A damn good dining deal in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and globally

Burj Al Arab view from Uptown bar at Jumeirah Beach Hotel

Colourful Burj Al Arab view from Uptown bar at Jumeirah Beach Hotel

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.

Jumeirah Beach Hotel - La Parilla

Jumeirah Beach Hotel – La Parilla

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?

La Parilla Restaurant Week menu

Chicken and cheese empanadasSalad starterAngus sirloinOur sidesFruit platterPineapple, tapioca and mango trifle

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.

Casual dining

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.

Signature dining

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.

Villa Beach – another best kept secret, smack bang on the beach at Jumeirah Beach Hotel in the shadow of Burj Al Arab.

Voi – opulent French-Vietnamese at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray.

Vu’s – formal European dining at the top of Jumeirah Emirates Towers.

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?

A bientôt.

FooDiva. x

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.

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10 Responses to “A damn good dining deal in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and globally”

  1. Geordie Armani May 13, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    I managed to read this and post a comment but I am not it went through as the Internet crashed at that moment. Fabulous review and I shall be trying some of these venues out during JRW, thanks

    • FooDiva May 14, 2013 at 9:17 am

      Thanks GA. Which ones are on your list?

  2. Tony C W May 13, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Great Heads Up on a large number of restaurants – very informative – especially the links to your reviews.
    Excellent for visitors to Dubai to see what’s happening one/two pages.

    • FooDiva May 14, 2013 at 9:19 am

      Thanks Tony 🙂

  3. IshitaUnblogged May 13, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Looks like a fabulous deal… must make some of it. My mom is coming. She loves dining out. If I had to choose two really good ones (not steaks and Japanese) which one would you suggest? Real blingy – Dubai show off kinds, but where we won’t be disappointed.

    • FooDiva May 14, 2013 at 9:25 am

      Rivington Grill at Souk Al Bahar. Great food, service and atmosphere. The fountains never disappoint! And Voi, the French-Vietnamese at JZS. The dining room is stunning, so opulent and the food is exquisite. I dined there last year on this deal as well, and they certainly didn’t skimp on ingredients. I can still remember the quail. Enjoy mummy!

      • IshitaUnblogged May 15, 2013 at 4:49 pm

        Thank you so much for getting back. Surely will do:)

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  5. Rcky March 16, 2014 at 12:22 am

    Thanks for this excellent post. I heard very well about the hotels and restaurants of dubai and abu dhabi. There are so many fabulous hotels or restaurants which gives opportunities to taste the best and delicious foods.

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