Best-of Guides Dubai

Dubai’s Most Creative Dishes

5 Restaurants
Discover the city’s most beautifully plated dishes, according to MICHELIN Guide Inspectors.
Updated on 26 February 2024

The old adage goes ‘we eat with our eyes first’ and considering the artistry that goes into so many of today’s modern dishes, the saying holds more truth now, than ever.

The skill and precision behind expertly-presented plates - often finished at the table for a dash of drama - demonstrates imaginative new ways chefs are experimenting with food and the result is mini masterpieces that almost look too good to eat. For those who like their food to imitate art, here are the restaurants in Dubai serving picture-perfect dishes to applaud before you’ve even taken a bite.

moonrise
Eden House, 41 Street, Al Satwa, Dubai
$$$$ · Creative

Helmed by Dubai-born and raised chef, Solemann Haddad, this one MICHELIN star restaurant seats only 12 in a chef’s table style, perched on the roof of a smart residential building in Jumeirah. Also the recipient of the MICHELIN Guide Dubai Young Chef Award in 2022, chef Solemann's sourcing philosophy of using homegrown ingredients and filling in the gaps with produce from around the world is simple, but his dishes most certainly are not.

Cleverly conceived and carefully constructed dishes make up the menu he’s dubbed as ‘Dubai Cuisine’ with his self-taught Japanese and Middle Eastern techniques. One such intricate creation to note is the Frozen Strawberry Tart. Sitting somewhere between a tart and Basque cheesecake, it’s a refined and delicate dessert with sticky strawberry jam at the base layered with a thin crisp sweet biscuit and firm layer of cream cheese. Next comes macerated strawberries, and finally a delicate strawberry tuile, attentively pleated to resemble a sophisticated Japanese paper parasol. This unforgettable execution is a feast for the eyes and a beautifully balanced last bite to end dinner.

Ossiano
Atlantis The Palm, Crescent Road, The Palm Jumeriah, Dubai
$$$$ · Creative

This one MICHELIN star underwater seafood restaurant is progressive fine dining at its best; a place where all six senses are ignited - not just the taste buds. Fish not only frequent the menu but gracefully glide past your table in the surrounding aquarium home to stingrays, sharks and tropical marine life. Many of chef Grégoire Berger’s elaborate dishes are completed at the table for a side of theatrical flair and each creation tells a story which his team recites while serving.

His unique twist on the classic hot dog inspired by his time in New York City is one to note: a hot dog of juicy lobster placed in a fluffy matcha roll and garnished with courgette flower. The pleasure at Ossiano lies in that no dish is ever quite as it seems. A dessert under the guise of starter olives in oil is a fun surprise on the senses when one bite reveals dark chocolate and sea salt, or olive ice cream and kalamata. It shouldn’t work… but it does.

Orfali Bros
Wasl 51 Mall, Jumeirah 1, Dubai
$$ · Contemporary

The very model of a modern Mediterranean restaurant with a truly Middle Eastern twist, MICHELIN Bib Gourmand restaurant, Orfali Bros, is a laid back and airy space pushing the boundaries of cooking. Syrian brothers Mohammad, Wassim and Omar are the minds behind these playful small plates in the heart of Jumeirah, cooking out of their striking two-story open kitchen.

To start, try the ‘ooh la la foie gras’ which wouldn’t look out of place as an expensive ornament on a coffee table. The goose liver’s sculpture-like appearance is complemented by the rich flavour of hazelnut, a kick of quince vinegar, the depth of hazelnut miso and topped off with a touch of gold leaf. The result is a tantalising symphony of taste and originality, presented with such care.

avatāra
Dubai Hills Estate, Business Park 1, Dubai Hills, Dubai
$$$$ · Indian Vegetarian

This one MICHELIN star restaurant tells the story of chef Rahul Rana’s soulful Indian food. A vegetarian fine dining experience with painstaking presentation poured into every single dish, its set menu of 16 exquisite vegetarian dishes has removed all garlic and onion - not that your taste buds would notice.

The superb Dalika dish is a horse gram lentil curry, topped with elaborately carved potato and served with a salad of pomelo and sesame seed chutney. A dish that even meat eaters would find hearty and satisfying, use the bhatura bread to scoop everything up. Exquisite dishes are met with ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from impressed guests ready to photograph their edible works of art. As with all of the plates at Avatāra, the range of flavours and textures marry together in a harmonious and enriching way and each avante-garde dish is beautiful to behold, constructed with the same supreme care and ability. Enjoy the story behind each creation, which the delightful team takes time to explain.

Trèsind Studio
St. Regis Gardens, The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai
$$$$ · Indian

A place where modern techniques meet traditional Indian elements, this two MICHELIN star restaurant seats just 20 guests in a rooftop setting on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah. Using humble local ingredients, artfully assembled into clever constructions, the ever-evolving tasting menu is a masterpiece of originality.

The main dish of blossom chaat is one plate presented with such precision. A delicate pumpkin mash is topped with yogurt to temper some of the spices, chutneys and then decorated with edible flowers and crisp butterflies. Framed by colourful crockery and a garland of fresh flowers, it’s just one of the imaginative concepts throughout the menu. A true celebration of art and food expertly combined for a seamless explosion of flavours.