Dubai's first Michelin star restaurants unveiled

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Eleven restaurants in Dubai have been awarded the prestigious Michelin stars in the first-ever edition during an exclusive ceremony at Dubai Opera on Tuesday.

Two restaurants received two Michelin stars, while nine got one star.

Fourteen restaurants were awarded the Bib Gourmand, which offers a value-for-money gourmet experience, while one restaurant got the Michelin Green Star for sustainable gastronomy.

A total of 69 restaurants, which cover 21 cuisines, have been recognised by the Michelin Guide inspectors. 

The inaugural edition celebrates Dubai’s spectacular culinary map, which is as vibrant and diverse as it is energetic.

"What makes Dubai’s culinary landscape so distinctive is its reflection of the more than 200 nationalities that call the city home, delivering an epicurean kaleidoscope," highlighted Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the MICHELIN Guide.

Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing told ARN News that this latest accolade is recognition of Dubai's emergence as a global gastronomy hub.

Kazim also explained that having a dedicated guide will boost Dubai's tourism sector even further.

Two restaurants get two Michelin stars

  • Il Ristorante - Niko Romito receives Two MICHELIN Stars for its modern Italian fare, which comes with balance, purity and clarity. Top-quality ingredients are flown in from Italy, with highlights including fish and pasta dishes. 
  • Set in a colonial-style property at The Palm, STAY by Yannick Alléno impresses with its less-is-more approach, which results in precise, sophisticated dishes that are skillfully crafted with French cooking as the base.

9 Restaurants get One MICHELIN Star 

  • 11 Woodfire by chef-owner Akmal Anuar, who is of Malay origin, offers a global variety of vegetables, seafood and meats grilled to perfection over oak, hickory or hay.
  • Led by Saverio Sbaragli, Al Muntaha sits atop the architectural masterpiece of Burj al Arab and offers sophisticated and refined French cuisine with Mediterranean influences. 
  • Armani Ristorante presents precise, modern Italian cooking at the Burj Khalifa, where beautifully decorated dishes are met with attentive, enthusiastic service. Italian favorites such as agnolotti del plin, filetto di scorfano and agnello al mirto showcase the chefs’ mastery. 
  • First opened in London in 2001, the Dubai outpost of Hakkasan at the Atlantis Hotel offers reimagined Chinese dishes that are exclusive to Dubai, including the lychee lobster with yuzu pearl. 
  • Höseki is a nine-seat omakase restaurant helmed by a sixth-generation sushi master, Masahiro Sugiyama. Set on the fourth floor of the Bulgari Hotel, it offers a bespoke omakase experience using fresh ingredients imported daily from Japan. 
  • Located in the basement of the Atlantis Hotel next to the aquarium, Ossiano is a world for creative fare, and its “Metanoia” menus gain inspiration from chef Gregoire Berger’s childhood memories, featuring dishes that come with fine texture contrasts and impressive clarity of flavour.
  • The first international outpost of world-renowned Portuguese chef José Avillez, Tasca by José Avillez in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel is set around an open kitchen, where the talented kitchen team combines fresh, great quality produce with Portuguese dishes that are vibrant, innovative, and great for sharing. 
  • Owned by internationally acclaimed chef Massimo Bottura, Torno Subito set within the striking W Hotel on the Palm offers Italian classics, pasta dishes and desserts with a twist.
  • Trèsind Studio is the brainchild of Himanshu Saini, which offers original and precisely executed multi-course tasting menus featuring herbs and flowers grown on its rooftop terrace setting, with highlights such as the ghee-roasted crab, tandoori chicken dumpling and morel pulao with Assam tea dashi. 

14 restaurants receive a Bib Gourmand 

  • Part-restaurant, part-museum, Al Khayma focuses on simple rustic Emirati cooking, slow cooked meats, Arabic spices and fresh bread cooked in the courtyard.
  • Named after chef patronne Salam Dakkak’s mother Maryam, Bait Maryam serves up delicious, home-style Levantine dishes cooked with love.
  • Brasserie Boulud provides a little piece of France in a classically styled brasserie, offering everything from escargots and canard rôti to tarte Tatin and île flottante.
  • Helmed by the 25-year-old chef Sara Aqel and run by a near all-female kitchen team, Fi’Lia celebrates the culinary knowledge passed down through generations of women with a menu of artisan pizzas to contemporary twists on traditional Italian dishes. 
  • Folly offers an ingredient-driven menu that focuses on precise, modern dishes cooked from a kitchen counter where diners can watch the chefs in action.
  • Goldfish is a funky, buzzing sushi and yakitori concept by chef Akmal Anuar, and sharing plates and wagyu steak are the order of the day.
  • With great views of the beach from the beautiful terrace, Ibn Albahr is home to a fresh fish counter where diners can choose what to eat and enjoy ingredient-driven fare. 
  • Indya by Vineet is the destination where street food meets sharing plates, with colourful dishes from the earth (vegetarian), land (meat) and sea.
  • At Kinoya, five ramen dishes underpin the menu, while Japanese classics including sushi, sashimi, robata and tempura are on offer.
  • The design at Ninive reflects a bedouin tent with low tables and cosy sofas, which sets the tone for the tasty, well-priced dishes from all over the Middle East and North Africa.
  • Owned and run by three Syrian brothers, Orfali Bros is set in a striking, two-storey open kitchen, where playful Mediterranean small plates with global influences, such as the imam bayildi alongside burgers, caviar and wagyu beef, are served. 
  • Helmed by Singaporean chef-owner Reif Othman, REIF Japanese Kushiyaki focuses on robata-cooked, street food-style snacks along with a wide range of well-priced sushi, ramen and creative desserts.
  • The oldest Persian restaurant in Dubai, Shabestan has been around since 1984 and offers traditional Persian dishes, marinated meats, freshly baked breads and mezze.
  • Teible is the cool, minimalist bakery-cum-restaurant that showcases seasonal, local and occasionally fermented ingredients in great value dishes. 

One restaurant awarded MICHELIN Green Star

Lowe, by culinary duo Kate Christou and Jesse Blake, is the first and only restaurant in Dubai to receive a MICHELIN Green Star. The kitchen team cook on fire, practice nose-to-tail cooking and procure ingredients as locally as possible. As part of their efforts towards zero food waste, the restaurant’s “Waste NOT” dinners offer eight to ten courses of would-be waste products, saved over the previous months.

MICHELIN Special Awards 

As MICHELIN Guide inspectors dine at and observe restaurants, they keep an eye on service professionals to unearth talents that are worthy of the MICHELIN special awards. 

This year, the Young Chef Award goes to Solemann Haddad of MICHELIN-selected restaurant Moonrise. Born and bred in Dubai with a French mother and Syrian father, Solemann’s fascination with food and Japan began at a very early age. Mostly self-taught, this eloquent, passionate and thoughtful chef is only too happy to explain his dishes, their origins, and even divulge the secrets of how he executes them. Taking the best, mostly local, ingredients and fusing them with his heritage, he delivers an exciting omakase menu that is a blend of Japanese Kaiseki with Middle Eastern ingredients.

Danijela Tesic of Ossiano takes home the Sommelier Award for her passion and enthusiasm for wine pairing, demonstrating knowledge of the wines in a very relaxed, unpretentious style. Her choices showcase an interesting range of wines from the classic regions with a thought-provoking mix of varietals. With a delightfully friendly approach, she engages with the diners and makes the wine an integral and stimulating part of the dining experience.

The Welcome and Service Award is given to the team at Bait Maryam. Our inspectors were immediately taken by the warmth of the welcome they received when they dined here. Salam and her family showed genuine hospitality to everybody. Service is relaxed and cheerful with all the team working perfectly together to ensure diners really enjoyed their experience. From helpful recommendations of dishes to prompt and efficient service, Bait Maryam is offering some of the most charming service in the city in a restaurant that wants everybody to feel very much at home.

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