by Dianne Apen-Sadler
  • 4 minute read
  • June 04, 2024
These are the best degustation menus across the Emirates 

Trends come and go in the blink of an eye in the UAE, but if there’s one that discerning diners hope sticks, it’s tasting menus.

Guests are guaranteed the very best dishes on offer, and chefs can focus on making every plate more exceptional than the last, leading to a meal you’ll remember long after the final course.

In such a crowded landscape, here are six of the most extraordinary degustation menus to be savoured across the country.

Avatara, Dubai

A dish at Avatara. Image: Supplied

Proving that meat and fish aren’t the be-all and end-all of fine dining, Avatara offers an Indian culinary spectacle that’s purely vegetarian. Using seasonal ingredients and dairy products sourced from local farms, the 16-course menu takes you on a journey across India while highlighting a single vegetable in each plate. Stripping away distractions, onions and garlic are not used in any of the dishes, which include jackfruit momos, rajma gogji and dal vada. It’s a bold concept, but Chef Rahul Rana’s vision has paid off, with the venue already moving to a larger space barely a year and a half after first opening in early 2022.
Visit and follow on Instagram.

Al Muntaha, Dubai

A dish at Al Muntaha. Image: Supplied

With a restaurant name meaning ‘the ultimate’, expectations are high from the moment you walk through the door – and not just because Al Muntaha is located on the 27th floor of the Burj Al Arab. Chef Saverio Sbaragli more than delivers, with a French and Italian fine-dining degustation menu befitting the location. Showcasing the best local farms have to offer, an organic vegetable composition begins the meal, followed by upscale dishes like the ravioli del plin, filled with guinea fowl, and the bottoni surf and turf with foie gras and king crab. Paired with views through the floor-to-ceiling windows, this is a truly show-stopping experience. And one that you might find yourself wanting to enjoy many times over. 
Visit and follow on Instagram.

99 Sushi Bar & Restaurant, Abu Dhabi

Sushi with gold at 99 Sushi Bar & Restaurant. Image: Supplied

Spain might not be the most obvious choice for world-class Japanese food, but Madrid-born 99 Sushi Bar & Restaurant has more than earned its stripes (and star) since opening in Abu Dhabi in 2017. Premium ingredients are at the forefront of every dish, and the Haru tasting menu is a superb way to try some of the venue’s finest plates over an evening. Naturally, you’ll begin with chutoro hosomaki and 99 king crab salad, before moving onto signatures like the foie gras and truffle nigiri, and the umami capumiso soup, finally ending with Japanese souffle. While ‘Haru’ might mean spring, the 11-course menu is served year-round.
Visit and follow @99sushibaruae on Instagram.

Les Dangereux, Abu Dhabi

Les Dangereux, Abu Dhabi. Image: Supplied

Best known for WKND in Dubai and the eponymous Cafe James in Abu Dhabi, Chef James Soo Yong Kim opened French fine-dining spot Les Dangereux in May last year. It has already made quite a splash on Abu Dhabi’s dining scene, with rave reviews of the Le Voyage degustation menu. Breaking away from the long-winded tasting menus chef Kim encountered while working in New York, here, you can embark on Le Voyage and return within 90 minutes (or longer, should you so choose). Creatively plated dishes including the avocado toast in the shape of a cigarette and the ‘non-disclosure agreement’ carpaccio – made from an ingredient you won’t be able to guess – are served alongside escargot, caviar, oysters and wagyu striploin. 
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Moonrise, Dubai

Moonrise. Image: Supplied

Over the years, the UAE’s food scene has attracted exceptional chefs and concepts from around the globe, while simultaneously nurturing the rise of several homegrown heroes. Out of this unique Dubai microcosm, Moonrise has emerged. Led by Chef Solemann Haddad, the Dubai-inspired restaurant blends Middle Eastern and Japanese cuisine to create a tasting menu that changes quarterly. There are two seatings at the 12-chair chef’s table each night, both led by Chef Haddad himself. Dishes might sound simple – the current menu includes a grilled cheese and an Alfredo pasta – but they’re anything but. It’s oh so Dubai, and oh so brilliant.
Visit and follow on Instagram.

Hōseki, Dubai

Hōseki. Image: Supplied

One of the UAE’s most exceptional omakase offerings, the menu at Hōseki changes nightly, and from person to person. Sixth-generation sushi master Masahiro Sugiyama and his team work with the freshest ingredients of the day and adapt them to your preferences, leading to a truly phenomenal meal. While the dish list isn’t set in stone, you can expect to try miso soup, a signature omelette and a sushi set, as well as either five or seven appetisers, depending on whether you opt for the Hisui or Ruri menus. There are just nine seats around the counter, offering both an intimate dining experience and a prime spot to watch the team at work preparing tailor-made dishes with the Dubai skyline as a backdrop. 
Visit and follow @bulgarihotels on Instagram.

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