoctions like seared foie gras with glazed beet and Szechwan pineapple, quail with truffled peach and tamarind, salmon with tofu and pumpkin custard and mango mille feuille with white chocolate and lime.

Mina Seyahi, Licensed, 250+AED per head


Toro ToroToro Toro

It seems Grosvenor house is the hotel king of fusion in Dubai, non? But Toro Toro is such a far cry from Indego, it really deserves a mention. It was one of the first places in Dubai to put out a high quality South American offer that was lively and sassy, and it remains as current some years later. Their menu is a crowd pleaser – South American ones usually are (you can’t knock a good steak, and party pies – I mean empanadas - right?), but they have mixed it up with some Japanese inspired flavours and some completely off-the-wall combinations. You’ll find tataki, panko on your prawns, tuna tartare with avocado and sesame, but also more inventive flavours such as watermelon and heirloom tomatoes with chipotle, and quinoa with cucumber, passionfruit and haloumi.

Dubai Marina, Licensed, 300+ AED per head


Indo ThaiIndoThai

IndoThai is a pan-asian gem in the heart of the business district at the Radisson Royal, and often overlooked by its big brother Icho (both literally and physically, as it sits on the 50th floor), but shouldn’t be ignored, because, basically, everyone ends up happy here. For a start, it’s in a gorgeous fine-dining atmosphere, but entrees are around 45AED and mains at 100 (the wagyu beef tenderloin at 180 has to be one of the cheapest in town) so it’s going to keep the wallet holder happy. Secondly, its range of Asian cuisine stretches from Thailand and Vietnam to Indonesia, and then all over India. Dishes are not fusion within themselves, but the menu really is one of the best all-in-one Asian ones in Dubai

Sheikh Zayed Rd, Licensed, 150+ AED per head


La Porte des IndesLa Porte des Indes

This restaurant is a newly opened London import in sleek Downtown. Where Voi mixed southern Asian with French cuisine, Portes goes north and combines French ingredients and techniques with Indian flavours. This stems from the cuisine of Pondicherry, a French Colony in the southern area of the country. There’s dishes like banana flower salad with chicken and tamarind, tandoori smoked tomato and capsicum soup, an Indian-flavoured bouillabaisse, and Pondicherry duck with tamarind. They probably also take the award for Dubai’s most expensive chaat at 65AED.

Downtown, Licensed, 350+ AED per head

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