As summer winds down and fall approaches, one thing that really heats up in Dubai is the dining scene. Some of the city’s favorite restaurants shut down over the summer, often for a major remodel, to reopen in the fall, and new ones are preparing to open up. Among the major reopenings in September are Zheng He’s, Der Keller, and Siddhartha Lounge by Buddha Bar, and among the welcome additions to the Dubai dining scene are celebrity chef Jason Atherton’s Marina Social and Darren Velvick’s new venture, The Croft.
Photo Credit: Zheng He’s
This week Zheng He’s announced its plans to relaunch in September in Jumeirah Mina A’Salam after an extensive remodel. The restaurant services up modern Chinese cuisine inspired by the days of Zheng He, the famous Chinese naval explorer who lived during the Ming Dynasty. The venue overlooks the waterways of Jumeirah resort, and the new design certainly makes great use of the space and scenery. Zheng He’s describes the new interior as “neo-oriental” and has even added table-side preparation to enhance the dining experience.
The restaurant itself wasn’t the only thing that received a makeover, as there are some new items on the menu as well. Because of Zheng He’s place in seafaring history, seafood is a main theme on the menu, which is guided by Chef Kenmin Foo Chin Fatt. Some of the new signatures include “Fortune Beggar Chicken, slow-cooked Oriental short ribs, and an updated version of Wasabi Prawns, one of Zheng He’s old favorite dishes.
Photo Credit: Hotelier Middle East
The cult favorite Der Keller is opening back up just in time for Oktoberfest on Sept. 1. Located at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, the German restaurant claims to be the first licensed restaurant in Dubai after opening in 1997. The new interior is rustic, and it brings a new chef and a new menu along with it.
German national Marcel Korpuka designed the new menu, which now features influences from the Alpine region, including Austrian schnitzel and Swiss raclettes. As you would expect to find in a German restaurant, there is also a broad selection of full-bodied beers.
Photo Credit: Marina Social
Marina Social, which marks celebrity chef Jason Atherton’s first restaurant in the Middle East, is opening up on Sept. 4. Atherton has trained under gourmet stars like Gordon Ramsay, and his restaurants in London and other major cities around the world have received widespread acclaim. The Michelin-starred chef worked in Dubai previously, meeting his wife Irha while he worked here, although he did not have his own restaurant in Dubai until now.
Photo Credit: The Croft
Although Darren Velvick’s Table 9 shut down within the last few months, the talented chef is sticking around and opening a new restaurant called The Croft, which is located in the Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel and Suites in Dubai Marina. Like Atherton, he has also trained with Gordon Ramsay. The Croft had a soft opening on Aug. 16, although the official grand opening isn’t until Sept. 15.
Velvick’s new venture offers modern European cuisine with juicy burgers and dishes like gluten-free beer-battered fish ‘n’ chips.
Photo Credit: Siddhartha Lounge
And finally, Siddhartha Lounge by Buddha Bar is also set to reopen on Sept. 1 with a sophisticated and opulent new interior. The restaurant takes Mediterranean dishes and infuses them with Asian flavors. Siddhartha Lounge often plays host to Dubai’s socialites, as anyone who’s anyone wants to be seen there. The pictures of the new design certainly make it seem like this won’t be changing with the relaunch.