In case you haven’t been up to date with the Michelin Star restaurants in Dubai headlines, Michael Ellis was appointed as the Chief Culinary Officer for Jumeriah Group. That’s old news; dig up the internet archives from the year 2018 or so to look up the decision history.
The important thing is that when you are looking to fine dining at Michelin Star restaurants in Dubai, not all of them are hunky-dory. In fact, this logic applies pretty well to almost every Michelin Star establishment from around the world.
While they go to extreme lengths to earn the Michelin Star, some restaurants fail to maintain their standard of services. Food, being the primary element for stimulating diners’ taste buds, is often neglected or below a certain standard that these high-profile restaurants are known for.
Speaking of which, if you happen to be an aspiring startup yearning to make it to the ‘Michelin Star restaurants in Dubai’ club, there are some important things for you to know.
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What Sort of Qualities Define the “High Standard” for Michelin Star Restaurants in Dubai?
For reference, we won’t go into the history of how Michelin Star systems for dining establishments came to be. The information can be pulled up on the internet. The important thing is that this particular rating and review system has been in action since the year 1900! That’s a whole lot of time to define the variables for perfection.
There’s No Such Thing as a Michelin Chef!
That’s the plain and simple truth.
In actuality, when you are looking to dine at Michelin Star restaurants in Dubai, it’s not the chef that takes credit for it. It’s the entire establishment.
Also, a Chef, alone, does not earn the Michelin star. Technically, it might be possible, but since restaurants usually have to oversee a barrage of customers, where some of them are actually from Michelin and pretend to blend in like regulars, there’s no way for a chef to know that.
All he or she can do is keep working at the helm of perfection according to a set of rules and guidelines defined in the official ‘Michelin Guide’ book, and hope to serve the “Michelin Man”, just the same way as every single customer deserves.
To that effect, great culinary icons, like, Gordon Ramsey, Tom Kerridge, Giorgio Locatelli, and many others don’t have a Michelin star to their name. On the contrary, ‘Restaurant Gordon Ramsey’, ‘Hand and Flower’ and Ronda Locatelli have Michelin stars.
When Gordon Ramsey and Tom Kerridge got their first Michelin Star ever, they were quick enough to point out that it was a team effort.
Ramsey takes it way too seriously because when he lost a Michelin Star during Michelin’s rating and review system, which happens after every 18 months, the renowned chef literally cried when he lost 2 stars in a row. We’d call them manly tears, of course. But those tears go to length to show Gordon Ramsey’s commitment to his craft – and that’s what makes it worthwhile to pay the high-ticket price for food at Michelin Star restaurants in Dubai or at any other restaurant for that matter.
How are Michelin Stars Awarded to Restaurants in Dubai, the U.S., and Other Establishments Around the World?
Let’s put it this way: Michelin has a very small team of judges (*80 as of Aril 2021 count) who are responsible for discreetly attending different restaurants on their list.
The term we use for these guys is “Michelin Man”, and that’s regardless of the gender of the judge. The team is spread in pairs who run approx. 800 inspections a day. That comes down to roughly 240 restaurant visits.
However, to reduce the amount of workload on Michelin men, the visits are done, once a year so that not only the judging criterion is rushed, but it also gives enough breathing time for restaurants to prepare in advance.
The interesting thing is the Michelin men do not announce their arrival beforehand. The inspections are entirely discreet and they are kept that way to ensure that the restaurant administration doesn’t know if someone from Michelin is going to show up.
To that effect, Michelin strongly advises its judges to not even tell their family, friends, or kids about the designation. At best, if someone from the family suspects it, the judge can say that he/she is just a big-time Yelper and loves to do food reviews on the side. Period.
What Happens if the Michelin Man’s Cover is Blown?
In the worst-case scenario, if a particular Michelin man is being hounded by journalists, or someone suspects it, the concerned person is transported to a safe house for a brief period. Sometimes, depending on the nature of the cover, Michelin might send their employee for a brief sabbatical until things have cooled down.
Despite the fancy layout, experimental ambiance, and service standards of a restaurant, the major emphasis is always on the food. The way, it is prepared, tastefulness, visuals and everything there is to it matters during the evaluation process.
To “prepare” for the Michelin star roundup, each restaurant can get the official Michelin guidebook.
Besides maintaining food standards, the book mentions that there are subtle tells that hint if the person at a restaurant table is in fact from Michelin or not. For instance, either one of the Michelin men may intentionally drop a spoon or a fork, or spill something to see whether the restaurant staff is on its toes to service the customer.
Secondly, Michelin guys always order in a specific rotation.
As a restaurant owner, looking to get his first Michelin star in Dubai restaurants food chain, you should know that price also plays a small part during the evaluation process. Since Michelin-rated restaurants are all expensive when it comes to the food menu, if some restaurant is able to maintain high feasibility, the Michelin organization awards a ‘Bib Gourmand’ to the restaurant. That’s their way of appreciating the establishment’s effort to offer a fine dining experience without breaking customers’ wallet.
Fun Fact: As of February 2019, Michelin didn’t have an official UAE & Emirates version of the Michelin Guidebook.
You can read everything about it in the Michelin guidebook.
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The Best 8 Michelin Star Restaurants in Dubai You Can Order From
According to Scott Price, Chef Patron of ‘Folly’ and ‘The Lion in Dubai’, the hospitality sector in the Middle East has been trying to get on the Michelin list since 2004. Back then, the overall Michelin star restaurants in Dubai weren’t that much, to begin with. Whatever establishments were offering their services, they used to be jampacked, and getting a reservation was more of a miracle.
However, thanks to patrons, master chefs, and celebrities, the Michelin trend became common – so much so that there are 11 Michelin star restaurants in Dubai. As for Scott Price, he left for Dubai’s booming food industry in 2010 and had the opportunity of working at Hilton Dubai as Executive Chef among various other accolades to date.
That being said, 11 is still a small number for Michelin star restaurants in Dubai to be working at full throttle. Of course, there will be plenty more to join the list in near future. But the only downside to having 11 restaurants in Dubai is that you may have a hard time getting a reservation in advance.
But then again, if you wish to indulge in a bit of fine dining without breaking the bank, you can go to other high-profile restaurants that haven’t been rated yet. These establishments have replicas of Michelin star restaurant dishes – and that too at a lower price. So, if it comes down to canceled reservations or no reservation at Michelin star restaurants in Dubai, you know where to go.
Enjoy the exclusive seclusion of Yannick Alleno’s ‘Stay’ restaurant at the one and only: Palm’s Jumeriah crescent Hotel lineup.
Filled with a unique ambiance that resonates with perfect tall ceilings and archaic chairs that look like as if they’re straight out of vintage Bond movies, you’ll feel like a million bucks at the establishment.
To that effect, dining at ‘Stay’ restaurant, Dubai, feels like getting a meet and greet with Yannick Alleno himself. And you may get lucky if the legendary icon is in Dubai at the time of your visit. But for now, let’s just settle with wishful thinking.
Okay, moving on to the important stuff. What’s the special thing about Yannick Alleno’s ‘Stay’ restaurant Dubai? If it’s your first time, you may not notice it. However, hidden in plain sight, there are 3 replicas of Alleno’s special dishes. They are sitting right there in the ‘A La Carte’ section, which you’ll have to find out yourself to maintain a sense of tantalizing temptation, to say the least.
These three mystery dishes are the same that the chef’s Paris restaurant: Ledoyen, offers to its customers.
Oh c’mon, won’t you tell us about at least one such dish?
If it weren’t for the Maître D tipping us off at the time of writing this itsy bitsy Michelin star restaurants in Dubai feature, we wouldn’t have known about the dishes ourselves.
One such exquisite delicacy is called is the Langoustine Tartlet with a side of Sturgeon Caviar. While it will run a number on your wallet, at least you get to enjoy the Tartlet and the brutal combination of Caviar with a side of Yannick’s special French sauce.
Close your eyes, relish each bite and feel like heaven’s kissing you on the forehead.
The best thing about the Dubai variant of this and other Michelin category dishes on the menu is that they can be custom ordered in different portions. However, just so you know, the cost will still be a little high as compared to traditional dishes at local restaurants.
The next one on our list of Michelin star restaurants in Dubai is ‘Akira Back’ by legendary Korean celebrity chef: Akira Back. The Middle Eastern outlet is a few doors along the Palm Jumeirah’s Crescent.
If you had the pleasure of visiting Akira’s Michelin star restaurant in Seoul, you already know plenty about the unique tastefulness concerning his signature Tuna Pizza. It’s one of a kind and you can order it at ‘Wi Dubai’ without any issue.
Alongside Tuna Pizza, the establishment’s rich menu offers an assortment of other dishes worthy of high-profile Michelin star restaurants in Dubai. There’s ‘Tondo’, an Asian-themed dish with wafer-thin dough painted with umami aioli and white truffle oil.
The masterpiece is complemented with a combination of an edible plant, called: Micro Shiso, and ruby-hued slithers of tuna fish that tend to bring a unique visual highlight to the dish.
‘miX Dubai’ is a well-known spot for high-profile food connoisseurs who like to experience a dash of fine dining at Alain Ducasse’s restaurants.
The one’s also located at The Palm- Jumeriah, so if you aren’t able to get a reservation at the W Dubai or Stay restaurant, you can try your luck at securing a table at miX Dubai. To his credit, Ducasse has more than one 3-star Michelin restaurant under his belt and he tends to maintain the level of service through a perfect combination of tantalizing dishes.
Unlike regular menus, miX Dubai’s food menu is a little eclectic. You may feel different, but that’s how we felt at the time of writing this post. Take the ‘Arabian Hamour’ for example. It is a special fish that’s served with asparagus and turmeric. If that doesn’t sway you off your feet, then dig into the Peruvian Ceviche or some other delicacy that’s especially recommended by the Maître D upon request.
Overall, it’s a phenomenal restaurant with a futuristic visual theme. To that effect, the metallic booths alongside hanging glass sculptures are a marvel to gawk at. Plus, a selfie at miX Dubai will look amazing on your Instagram feed.
Let’s just highlight that getting a reservation at Torno Subito in W Dubai is not an easy feat. You may have to wait for a long time, only to give in to the temptation of eating at alternate Michelin Star restaurants in Dubai.
We don’t blame you, but the wait is well worth it!
Alternatively, you can book a reservation for Massimo’s three-starred Michelin restaurant in Italy, but that also requires a reservation several weeks in advance.
But then again, the moment you’ll dig into ‘Osteria Francescana’ one of the most divine dishes that you’d otherwise salivate over in your wildest imagination, you will forget all about the waiting period. It’s just, how do you say, Mama Mia! Rumor has it that the crunchy bits of the Osteria Francescana are inspired by Massimo’s love for distinctive dishes when he was a kid.
Then there’s ‘Tagliatelle al Ragu’, also known as ‘Memories of Massimo, which is a nostalgic tribute to a dish that his grandmother used to prepare when the chef was a kid.
Everything connects to something special in Torno Subito. And it’s a telltale sign of ‘Connecting the Dots’ thing that Steve Jobs once said in an inauguration ceremony. But in this case, we’re talking about connecting things based on subtle signs of culinary delights available in Massimo’s finest work.
Of course, it wouldn’t have been a well-deserved Michelin star restaurants in Dubai write-up, if we forgot to include chef Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant.
The English celebrity chef is known for his outspoken vocal profile; hurling profanities and not giving a bull-pizzle when it comes to compromising on standards. His dishes at the Bread Street Kitchen restaurant in Dubai maintain the same audacity and perfection that Ramsey’s known for.
The Dubai restaurant is inspired by the Original Bread Street Kitchen branch in London. In a way, dining at either one of the establishments will offer you the same exquisite experience – more or less at the same taste notes!
To that effect, the menu is a twisted combination of contemporary English classics, such as ‘Fish n’ Chips’ served in a batter of craft beer. There are wines, cocktails, and other lavish delicacies waiting to have ‘meet and greet’ with your intestines that should be quivering with excitement by now.
While you are at it, don’t forget to try Bread Street’s gin and tonic.
The average cost of non-alcoholic dishes is AED 490. If you are going to toss in a pint of beer, that’ll run up your bill by another 55 – 65 AED. Of course, that is exclusive of taxes, etc.
Next up on our list of best Michelin Star restaurants in Dubai, we have got Marina Social for you.
Marina Social has a unique ambiance that just encourages people to socialize. Or, at least that’s what the vibe is. The restaurant has an open kitchen, so you can see all the chefs working on your food. The best quality orders include corn-fed chicken, truffle potato puree, and different kinds of yogurts.
Just like other Michelin Star restaurants in Dubai, getting a reservation at the Marina Social is not easy. Depending on the time of the year, you may want to check if any reservations are available a few months ahead of your visit.
Regardless, it’s a chic restaurant with a nice assortment of Mediterranean and traditional British cuisine to satiate your palate like never before.
Al Mahara by Kim Joinie
Kim Joinie’s Al Mahara is one of a kind Michelin Star restaurant in Dubai that combines elegant looks and seafood specialties from different parts of the world.
Rumor has it that British Chef: Nathan Outlaw oversees Al Mahara from time to time to ensure that the restaurant has nothing but the best combination of delightful customer experience and prime dishes to serve.
If you ever get a chance to visit this restaurant, don’t forget to check out their Grilled Tiger Prawns with Asparagus and Lemon Butter. Alternatively, we recommend trying Rosemary Potatoes with a side of seasonal fresh vegetables to go along with Salt-Baked Sea Bass. You are going to love it.
Rhodes W1 by Gary Rhodes
Gary Rhodes’ Rhodes W1 is a one-of-a-kind Michelin Star Restaurant carrying on with the late British Chef’s legacy in Dubai. Gary passed away in 2019, but his recipes still continue to fill people’s stomachs and hearts with some of the best dishes on the restaurant’s menu.
The interior of the restaurant is home to a bright set-up with a very comforting feeling. The atmosphere is quiet; everyone keeps to themselves and you can concentrate on savoring each and every morsel without any distractions.
Rhodes W1’s menu is a combination of Anglo-French dishes, like Chicken Kiev and slow-roasted Pork Belly. Their dessert menu is equally impressive. You should get a scoop or two of the infamous Raspberry Souffle with a side of Rich Toffee Pudding.
At the end of the day:
There are plenty of celebrity restaurants in Dubai if dining at Michelin star restaurants in Dubai isn’t your thing. Then again, many restaurants are loved by the Royal families, despite not being Michelin starred.
If you have dined at any one of the aforementioned eateries, we would love to hear from you.
Go ahead and share your experience through the comments section below.