Stopping over in Dubai? Take the time to explore the city and discover the best spots to dine. Here are five themed restaurants to try in Jumeirah Beach.
1- Al Mahara
Ground floor, Burj Al Arab, Dubai
A visit to this showy upmarket seafood restaurant starts with a three-minute theme park ride in an elevator that simulates a submarine journey.
The “submarine” navigates past a multi-coloured ocean bed as schools of colourful marine life race past the portholes.
Tables at Al Mahara are laid out around a 360-degree floor-to-ceiling seawater aquarium complete with sharks.
Table decorations continue along the marine theme and while the food is good, this restaurant definitely wins the prize for novelty.
A three-course dinner for two (without wine) costs approximately 1200 dirhams.
Don’t forget to dress up. Gentlemen are required to wear a collared shirt, long sleeves, jacket and trousers (no jeans).
2- Al Muntaha
27th floor, Burj Al Arab, Dubai
An express lift that zips to the 27th floor (which is actually the equivalent of the building’s 54th level, as all suites in Burj Al Arab are double storey) at six metres per second will have you dining with your head in the clouds.
At 200 metres above sea level, sweeping views of the rapidly expanding Dubai skyline and Arabian Gulf are impressive to say the least.
Mediterranean cuisine is the theme of Al Muntaha in the sky, where Mixologists glide from table to table with a mixology trolley from which they invent tailor-made cocktails designed to suit the tastes of individual guests.
You can name your own concoction and leave with the recipe.
Cocktails cost between 80 and 150 dirhams. Main courses range between 300 to 640 dirhams.
The dress code is as upmarket as Al Mahara’s.
3- Zheng He
Ground Floor, Mina A’ Salam, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai
Named after Chinese explorer Zheng He, this restaurant is an exploration into fusion Chinese cuisine.
Flavours from different regions of China are presented in an artful contemporary style that makes some of the food look far too good to eat at Zheng He.
Set menus from 130 dirhams per person.
4- Al Hambra
Ground floor, Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai
Step straight into the vaulted ceilings and terra-cotta floors of Moorish Spain at this Spanish restaurant named after the palace and fort in Granada.
The abras that float past in the canal outside the restaurant give its real location away.
Nevertheless, this is the place to linger over a long Spanish lunch of seafood paella, lobster and prawn croquettes served with vizcayna sauce, rosemary-flavoured rack of lamb with milk cubes, apricots, apple ragout and foie gras sauce, finished off with a wickedly tempting chocolate fondant.
Three courses at Al Hambra cost 270 dirhams per person.
Ground floor, Dar Al Masyaf, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai
Arrive at this waterside restaurant by abra and soak in water views from the al-fresco terrace.
The theme here, as the name implies, is Thai cuisine with an innovative twist. Although the atmosphere is a lot more relaxed than some of the other restaurants around, the food doesn’t disappoint.
Their yam som o (pomelo salad with crispy fried taro, roasted coconut and peanuts in lime dressing) is as yummy as it sounds.
Try the tun kha ped (braised duck in five spices on a bed of bok choy) or gaeng khua hoy shell phak kom (scallops in red curry with baby spinach).
Three-course set menus start from 250 dirhams.’