A damn good dining deal in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and globally
Set menus for business lunches are aplenty here in Dubai, but when it comes to dinner, we have to pay full whack for à la carte or an umpteen-course degustation menu. Why can’t we have prix fixe menus à la the Parisians, day AND night? Well we can for a few days only, thanks to the folks at Jumeirah who are running their hugely popular Restaurant Week promo for the second consecutive year in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and for the first time across their international hotels - starting next week. Modelled on the long-standing New York Restaurant Week, 50 plus restaurants will offer three-course set menus with a choice I should add, for dinner and/ or lunch every day – and that includes signature dishes.
I don’t tend to run food promotions here reserving these for my social media channels, but this one is such a goodie (believe me last year I pretty much dined out every night on that deal), it’s worth sharing. I guarantee you will be restaurant hopping every night of the week. And fingers crossed, Jumeirah will extend the promo like last year.
I tried and tasted the deal at La Parilla, Jumeirah Beach Hotel’s top-floor Latin-American restaurant. On a Friday evening, the restaurant is buzzing, helped by a sexy tango duo twirling to Latino tunes. We nab a window table with sweeping views of the Arabian Gulf and Burj Al Arab – it’s the one pictured here. Here’s a sneak peek at the menu which gives you three choices for starter, main, and a couple for dessert, plus amuse bouche, a sorbet palate cleanser and a pre-dessert – not bad eh for AED 180 each?
The empanadas, both the shredded chicken and the provolone-like cheese fillings are marvelously moreish. Our Angus sirloin is cooked perfectly rare as requested (by the German chef I should add). The carved fruit platter on a watermelon carpaccio makes for a pretty picture. Portion sizes are good, bordering on too much given the endless flow of side dishes.
Don’t leave the hotel before grabbing a night-cap at Uptown, one of Dubai’s best kept secrets – the al fresco lounge bar one level down with staggeringly stunning views of Dubai by night.
So La Parilla aside, where would I recommend? Well here’s my top 15 picks, and where FooDiva has reviewed, you will find links to those posts. Otherwise I have eaten in every single one, and can happily vouch for the dining experience.
Alfie’s – British brasserie at Jumeirah Emirates Towers Boulevard.
Al Nafoorah – Lebanese. There are two but my favourite is the original at Jumeirah Emirates Towers Boulevard, and with a little bit of luck you may still be able to sit on the terrace.
Rivington Grill – British. Both locations are goodies, but nothing beats dining in tandem with the magical fountains, so Souk Al Bahar it is. As an aside, Riv has just introduced its new summer menu – more here.
Tokyo at the Towers – rather formal Japanese at Jumeirah Emirates Towers Boulevard, known for its teppenyaki and tatami rooms.
Honyaki – Japanese sushi joint at Souk Madinat Jumeirah…it may be casual, but at least you are guaranteed sake.
The Noodle House – Asian glammed up ‘street food’. Head to the inaugural eatery at Jumeirah Emirates Towers Boulevard.
Amala – North Indian feast at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray.
MJ’s steakhouse – Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah. Steaks aside, you get to choose your own knife.
Pai Thai – Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah. And don’t forget your mode of transport is the abra.
The Ivy – Brit menu with Asian influences at Jumeirah Emirates Towers Boulevard.
The Rib Room – steakhouse at Jumeirah Emirates Towers. Go for the banquette seating.
Voi – opulent French-Vietnamese at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray.
Zheng He’s – classic Cantonese, one of Dubai’s best, at Mina A’ Salam.
Jumeirah Restaurant Week runs from May 23rd to June 1st at 56 restaurants in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and around the world. Three-course menus are priced at AED 90 (Noodle House only), AED 120 (casual restaurants), AED 180 (signature) and AED 270 (Burj Al Arab). All menus are available online. If last year’s success is anything to go by, start making reservations pronto.
I do hope other hotel chains and restaurants are taking note of this damn good dining deal. Wouldn’t it be great to see an emirate-wide initiative like New York, or London? Now there’s an entrepreneurial idea .
So more importantly which restaurant are you gonna book first?
Disclosure – I dined at La Parilla thanks to a voucher that rocked up on my doorstep, allowing me to experience the set menu in advance of the launch date.