• May 22, 2018
    Last updated 5 minutes ago

design diary

Design Diary: 10 of Dubai’s most beautiful restaurants

Dine in style this Valentine’s Day with our pick of design-led venues that guarantee the good times

16:25 February 7, 2018

1. FLAMINGO ROOM BY TASHAS

The outlet has won some serious design awards, and rightly so. Have you ever imagined yourself in a Wes Anderson movie? Flamingo Room by Tashas takes you right in. A take on Millennial Pink is nothing new, but it is the freshness of this rose hued palette against pale browns and Malachite that lends this venue its own character. It is Dubai, so gold is expected; but instead of it being gaudy, here it lends a wonderful halo. Large-scale palm fronds in gold layer the venue with real foliage. Book-matched table tops glow under the brushed brass table lamps as light hits radial veneer grains and plush velvets lend understated richness. Let a table by the lake transport you somewhere away from Dubai. Or sit under a ceiling quite literally in bloom; bespoke light installations inspired by flowering branches come alive as gleaming water reflects on hand-blown glass flowers.

2. SEAN CONNOLLY AT DUBAI OPERA

Sean Connolley (2)

Somehow, the Ozzy chef’s offering has sidestepped the usual pitfalls of a restaurant positioned at an iconic destination. There is nothing gimmicky or touristy about this rooftop venture. Instead, we are treated to a well nuanced take on Dubai’s heritage. From the sail like ceiling in a finish mimicking mother-of-pearl to Australia artist Jacqui Fink’s mammoth extreme knitting installation akin to fishing nets and custom flooring inspired by water, Dubai’s maritime culture is re-imagined in a manner that brings together the chef’s love for the sea and Dubai’s innovative spirit. We certainly wouldn’t expect anything less at the foot of Burj Khalifa! A feast of design icons festoon the space as Vladimir Kagan sofas and Serge Mouille lamps lead one onto the amoeboid terrace that offers Instagram worthy shots of the world’s tallest building.

3. BLEU BLANC

Bleu Blanc (1)

The design of this outlet at The Renaissance in Business Bay follows the vision of Chef David Myers who wanted to create a French farmhouse in the middle of Dubai. Myers invites you into the heart of the home with a viewing kitchen. Unlike others, this one is spotless, effectively designed and beautifully accessories by pots, pans and ingredients. A pale wood floor grounds the space as chalked-wood tables are set into cosy nooks with a mix of chairs that lend a rustic, familiar tone. Lasvit’s iconic ‘La Scala’ pendant lamps coexist with a screen made of suspended wooden spoons. We recommend you book at table by the glass edged, double aspect space. As you look out on the canal, a cluster of steel chandeliers shimmer in the glass cage of the atrium, instantly transforming one’s experience into something quite magical.

4. QUATTRO PASSI

Double vaulted ceilings, noble metal accents and a blush tonality that is both on trend and classic, this restrained gem at the Five Palm Jumeriah captures the time-proven design codes of Italy, applying them in a contemporary manner to suit Dubai and the avant-garde architecture of the hotel! A modern take on trompe l’oeil renders beautiful cityscapes at the back walls, just the like floor — again a New-Age interpretation of classical materiality — grounds the space. Flattering lighting, magnificent views of the lush landscape and light, airy ambience. There is hardly any other Italian restaurant that can stand up to Quattro Passi.

5. POPPY

POPPY

Stylish, elegant and vintage. Those in the know enter this moody setting through an obscure door at the Renaissance Hotel and what awaits is singularly luxurious. A kitchen style bar invites patrons into the secrets of mixology, while the reflective double-space ceiling with embedded speakers creates a cavernous aesthetic that amplifies the space in this enclosed haven. Italian leather chairs, bare lighting accented by wooden lantern-shaped enclosures and individually blown and hand-etched Kikatsu Japanese serving glasses complete the reverie. Add to that iconic musical tributes announced through classic vinyl albums and the effect is quite mood altering.

6. LITTLE MISS INDIA

Little Miss India (2)

Fairmont The Palm’s hottest new restaurant offers a glimpse into stately homes of the Raj Era and sumptuous, authentic Indian food. The design is quite clever as it presents the venue in two disjointed halves that work together brilliantly. The first section is imagined as a terrace, replete with a chequered floor, relaxed furniture and a canopy of foliage suspended above. It leads to what would be a formal entertainment area in bygones days. A jewel tone upholstered banquette is divided by a bespoke brass display case that showcases the best of Indian handicrafts. The space is held together by feature wall anointed with Mughal style wall painting. A bar, designed within a colourful lorry breaks through the building’s front, much to the delight of Instagram.

7. NINIVE

Part garden, part urban majlis, the latest lounge at Jumeirah Emirates Towers is all that; but more than anything, it is a journey across the history of the region. Brought to you by the team behind La Cantine du Faubourg, Ninive is, in typical Middle Eastern style, conceived around a central courtyard via a series of majlises alight in a warm golden glow. Defined by wooden mashrabiya screens, canvas awnings that evoke memories of the Arabian Desert, an eclectic selection of furniture and a lush landscape of regional greens, the venue delivers on its inspiration — ancient Mesopotamia and the Assyrian empire.

8. GALVINS DUBAI

The Dubai outpost of the British culinary hot spot conjures the feel of a glamorous Mediterranean vista with its rich colours, exotic foliage and nooks splendid in bespoke furniture. Set across two levels, the venue features a dedicated bar that serves as a focal point and an outdoor terrace that makes most of the CityWalk’s well-appointed urban scape. Emerald and blue velvets work together with brass accents and dark veneers to render an effortlessly romantic ambience.

9. LAARTE

Italian flair, through and through; from the plate to the decor, Dubai Design District’s new offering is a must-visit for any art and design aficionado. A muted, industrial-chic envelope plays host to pops of colour courtesy some iconic furniture pieces and quirky artwork that lends both street-cred and whimsy. Concrete floors, dark metal and wood are contrasted by cheerful red and yellow accents via specially commission art and the finest Italian design pieces. The result is a happy, relaxed space — ideal to experience d3’s dynamic energy!

10. LIMA

LIMA Dubai (3)

Peruvian cuisine has found a strong following in the region and Lima, the colourful lounge and restaurant in CityWalk brings the youthful, urban vibe of Peru onto the plate and to its plush interiors. Composed of a series of private, formal and semi-formal areas and a fashionable bar, the interiors are created from beautiful natural materials sourced from Peru. The venue is dotted with focal points; a rattan swing, a vibrant blue hummingbird wall mural and an installation of a staircase vie for attention, but remain harmoniously intertwined by the fishing net ceiling feature.