Our favourite part of Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) is here: the weeklong feast that is Summer Restaurant Week. Until August 28, Dubai residents get to gorge on budget-friendly set menus and incredible discounts that are simply too delicious to refuse.
Considering that Summer Restaurant Week is a limited time-bound offer, it’s important you maximise its gourmet potential and eat your heart out. With a total of 50 of Dubai’s choicest restaurants participating, from Michelin-recognised restaurants to casual dining eateries, your tastebuds are going to be spoilt for choice and a case of analysis-paralysis is only natural. That’s exactly why we’ve put together a clever roadmap that will help you instantly decided what to eat where and when. Because Steve Jobs’ ‘Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish’ quote doesn’t apply to gastronomic adventures. Let the feeding frenzy begin!
1. Pick a meal
Of the three square meals a day, which one’s your favourite? If you’re one who breakfasts like a King, then Summer Restaurant Week’s cut-rate discounts on the day’s most important meal are a winner for you. An array of outlets, such as healthy café Bounty Beets, are offering set breakfast menus for just AED 69. Decadent dinners are always thrilling and there are 43 different restaurants serving up three-course dinners. Or you can always reclaim your lunch hour by selecting from one of the 28 venues serving tasty two-course lunches.
2. What’s your budget?
Breakfast set menus go for AED 69, two-course lunch menus are locked in at AED 95 and lavish 3-course dinner menus are priced at AED 150 and kids’ menus are fixed at AED35. Once you’ve decided on how much you’re willing to cough up for a smacking meal, the battle (of hunger) is half won!
3. Curious about cuisines
This is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for to test out exotic cuisines you’ve never dared to before and Summer Restaurant Week’s website whittles down the 50 restaurants into 5 cuisine categories: Arabic, Asian, British, European, and International. While it’s pretty self-explanatory at first glance, it’s easy to get tripped up.
Photo credit: Sui Mui
Asian includes everything from the Indian molecular gastronomy restaurant Farzi Cafe to Japanese eatery Goldfish to Vietnamese joint LAO, Pan Asian eatery Sui Mui and more.
Looking for Latin American, Caribbean, Mexican, and North American cuisine? The International category is where venues such as Mexican eateries La Tablita and Maya, and American Weslodge Saloon are tucked away at.
The European category unearths Spanish establishment El Sur, Italian delicacies at Solo and Vero, Balkan bistro 21 Grams, Greek gourmet at Skafos, and French fine-dining at the likes of Maison Mathis and Mondoux.
British and Arabic
From fancy gastropubs such as the Roaring Rabbit to charming country pubs such as The Duck Hook, the five restaurants here cover quintessentially British eats. Dhow and Anchor, Geales and The Nine are the other three offer scrummy nosh.
The Arabic category is sweet and simple too with three outlets: head to Sikka Cafe for Emirati food, Al Nafoorah for a Lebanese spread and Bushra by Buddha Bar for a Levantine experience.
4. Michelin marvels
Summer Restaurant week is your hall pass to relish Michelin-rated restaurant’s luxe dishes without breaking the bank. There’s no segment clubbing together these restaurants which are scattered across categories. We’ve done the groundwork for you: a total of 5 Bib Gourmand Restaurants are part of Summer Restaurant Week: Indya by Vineet, Reif Kushiyaki, Goldfish, Brasserie Boulud, Fi’lia, and LOWE – the only Dubai restaurant to receive a Michelin Green star for its sustainability.
5. How far will you go for love food?
Or rather, how far will you go for the love of food? The nifty neighbourhood field on the Summer Restaurant Week website helps you navigate restaurants based on distance. We suggest, burning that petrol to fuel your inner foodie and go far and wide to discover little-known foodie haunts that would otherwise have gone undiscovered on your radar. Divided into 14 localities, this convenient option helps you explore the city’s nooks and corners you’ve not ventured into before. For example, a hankering for Mediterranean cuisine will take you to Skafos in Old Dubai’s Al Seef area. Or following the scent of Lowe’s aromatic eco-friendly food will lead you to Wadi Al Safa 3, a creative neighbourhood that’s a stone’s throw from Global Village. A full stomach AND earning your Dubai stripes? That’s a winner of a dinner.
Click here for the full list of all restaurants participating in Summer Restaurant Week