Despite a challenging year in hospitality, the UAE has kept its vibrant dining scene alive with a slew of fresh openings across the emirates
Derived from the Latin phrase which means ‘from the leaves’, Folia first opened its doors in January at Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach. Offering delectable vegan delights, the menu was designed to cater to the growing ‘veganuary’ trend that takes over the health community at the start of the year to balance all the culinary decadence of the holiday season. Its opening made waves and it became an instant hit with Dubai’s vegan crowd, but temporarily closures in the wake of the pandemic set it off course.
Folia has now returned to the dining scene with a conceptual menu featuring just 12 items, curated by celebrated chef Matthew Kenney. Nestled in its own secluded garden oasis at the resort, its scenic setting lends the perfect ambience for its plant-based dishes. Sample the wild mushroom sandwich, complete with caramelised onion and truffle aioli; or try the raw pizza margherita, which, with cashew ricotta and pesto, proves that healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring.
Call 04 2707777 for reservations
Fouquet’s Abu Dhabi
Louvre Abu Dhabi is no longer the only French import on Saadiyat Island. The museum is now home to a unique culinary concept, inspired by the traditions of fine brasserie dining. Following in the footsteps of the original Fouquet’s, which opened on the Champs-Elysees in 1899, renowned Michelin-star-winning chef Pierre Gagnaire brings this Parisian institution to life within the stunning surrounds of Louvre Abu Dhabi.
All of Gagnaire’s signature techniques can be found on the extensive, handcrafted menu that champions classic French cooking. So you can arrive with high expectations and rest assured, they will all be met. The striking interiors perfectly complement the gastronomic masterpieces, such as the Burgundy snails with garlic; prawns with avocado and pink grapefruit; beef tartare and sole meunière. For dessert, the classic Fouquet’s millefeuille – one of the chef’s highly acclaimed signatures – cannot be missed.
Call 02 2054200 for reservations
With local ingredients and international flavours, The Locale is designed as a modern-day market, showcasing an array of dishes from around the world, prepared perfectly with homegrown produce. Set to become the hottest neighbourhood eatery in Palm Jumeirah, the venue promises five-star surrounds with glamorous and imposing interiors that make for a striking setting.
For breakfast, the menu takes a health-first approach, with superfood shooters, berry smoothies and eggs. Lunch takes the nutritious theme further with superfood salads, healthy grills and stir-frys.
Dinner at The Locale is nothing short of a feast for the senses, with a range of specialities, including home-style chicken curry served with jasmine rice; baby marrow with dukkah spices and tahini; prawn curry with coconut rice; clam linguini; garlic and herb-marinated lamb and more.
Call 04 5814038 for reservations
Perched on the 15th floor of Andaz Dubai The Palm, Hanami brings the magic of Tokyo’s bustling streets to the emirate’s glamorous neighbourhood of Palm Jumeirah. A sleek spot to get together with good company and great food, the venue offers 360-degree vistas of the city with gorgeous Dubai Marina skyline views from the dining room and aerial vistas of Palm Jumeirah from the terrace.
Although Japanese street food favourites are in focus on the menu, each dish gets a refined twist to balance the bites with the venue’s five-star setting. Highlights include the pan-fried vegetable dumplings, the yellowfin tuna pizza and the avocado tempura for starters.
There’s also an extensive selection of sushi, sashimi, nigiri and maki rolls, among which, the sake avocado maki, salmon sashimi and California maki are hits with the restaurant’s regulars.
From mains, try one of the charcoal-grilled skewers, with options such as chicken thighs, salmon, zucchini, sweet corn and Wagyu striploin, served with a delectable selection of sides, including steamed rice, fried rice with mushrooms, grilled vegetables and Udon noodles.
Call 04 5814037 for reservations