Reflets Par Pierre Gagnaire $$$$
Intercontinental Dubai Festival City, +971 4 701 1111
If you have about 1000 AED per person to splash out on dinner, then this has to be ‘the’ place for ‘that’ special meal, trust us, you won't be disppointed as this restaurant has proved itself by winning numerous awards including the 100th Best Restaurant in the World. From the moment you step into Reflets Par Pierre Gagnaire till the moment you leave, you will not feel disappointed with the entire experience, even if you feel your wallet has lost some weight! Service at this fine dining restaurant is impeccable and it appears as though all the staff love being there and know their job spec inside out. Staff are not always in your face but are readily available to advise you on the menu. Food is brilliant and presented elegantly, although if you are an environmentalist you may be disappointed to learn about the extensive food miles used everyday just to get the right quality ingredients. Portions are on the generous side and they like to give complementary extras for you to taste! A more affordable option is the 3 course Business lunch menu for 180 AED which is available Mon – Fri between 12 and 1430. For al la carte dinner, expect to pay between 500-900 AED per person. A degustation menu is also available. Please note that children under the age of 8 yrs are not allowed entry and booking in advance is required especially for weekend slots. When we visited, we were told that Reflects is normally open only 5 days a week and closed on Saturday and Sunday, please double check this when booking.
Le Classique $$$$
Emirates Golf Club, Emirates Hills, Dubai, +971 4 380 2222
If you like understated elegance, Le Classique offers you the perfect setting with exceptionally fine food without the funky chandeliers and over done interiors. Simple is key here, but not to say the food is the same. Far from it in fact. From the moment you step in, you feel you are in proper formal surroundings and about to spend the next couple of hours in the presence of fine quality food. You won't be made to feel uncomfortable but you will definitely experience true French hospitality. Everything here is perfect and nothing less. You are assisted in the selection of your meal and how you normally like your meats to be eaten. For starters we highly recommend the Seafood Medley or Carpaccio of Duck. For mains, the variety is good such as Filets Mignon and Dover Sole. Sides are beautifully cooked and presented. French deserts are always taste as good as they look, here we loved the crepe suzettes. The setting is perfect, overlooking the Emirates Golf Club. For a budget experience, go for the Degustation Menu which offers a selection of choices for a set price.
Rive Gauche $$$
The Address, Dubai Marina, +971 4 436 7777
Set in the stylish The Address Hotel near Dubai Mall, Rive Gauche is The Address' signature restaurant serving elegant French cuisine. The restaurant itself is large but sectioned out to offer seating in different areas aswell as outside over looking the water. In the uncomfortable warmer months, sit inside the ambient restaurant, decorated in elegant chic, with pretty chandeliers and mood lighting. Service is great and very helpful when explaining the various dishes and specials of the day. The menu is not exhausted but enough variety to leave you with options such as traditional french offerings like steak and frites and mussels in garlic sauce, we have to make a mention on the wonderful sides here, the mashed potatoes are heavenly and one of the best I've sampled. Portions are good and not over the top to let you enjoy a perfect 3 course meal, leading us on to dessert, try the the yummy passion fruit mouse with buttery pastry and vanilla ice cream. A perfect evening without overly blowing your wallet, you can enjoy a three course meal for two with wine just under 650 AED.
St Tropez Bistro $-$$
Century Village, Garhoud, +971 4 286 9029
This little cosy eatery, tucked away at the back of Century Village is true meaning of 'no-frills' . Pretty centrally located close to Deira and downtown Dubai, tell your taxi driver to head to Century/ Irish Village. Here you'll find an assortment of restaurants from Pub style to chinese, italian and persian all dotted around a pretty park. St Tropez is a small restaurant with seating inside and outdoor and is licensed. Decor is reminiscent to a French bistro with pictures of famous celebrities on the wall. St Tropez's speciality appears to be steaks, with a variety of sauces on offer, however other yummy budget specials appear on the menu such as Chicken Cordon Bleu and the favourite Salad Nicoise. With mains at a steal of circa 70 AED, why not end with a classic french dessert - favourites like creme brulee and chocolate mouse are super, although mains are generously portioned so you may not have space! Good old budget fair.
Park Hyatt Dubai, +971 4 317 2222
There are some really classy restaurants in Dubai, but Traiteur for us ticks boxes on food quality, presentation and price. It’s not cheap, but then again compared to similar restaurants in Dubai, Traiteur charges fairly for what it is. Firstly the interior is bound to impress a date or equally a small group of friends with its high ceiling and spacious swanky interior. Opt to sit outside, weather permitting with lovely views of the creek or get an indoor window seat. The open kitchen works wonderfully within the huge space and gives your tastebuds a mild tinkling as to what’s in store. Food is top notch and staff will assist in your menu selection. The duck is probably the best we’ve ever had – melts like butter and lamb perfectly tender. Make space for desert, we are still dreaming of the crepe suzette!