Al Mahara is known as Burj Al Arab’s signature restaurant. Although the so-called “submarine journey” into the dining room is nothing more than an elevator ride, and the “underwater” element is simply a floor-to-ceiling aquarium, the ambiance is unique enough to warrant a visit (unless watching sea creatures swim around as you devour them will make you uneasy). Here, the food is all about decadence and presentation, from Beluga caviar to Wagyu beef served with bone marrow and Alaskan king crab and foie gras, all served in picture-perfect platings. The seafood dishes in particular are heavenly.
The Dubai outpost of this Paris-based concept features a dining room with sky-high ceilings and a wall of windows overlooking the city. It is ornately decorated in rich fabrics and deep red and brown hues. Come on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night and the volume of hip dance music might prevent you from hearing your dining partners…in which case you can just gaze at the good-looking expats at nearby tables, or concentrate on your delectable Asian- and Mediterranean-influenced plates, such as the Chinese chicken salad, ceviche and prawn and duck curry dishes.
The French restaurant Traiteur at Park Hyatt Dubai features an architecturally dazzling, bi-level dining room connected by a metal staircase suspended from the ceiling. The restaurant also features a 1200-bottle wine cellar and gorgeous open kitchen. Although the room is a vast, loft-like space, those looking for intimacy will find it at one of the well-spaced, candlelit tables. Menu items are fresh and markedly tasty: of note are the artichoke salad followed by a gently seasoned braised brill and a side of lightly sautéed mushrooms.