From creamy butter chicken to buttery dal makhani, from crispy naans to Goan fish curry and lip-smacking chutneys, Indian cuisine has some 1,000 odd dishes under its umbrella and enjoys a strong global reputation being a favourite of many around the world.
If you are also a fan, luckily, Dubai has some of the finest Indian restaurants that you can find outside India, all credit goes to the love being bestowed upon the cuisine by the expatriate community of the UAE.
For years, Indian restaurants were considered a place where you will go after a night out for a cheap curry but over the past decade or so, the trend and the perception has changed a lot. Now Indian food is served in lavish restaurants, with chefs putting a lot of focus on food presentation, service, experimenting with fusion ideas and showcasing luxury decors. If it excites you, here we have collated a list of Dubai’s top fine dining and high end casual Indian restaurants that are worth trying as you journey the length and breadth of India through its food.
It's a perfect place to savour authentic Indian food in pure Armani style. With its open kitchen setting, first class service and curries being prepared in traditional style, this Indian spot comes top of the list when booking a special occasion. Outside the terrace is a magical spot to watch the Dubai Fountain show, which makes any visit so memorable. Delicious food is served alongside live classical Indian music and Indian heritage inspired interiors. Signature dishes include duck jalfrezi, tandoori seared seabass, balsamic lamb chop, malabari rattan, chicken madras, fish kokum currys, saag aloo and more. Call 04-5260489.
Taj Dubai’s signature restaurant, Bombay Brasserie is a tryst between classic and contemporary. A dining experience here, promises drama, authenticity and innovation with a live open kitchen, vibrant oversized art and a botanical bar concept. The vibrant interiors and low-level lighting set a sophisticated and relaxed dining experience for fashionable diners. Signature dishes include chicken tukra chaat, tandoori chooza, papdi chaat, nalli nihari, malai kofta, Lucknowi gosht biryani and daal makhani. Call 04-4383222.
Located at the first floor of the Grayton Hotel, Bukhara is designed to echo the heritage and culture of India, with a contemporary twist, Bukhara brings the essence of the rugged North West Frontier of India to life with aromatic and deeply flavourful, fresh ingredients. This space recreates the charm of the traditional clay oven, or tandoor, with a delicious menu of succulent tandoor-cooked kebabs, vegetables, traditional breads and much more. Signature dishes include murgh tandoori, sikandari raan, ghosht ki nalli, dal bhukhara and naans. Call 050-8064841.
Located at Jood Palace Hotel Dubai, Handi offers a rich and authentic experience of Indian cuisine. Dim lights, elegant seating and beautifully done up interiors together with calm and blissful ambiance enhance the dining experience. Sizzling flavours of authentic North Indian cuisine are served with flair complete with a show kitchen and Tandoori oven, the restaurant specialises in tandoori breads, grills and biryani. Call 04-2232222.
Indego By Vineet
With Michelin starred chef, Vineet Bhatia at its helm, Indego, located in Grosvenor House, dares to take Indian cuisine to the next level. The restaurant serves a range of dishes that blend Indian flavours with European techniques. The menu is made up of dishes like the herb chop, an herb-crusted lamb chop served with chutney upma (a south Indian thick porridge), goat's cheese samosa, baby carrot thoran (a chopped vegetable medley) and carrot foam. The place is authentically decorated, with a modern edge, and the outdoor terrace offers lovely views of Dubai Marina. Call 04-3176000.
The Indian restaurant, Khyber, brings the rich North Indian palette of flavours to Dubai. Located on the 15th floor of Dukes, The Palm, the spacious restaurant with a beautiful terrace area and heritage interiors takes guests on a culinary journey through the majestic Mughal era, introducing only fresh spices and authentic flavour combinations to the menu. The special weekday nights such as Curry Mondays, Chit Chaat on Wednesday and Sandy Bhojana, let diners experience set menus curated with the chef's special delicacies. Call 04-4551101.
Little Miss India
Located in Fairmont The Palm, this fine dining Indian restaurant sources all its spices from the lanes of Old Delhi. With a menu comprised of 80 percent North Indian dishes, the signature dishes include butter chicken, dal makhani, tandoori raan with dry fruit, roghan josh, different types of biryani, paneer kofta and kebabs from all comers. The menu even has a few items from other parts of the country such as Goan shrimp curry, Malabar pomfret curry and shrimp stir-fried in the Chettinad style. The restaurant has put its entire focus on giving the authentic taste to its diners without tempering with traditional recipes at all. Call 04-4573457.
This fine dining luxury Indian restaurant opened its doors on the 4th floor of the world's tallest five star hotel, JW Marriott Marquis, in 2019. From its grand decor to fine service, the restaurant is an epitome of luxury and elegance. With its 12-course tasting menu, available in vegetarian and non vegetarian options, it takes you on a culinary voyage from North India to South India with its inventive dishes. Traditional recipes have been revived to present them in a unique and contemporary way without compromising a bit on the taste. Signature dishes include deconstruction of samosa, chicken tikka prepared three ways, Rajasthani mutton curry, mushroom chai and jalebi caviar, to name a few. Call 04-4143000.
Mint Leaf Of London
Located on the 15th floor of the South Tower of Emirates Financial Towers, the Indian restaurant in DIFC offers a breath-taking view of the city skyline, including the Burj Khalifa. The place vouches for its ability to provide a relaxing and peaceful fine dining experience with great views and delicious food. Signature dishes include dal makhani, butter chicken, lamb chops, gulab jamun, biryani and naan . Call 04-7060900.
Located in Arabian Courtyard Hotel and Spa in the busy lanes of Meena Bazaar, Mumtaz Mahal is a fine dining restaurant serving North West and Mughlai delicacies using authentic ingredients that will offer every taste bud a palette of flavours! The Interior is flattered by attractive colours and decor, along with comfortable dining furniture and a live band performance with cultural, classical songs and traditional dancers. Signature dishes include dahi bhalla, masala papad, hara bhara kabab, adraki mutton chaap, Afgani murg tangri and paneer makhanwala. Call 04-3519111.
This new restaurant at Four Points by Sheraton, Downtown brings authentic Mughlai flavours to the city. The recipes are brought from the famous lanes of Old Delhi which carry the legacy of the origin of the cuisine. The food is lip smacking and spices cannot smell more authentic. Each bite transports you to the kitchens Mughal era when food was cooked with the utmost perfection with freshly grounded whole spices. Bursting authentic flavours make the dining experience just too memorable. In the evening, live music adds to the ambience. Highlights include an assortment of kebabs, biryani and nihari along with an array of entertainment options such as a bangle seller, live music, and a cycle rickshaw for your Insta-feed. Call 050-2116816.
Signature By Sanjeev Kapoor
Located in Canvas Hotel in Bur Dubai, this fine dining Indian restaurant serves the traditional recipes of Indian celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor with an inventive twist. With smart interiors and family friendly ambience, the restaurant serves delicious food served in generous quantities. Here the traditional Indian food takes a back seat to make some space for modern fare such as broccoli popcorn, new world baby corn crackers, fragile tandoori makhani chicken, double salmon, Gucci mirch badam, ghar ki daal, flaming granite bharwa surb, flaming granite chicken, luscious mutton, and toffee caramel gulab jamun. A seven and eleven course set tasting menus give you a unique Indian culinary experience. Call 04-5269245.
With an aim of providing innovative Indian food, the restaurant strives hard to provide unique experience to its diners by creating an exciting food drama. From introducing molecular gastronomy to Indian food to delicious fusion, the Indian restaurant has captured the city’s nerve just right. From live demonstration to food arts and presentation, every dish served on the table is an experience in itself and definitely an Instagram capture. Don’t rush your meal here and enjoy that moment when staff serve food to you in the most unique way. Signature dishes include wild mushroom chai, avocado galouti kebab, butter pepper garlic prawn, butter chicken and deconstructed black forest. Call 04-5260684.
Bar Baar is the social hub and gastropub located at Majestic City Retreat Hotel in Mankhool Road, Bur Dubai. Bar Baar promises to be a vegetarian and non-vegetarian street-food paradise, perfect to give your taste buds a kick. Well renowned for its live entertainment and various theme nights such as ladies’ nights, happy hours and its incredible 8 hour drinks deal offering beverages from just Dhs 10 every Tuesday from 7pm to 3am as part of its Wholesale Night where customers can choose a wide selection of mixed drinks. It’s an Indian social hub and offers chaat, momos, kanda bhajiya, chicken baida roti, potato chat, butter chicken and more. Call 04-5269199.
After its successful innings at City Walk, popular Indian restaurant Farzi Café has now opened its second branch in Mall of the Emirates. Farzi means ‘creating illusion’ and each dish you order is served with a fun surprise element on your table. The space is huge and has an indoor and outdoor seating area with interiors very different from its City Walk companion. The menu comprises of selected dishes including soups and salads, small plates, mains, sliders, sides and desserts. Some of the dishes are a creative mish mash of European and Indian flavours such as fish and chips chukka peas hummus, seared wagyu beef with Indian spices served up on a bed of mashed potato, as well as a deconstructed shepherd’s pie. Over all, it is the presentation of the food that takes the centre stage. Portion sizes are small but if you order five to six dishes between two it fills you up; the concept is to make you try more dishes so you experience more, so be ready to splurge a little more than usual here for a causal dining experience. Some of the signature dishes include avocado chaat, tandoori wild mushrooms, galouti kabab pate air sheermal, chicken tikka khurchan, and chocolate dirt pile. Call 04-3359539.
Bringing to the table, traditional flavours from the royal kitchens of Lucknow, Awadh and the North Western Frontier, Gazebo is a must visit Indian restaurant to try some lip smacking biryanis and kababs. The dishes or the masterpieces are authentically prepared using 200-year-old recipes. The restaurant has 11 different outlets in Dubai at prime locations such as Business Bay, Jumeirah, DIFC and Jumeirah Lakes Towers offering exactly the same taste across all its branches. Call 04-4249984.
A popular Indian restaurant from Mumbai finally opened its door in Dubai this year in the Grand Millennium Hotel, Barsha Heights. The restaurant with vibrant and casual vibe is a great place to eat, party and watch live sports. With Bollywood music to live band performances and extensive beverage and food menu, the place is set to be a new hotspot, at least among the Indian community in Dubai. The food menu has been curated very creatively and each dish is served in a very unique way, whether its molecular gastronomy, or live mixing of ingredients, the restaurant makes sure that you remember your eating out experience here and click a lot of pictures. Additionally, giving a modern twist to childhood favourites, the names of dishes are as exciting as the whole dining experience. Some of the dishes on menu include ulta Punjab, a crisp rumali roti smeared with burnt butter and chaat masala, aao kabhi dabeli pe, tikka paraya dhan hai, pav bhaji burger, roadside romeo, angry birds,my name is chicken.. chilli chicken and a lot more. Call 052-3867713.
Indya by Vineet
Loacted in Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort And Spa, Indya by Vineet is the more of a casual version of the Indian Michelin starred chef Vineet Bhatia’s Indigo restaurant in Grosvenor House. Keeping the philosophy of mish-mashing the Indian cuisine with European flavours and adding more twists to old recipes, at Indya, you will find various street food from across India given a modern make-over by adding different yet tempting flavours to the same old recipes. Signature dishes on the menu include charcoal sev papdi dahi chaat, samosa pinwheels, charcoal Amritsari fish pakoda, Kerala fried chicken, churra parantha and more. Call 04-3165550.
Masti, in La Mer represents a very modern and fun side of Indian cuisine. The restaurant takes cues and influence from a variety of global flavours and mixes them well with original Indian flavours very artistically. From small to large plates, guests will be spoilt for choice. Highlights include, cassava chat, a fusion of Indian street food flavours with tapioca wood from South America, pulled tandoor chicken bao, a friendly fusion of Chinese and Indian cuisine, tiramisu lotus, a lip-smacking fusion of Italian tiramisu with Indian dessert basundi. ideal to enjoy with one of Masti’s enticing drinks, even the fries offer a flavour surprise, prepared with togarashi spice and finished with a truffle cream melt. The beachfront terrace and lounge is open from day to night offering an idyllic dining location, allowing guests to enjoy a laidback, yet playful experience. Call 800-62784.
Located at two malls, The Dubai Mall and Dubai Festival City Mall, Peppermill is a casual dining restaurant offering Indian cuisine with inventive recipes and alluring flavours to stimulate the palate and gratify the senses. At Peppermill, Indian haute cuisine can only be created using age old recipes and ideas. Signature dishes include madras chicken pao, karkare palak chaat, tomato shorba, murg malai tikka, peppered malai prawns, seekh kabab, chicken chettinad, nizami ghost korma and baked gulab jaamun. Finish the meal with kadak chai served in a traditional teapot having three to four servings. Call 04-5260031.