T he long-awaited Michelin Guide made its Middle East debut with the launch of the inaugural list in Dubai in June 2022 – with 11 Michelin-starred and 14 Bib Gourmand restaurants. That’s not wall: the guide also includes 69 restaurants covering 21 cuisine types.
No restaurants won the coveted three stars, but two restaurants nabbed two stars apiece: Il Ristorante – Niko Romito and STAY by Yannick Alléno. While these are decidedly in the high-end bracket, it also gives an indication of the type of restaurant that impressed the inspectors.
What we do love about the list is the number of home-grown concepts that nabbed stars. Trèsind Studio’s avant-garde take on Indian cuisine by its chef Himanshu Saini has landed it a worthy one star (although dare we say we think it deserves more!). Akmal Anuar, whose trajectory on the UAE’s restaurant scene has been beyond impressive, has found multiple spots on the list, with his newer venture 11 Woodfire taking away one star and Goldfish getting a well-deserved Bib Gourmand. The chef, whose culinary journey has been nothing short of showing how grit and hard work can lead to rewards, is also the founding chef of 3 Fils.
We absolutely have to mention Ossiano at the Atlantis, which was awarded one star. Its chef Grégoire Berger left the restaurant in January 2021 but made a triumphant return a year later. With both stints at the seafood-focused restaurant, the 34-year-old chef has impressed – and how. Its tasting menus are a true fine dining experience, with Grégoire pushing boundaries whenever and wherever he can.
But it’s the Bib Gourmand list that truly shines with the inclusion of some stellar home-grown concepts. Bib Gourmand restaurants are those where you can get a value-for-money gourmet experience – and in Dubai it is classified as a three-course meal at an average price of 250 AED.
From Emirati concept Al Khayma to Neha Mishra’s Kinoya (which has just been confirmed to open in London at Harrods in 2023), along with star chef Reif Othman’s Reif Kushiyaki and Orfali Bros, this list is a great indication of where Dubai’s culinary scene is flourishing.
AND THE AWARD GOES TO…
MICHELIN Green Star
Lowe, co-founded by Kate Christou and Jesse Blake, was the only restaurant to win this award for its outstanding efforts and commitment to sustainability (read the interview on pages 14-15).
Young Chef Award
French-Syrian chef Solemann Haddad of Moonrise nabbed this title for his omakase chef’s table concept (read the interview in the May/June 2022 issue of Nourish or on spinneys.com).
Welcome and Service Award
The team at Bait Maryam – founded by Salam Dakkak – was given this award for “offering some of the most charming service in the city”, according to the Michelin inspectors.
MICHELIN GUIDE DUBAI 2022
Il Ristorante – Niko; Romito; STAY by Yannick; Alléno
11 Woodfire; Al Muntaha; Armani Ristorante; Hakkasan; Höseki; Ossiano; Tasca by José Avillez; Torno Subito; Trèsind Studio
Al Khayma; Bait Maryam; Brasserie Boulud; Fi’Lia; Folly; Goldfish; Ibn Albahr; Indya by Vineet; Kinoya; Ninive; Orfali Bros; REIF Japanese; Kushiyaki; Shabestan; Teible