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Life & Style

Dubai restaurants earn Middle East's first Michelin stars

  • Il Ristorante - Niko Romito and STAY by Yannick Alléno got two Michelin stars each
Published June 21, 2022
Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Michelin has awarded 11 restaurants in Dubai with its coveted stars for excellence in dining, making the emirate its 36th destination.

Earlier, the French tyre company that publishes the famed guide, had said: "Home to more than two hundred nationalities, Dubai has emerged from a trading port in the Arabian Gulf to become one of the world’s most diverse business and travel destinations."

The Dubai guide cements the city's position as a veritable global fine dining destination, setting the bar high for future culinary experiences, both in the city and the region.

Dubai's inclusion is a recognition of the different nationalities "bringing their experience, their background and culture into every single bite," Issam Kazem, CEO of Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce, told AFP.

Dubai cements position as gastronomy hub, gears up for Michelin stars

The inaugural guide highlights 69 restaurants, featuring 44 that Michelin selected, spread across 21 cuisines.

9 of these received a single Michelin star, and 2 restaurants received 2.

14 restaurants received a Bib Gourmand, a distinction awarded to establishments that provide value-for-money three course meals. 1 Restaurant also received a Michelin Green Star, which highlight eateries for their sustainable practices.

Michelin grants the stars, based on a combination of the following criteria:

  1. The quality of the ingredients
  2. The mastery of cooking
  3. The harmony of flavours
  4. The personality of the chef reflected through the cuisine
  5. The consistency both over time and across the entire menu

2 Michelin Stars:

Il Ristorante - Niko Romito received 2 stars for its modern Italian fare, which is delivered with “balance, purity and clarity” according to the guide.

STAY by Yannick Alléno, located in The Palm, was described as offering “precise, sophisticated dishes that are skillfully crafted with French cooking as the base.”

1 Michelin Star:

11 Woodfire: 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.

Al Muntaha: Lead by Saverio Sbaragli, who had earlier honed his craft at three Michelin-starred Arpège in Paris, the eatery sits atop Burj al Arab and offers sophisticated and refined French cuisine with Mediterranean influences.

Armani Ristorante: Recognised for its precise, modern Italian cooking at the Burj Khalifa, where beautifully decorated dishes are met with attentive, enthusiastic service.

Hakkasan: First opened in London in 2001, the Dubai outpost at the Atlantis Hotel offers reimagined Chinese dishes that are exclusive to Dubai, including the lychee lobster with yuzu pearl.

Höseki: A nine-seat omakase restaurant is helmed by a sixth-generation sushi master, Masahiro Sugiy. Set on the fourth floor of the Bulgari Hotel, it offers a bespoke omakase experience using fresh ingredients imported daily from Japan.

Ossiano: Located in the basement of the Atlantis Hotel next to the aquarium, the menu gains inspiration from chef Gregoire Berger’s childhood memories, featuring dishes that come with fine texture contrasts and impressive clarity of flavour.

Tasca by José Avillez: The first international outpost of world-renowned Portuguese chef José Avillez, in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel is set around an open kitchen, setting out Portuguese dishes that are vibrant and innovative.

Torno Subito: Owned by internationally acclaimed chef Massimo Bottura and set within the striking W Hotel on the Palm, it offers talian classics, pasta dishes and desserts with a twist.

Trèsind Studio: 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. Highlights include ghee-roasted crab, tandoori chicken dumpling and morel pulao with Assam tea dashi.

Bib Gourmand:

14 restaurants received this honor, which highlights restaurants that offer the most value for your money, in this case an average of 250 AED, for a 3-course meal.

These include Al Khayma, Bait Maryam, Brasserie Boulud, Indya by Vineet and Kinoya.

Michelin Green Star

Lowe is the first and only restaurant in Dubai to receive a Green Star for its efforts and commitment to sustainability.

Michelin said the kitchen team cook on fire, practice nose-to-tail cooking and procure as many local ingredients as possible. They also have a zero-waste policy, where the restaurant’s "Waste NOT" dinners offer eight to ten courses of what would otherwise be waste products saved over the previous months.

Aside from the Michelin honors granted above, the team also keeps an eye out for new talent in the industry that may deem worthy of future accolades.

This year, Michelin awarded the Young Chef Award to Solemann Haddad of Moonrise.

The Welcome and Service Award was given to the team at Bait Maryam.

Created in 1900 by the brothers Andre and Edouard Michelin of tyre company Michelin for motorists, the guide has become a reference for food lovers and has been known to make or break careers.

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