From the simple yet extensive Sea World on Sheikh Zayed Road to the award-winning decadence of the Burj Al Arab’s Al Mahara we’ve picked out ten to try.
Sea World, Independent: If you’re not too fussed about decor, but appreciate good seafood, then Sea World is well worth a visit. The extensive menu boasts one of the biggest ranges of fish in Dubai; hammour, crab, squid, sultan ibrahim, sea bass, mullet, sole, halibut, mussels and more all feature. If you’re after a light, sweet and perfectly flaky fish, order the halwayoo. The calamari also impresses and works well when accompanied by a bountiful bowl of stir-fried vegetables in soy sauce.
Al Mahara, Burj Al Arab: A clever submarine-style elevator is just the start of your culinary journey to Al Mahara. The restaurant is surrounded by a huge aquarium and your marine adventure comes complete with a range of underwater surprises including black-tip reef sharks. But try and concentrate on the food. Once you have devoured the flavoured bread rolls, ensure that the wagyu carpaccio is your choice of starter. Follow it with the halibut, with deep-friend courgettes and a thick, creamy mushroom and champagne sauce and finish with the ultimate follow-up, the chocolate sphere.
Pisces, Madinat Jumeirah: The ambience ebbs and flows as dishes are served and riesling is poured by the well-informed staff. Ask them to deliver the king crab, in all its rich meaty glory, and you'll be chowing down on the ill-fated crustacean in under five minutes. Move onto the confit of grey snapper, which teeters on a bed of creamy mash – bolstered by squid ink breadsticks – and you'll be hooked. By the time desserts flow, joined by a troupe of Belgian chocolates and a fresh mint brew, you'll feel as soporific as the mighty sea itself.
Amwaj, Shangri-La Hotel: There is a dish to suit all tastes in Amwaj. The consistently excellent meals include scallops with a creamy lemongrass sauce, mouthwatering monkfish with calamari and sweet tomato froth. Venture away from the fish dishes and you'll be equally wowed, the foie gras stands out in memory. Presentation is impeccable, colourful sauces are drizzled around the plate and the sherbet rocks up sitting on a block of ice accompanied by a white orchid. Brandy snaps jammed full of a delicate jasmine crème brûlée and fresh raspberries really seal the deal.
Caviar House & Prunier, Madinat Jumeirah: Caviar House & Prunier is renowned across Europe for its dedication to providing the very best. Sample the salmon in the form of the ‘gourmande palette', which is a presentation of the classic, the marinated and the Tsar Nikolaj heart of salmon fillet, alongside balik tartar and balik pearls – a gloriously gooey gathering of bouncy salmon roe. The cuts of fillet salmon dissolve in the mouth in a melodrama of exquisite smoothness, while the tartar is altogether more jaunty and playful on the palate.
Flooka, Dubai Marine Beach Resort and Spa: A bountiful market-stall display of fresh and fulsome seafood awaits you at Flooka. Sit down, be comfy and get stuck into a creamy hummus drizzled in olive oil and a green and wonderfully zesty tabbouleh to go with the amazingly light and crispy flatbread. The bread is perfect to mop up lime-dashed samke nayeh, or raw fish carpaccio, and get down and dirty with the baby octopus in black ink, which is as tender and dark as the night, and full of rich, smoky flavours.
P ², Madinat Jumeirah: P²'s oysters, a dozen plump, freshly shucked shellfish arrive on a crystalline bed of crushed ice, alongside dishes of piquant sauce and slices of citrus fruit are perfectly fragment-free, wonderfully saline, and ranked among the best we have eaten in the city. Duck confit comprises of two delicately crisped, but moist legs on a mound of ‘bubble & squeak' and a neat disc of beef tartare comes with a pleasingly runny soft boiled egg. When it comes to desserts, the crème brûlée will finish off an excellent meal perfectly.
The Aquarium, Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club: A mesmerising, cylindrical fish tank forms the stunning centrepoint at The Aquarium and the menu offers a good selection without swamping you with choice. Start with the blue swimmer crab cakes served with a delicious mango chilli salsa to whet the appetite. For your main try the pink snapper perched on a bed of creamy mash with tasty nuggets of lobster or for those feeling bolder try the escalope of calves' liver. There's a selection of light desserts, or go for the naughty chocolate tian.
Waterside Seafood Restaurant & Terrace, Al Murooj Rotana: This restaurant has everything any savvy fish-lover would come to expect. The staff are attentive and friendly, and seem to have grasped the difference between attending to your needs and hovering over you like a bad debt. Expect the service to match the top quality food, with complimentary taste testers and the odd amuse bouches sent your way to set up the appetite. Although the small waterway that runs through the Al Marooj complex acts more like a moat around the outside decking area, than the extensive marine view the name implies, the food will definitely make you want to come back and sample more.
Marina Seafood Restaurant, Jumeirah Beach Hotel: The food here is extremely good. After polishing off the oven fresh coriander bread, order the sea bass sashimi, which dissolves gently on the tongue and is perked up by a spoonful of salmon tartare. The live seafood is another impressive, if expensive, choice of main – lobster, crab or hammour cooked to your specifications. A meal like this can be brought to a classy finalé with a selection of cheeses, although if you prefer something lighter, the cheesecake ice-cream is delicious. To really make this a meal to remember, we suggest book in at lunchtime or sunset to make the most of that stunning view.