Love Japanese cuisine? I’ve got the perfect Friday brunch suggestion for you, complete with a fantabulous view of the majestic Dubai Fountain and the Burj Khalifa. With a red carpet welcome right at the doorstep and artistic interiors that will awaken the Instagrammer in you, Katana Dubai is a hidden dining gem in Address Downton, Dubai.

Every Friday, Katana Dubai hosts its Red Sun Brunch from 12 noon to 4 pm where diners get served a 25-course tour of three popular styles of Japanese cooking.

Al Mayass is a Lebanese foodie institution of sorts. The legendary chain was first opened in Beirut circa 1997 by an Armenian family, and has since expanded to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Qatar, Riyadh, and New York.

The menu here is predominantly Lebanese, and also features a number of Armenian favorites. I visited the Dubai branch (located in Sofitel Dubai Downtown) earlier this month, and got a delectable insight into the authentic cuisines of the Levant. 

We’ve dined at Barbecue Delights a number of times with family and friends. Their very first branch near Lamcy Plaza is great value for money, with an authentic Pakistani buffet that costs AED 65 per head. However, I’ve never been to the newer branch that has opened up on the suave, sophisticated hub of Downtown Dubai.

I was invited for a review there last week, and was pretty blown away by the stark difference in the two branches. While Lamcy’s neighbor is rather old-school, bordering shabby, the Downtown version is beautifully spacious, and artfully decorated with quirky-cool relics from Pakistan. They even have lounging sofas at the front for when the weather is kinder.

About a week ago, I had the pleasure of being invited for Iftar at Jodhpur – Royal Dining, one of Dubai’s newest Indian fine-dining establishments. This was my very first visit to Jodhpur, and I was really looking forward to it. I have seen beautiful images across social media, and was especially intrigued by their Chaat Macaroons. Will all their dishes be just as innovative? What was their take on Iftar? Jodhpur proved to be a delightful take on classic Indian cuisine with a few global inspirations thrown in, and I had a very memorable experience.

Located in Murooj Rotana (Downtown Dubai), the clean, welcoming exteriors look deceptively modern. Walking indoors, the mind is transported to another world. The turquoise walls and gilded mirrors have all the makings of an enchanted castle, tucked away in the story books of exotic India.

Amore Cafe & Resto is strategically located bang opposite the entrance of Souk Al Bahar on The Boulevard, Downtown Dubai and boasts of stunning views of the Burj Khalifa. I received an invite to try out this Lebanese joint, and enjoyed some of the best Levantine dishes I have had the pleasure of eating till date.

It was a lovely sunny Dubai afternoon, the perfect setting for a lunch date at The Boulevard. Amore Cafe & Resto has floor to ceiling glass windows that take full advantage of the stunning views of the neighbourhood. You can also opt to dine alfresco, but with the soaring temperatures outdoors, we were forced to choose a table inside.

Siraj, the authentically Emirati restaurant with a contemporary twist, is the latest addition to the list of dining places at Souk Al Bahar (Downtown Dubai). I’ve passed its premises on a number of occasions, and the stunning interiors make me take a second peek every time.

Siraj 1

The restaurant interiors pay tribute to the UAE, with seven distinct arches representing each Emirate. A flock of golden horses are suspended in mid-air, and the artistic vibes of Siraj is all at once Arabesque yet stylishly new-age. The most striking feature of the restaurant is the cursive calligraphy, flowing across the walls and the bar-stools. These are stanzas of poetry that were composed by the ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Mohammed himself.

This was my first time at Boulevard Kitchen, Manzil Downtown Dubai’s chic, Arabesque cafe-style diner. Every Friday, the restaurant does a very elaborate buffet-style brunch which starts at AED 195 per person.

The menu is very Mediterranean, yet apart from the delicious fare, the experience as a whole was uniquely memorable for a number of reasons.