History is made as two Dubai restaurants scoop two stars, while nine score one star in the Middle East's first-ever Michelin guide
The Michelin Guide is to the culinary world what the Oscars are to show business. History was made when the Middle East's first-ever Michelin guide was revealed in Dubai.
Chefs from the winning restaurants joined Michelin's International Director Gwendal Poullennec on stage at Dubai Opera and received a standing ovation from an audience of their peers.
Originally conceived in France in 1889 to encourage motorists to drive more often, the little red guidebook tempted people to take to the road to visit restaurants. Tyre company owners Andre and Edouard Michelin added the star rating in the 1930s.
While one star means a restaurant is good within its category, two stars mean a restaurant offers "excellent cooking that's worth a detour" and three stars mean "exceptional cuisine that's worth a special journey".
Though none of Dubai's restaurants scored the maximum three stars, two restaurants won two stars, and nine restaurants received a one-star rating.
Stars are awarded based on multiple reviews by anonymous Michelin inspectors who take into account the quality of the ingredients, the harmony of flavours, the mastery of techniques, the personality of the chef as expressed in their cuisine and consistency both over time and across the menu.
Michelin inspectors rate more than 30,000 establishments in over 30 territories across three continents. With more than 30 million Michelin Guides sold to date, it's one of the most trusted culinary guides in the world.
When in Dubai, here are the star-winning restaurants to visit:
Two Michelin Star Winners
Il Ristorante – Niko Romito, Bulgari Dubai: Niko Romito's flagship restaurant Reale in Castel di Sangro, Italy, has three Michelin stars. His Dubai outpost has earned him another two for Il Ristorante's refined Italian cuisine.
Stay by Yannick Alléno, One&Only The Palm: Yannick Alléno helms multiple Michelin-starred restaurants including Pavyllon, L'Abysse and Alléno Paris at Pavillon Ledoyen. As One&Only's Culinary Director in Dubai, he's scored another two for Stay by Yannick Alléno, a fine dining restaurant with French flair.
One Michelin Star Winners
11 Woodfire, Jumeirah: Chef-owner Akmal Anuar uses an array of woods to create his smoked and woodfired dishes. Steak, fish and vegetables are on the menu. Expect creations such as pine-smoked Scottish salmon with caviar sauce and citrus cream.
Al Muntaha, Burj Al Arab: Chef Saverio Sbaragli previously worked at Paris' three-Michelin-starred Arpège under Alain Passard before taking over the reins at Al Muntaha. This impressive restaurant on the 27th floor of the landmark Burj Al Arab hotel serves Italian and French fare.
Armani/Ristorante, Armani Hotel Dubai: Chef Giovanni Papi's creations include pan-seared Hokkaido scallops with cauliflower emulsion and caviar and Wagyu braised short ribs with spinach mashed potato, all served within the record-breaking world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa.
Hakkasan, Atlantis, The Palm: One of 10 Hakkasan restaurants around the world, the Dubai branch is in the family-friendly Atlantis, The Palm hotel. Known for its creative dim sum, the platter features kaffir lime lobster har gau, abalone and chicken shui mai with caviar, and sea urchin and spring onion dumplings.
Höseki, Bulgari Dubai: Sixth-generation sushi master Masahiro Sugiyama serves his menus omakase-style, meaning he decides on all the dishes based on the best fish available each day, which he has imported directly from Tokyo's finest fish markets.
Ossiano, Atlantis, The Palm: Helmed by French chef Grégoire Berger, Ossiano offers a picturesque nine-course tasting menu and aquarium views. Known for its romantic ambience, many wedding proposals have taken place here.
Tasca by José Avillez, Mandarin Oriental Jumeira Dubai: Tasca is the Portuguese word for tavern and José Avillez is arguably Portugal's most famous chef. Dishes from his acclaimed Lisbon restaurants, which include Michelin-starred Belcanto, appear on Tasca's menu, among them the deliciously creamy avocado tempura.
Torno Subito, W The Palm: This colourful eatery was created by Massimo Bottura, the chef behind three Michelin-starred Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy. Bottura's protégé chef Bernardo Paladini runs the kitchen, serving classic pasta dishes such as spaghetti vongole alongside Italian-style roasted meat and fish.
Trèsind Studio, Nakheel Tower, Palm Jumeirah: Chef Himanshu Saini serves Indian fine-dining degustation menus twice at night at Trèsind Studio, a chic and intimate dining space with a rooftop terrace overlooking Palm Jumeirah. Enjoy triumphs such as charred lobster tail with pickled tomato and corn curry.
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