MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants Launched in Abu Dhabi | Savoir Flair
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MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants Launched in Abu Dhabi
article @3.FILS
by Lydia Medeiros 4-minute read February 8, 2022

...and the winner was a huge surprise.

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To a crowd of culinary giants and enthusiasts from around the globe, World’s 50 Best launched its inaugural list of the MENA 50 Best Restaurants last night at the Conrad Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi. Distinguished ’50 Best’ winners from other regions – such as Chef Julien Royer of Odette and Chef Will Goldfarb of Room for Dessert – were also in attendance to present the individual prestige awards, and the evening was rife with anticipation and excitement for yet another milestone here in the Middle East.

The list was revealed one by one, counting down from 50 to the number 1 spot, and only pausing to honor ‘Best in Country’ and the coveted individual awards. Previously announced winners, like MENA’s Best Female Chef of 2022 Tala BashmiKamal Mouzawak, winner of the Foodics Icon Award 2022, and Kinoya as the ‘One to Watch’, received their trophies to huge applause, but the excitement over Dubai’s very own Chef Reif Othman winning the prestigious Chef’s Choice Award 2022 and Emirati Sahar Parham Al Awadhi winning the Best Pastry Chef 2022 was palpable throughout the room.

Dubai’s Lowe snagged the Sustainable Restaurant 2022 award, and foodie favorite, Trèsind Studio of Dubai, not only ranked #4 on the list, but also won the Art of Hospitality 2022 award.

As the Oscars of the food industry, it was a momentous occasion for the region. Dubai came out on top with six winners in the top ten alone, as well as grabbing the number one spot and Best Restaurant in the Middle East and North Africa award in a shocking David and Goliath reveal. As Chef Marshall Röth of Butcher and Still told Savoir Flair, “Just to be on the list is an award in and of itself. I don’t care if I’m number 50. The point is, I’m in the top 50. That’s all I need.” Keep reading for the full list of winners. (Chef Marshall won #48).

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3Fils

Dubai, UAE

In a surprise win, Dubai’s homegrown, Japanese-fusion hidden gem beat out global giants for the coveted number one position of MENA’s Best Restaurant, and also won Best Restaurant in the UAE. When asked if the establishment would now consider taking reservations — as its popularity is about to grow exponentially — owner Ahmed Salih said it was on the table for discussion, but that he never wants to lose sight of what 3Fils does best: making delicious food for its guests.

article @ZUMADUBAI

Zuma

Dubai, UAE

A long-time favorite amongst the foodie crowd, Dubai’s Zuma is well-known for its flawless Japanese cuisine, and has been considered one of the best restaurants in Dubai for as long as it has been open.

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Trèsind Studio

Dubai, UAE

Trèsind Studio’s Chef Himanshu Saini was ecstatic over his (well-deserved )win of the prestigious Art of Hospitality 2022 award and placing in the top five restaurants in the region. He told Savoir Flair that he was thankful to be number four because it means there is still more to do, and he is excited for the days ahead as he continues to learn, grow, and create with food. “When I get comfortable in the kitchen, that’s when I know it’s time to change the menu.”

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Sachi

Cairo, Egypt

Winner of the Best Restaurant in Egypt as well as making it in the top five, Sachi is a relaxed yet glamorous, respite with impeccable Mediterranean fusion cuisine.

article @ORFALIBROS_BISTRO

Orfali Bros. Bistro

Dubai, UAE

Another hidden gem of Dubai founded by three Syrian brothers, Orfali Bros. Bistro is tucked away in Jumeirah and serves up everything you want to eat. Probably because the food-loving trio created the menu after all of their personal favorite foods.

article @FAKHRELDINRESTAURANT

Fakhreldin

Amman, Jordan

Fakhreldin not only nabbed a spot in the top ten, but was also named Best Restaurant in Jordan. The beautiful restaurant, located in one of Jordan’s oldest neighborhoods, was founded in 1997 and serves its guests from the former family home of Prime Minister Fawzi Al Mulki.

article @LPMDUBAI

LPM

Dubai, UAE

LPM won two spots on MENA’s 50 Best list. LPM Dubai came in at number eight, while its sister, LPM Riyadh, brought home number 42. Honestly, we are not surprised. Have you had the cheesecake?

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Gaia

Dubai, UAE

Dubai-based celebrity Chef Izu Ani‘s Greek restaurant Gaia is often seen frequented by the elite of Dubai, including the Crown Prince, on several occasions. Now the world knows why.

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The diversity of cuisines here in the region was showcased last night from the eclectic selection of restaurants, however, one cuisine did seem to stand out above all the others: Japanese. Interestingly enough, Salih of 3Fils also teased that after this huge success, the next venture for the talented team would be to birth a restaurant with the same standards and quality as 3Fils, but with a focus on Emirati cuisine. 

There is certainly a hunger for more tastes of the Middle East. Beirut’s family-owned Em Sherif – sitting comfortably at #22 on the list – has been keeping Executive Chef, Yasmina Hayek, daughter of founder Mireille Hayek, jet setting with new openings in London and Monaco. Bashmi, who along with winning the Best Female Chef award, also saw her own Fusions by Tala nab the #39 spot on the list. When we sat down to talk with her, she coyly teased her upcoming series, à la Parts Unknown by Anthony Bourdain, and told Savoir Flair that even though she probably will be traveling, there is a compelling reason for them to keep the show centered around the Middle East as this is the land that has yet to be explored and mined for all of its culinary treasures.

Every chef we spoke to agreed that having a 50 Best list based in the region is a huge benchmark for how far we have come, and how far we can continue to grow our restaurant scene. Not to mention it’s a huge flex for the chefs with the red scarves.

Congratulations to all the winners. We love to feast at your tables, and we are proud you are finally getting the recognition you deserve.

Here are the rest of the winners of MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants.

  1. Il Boro Tuscan Bistro – Dubai, UAE
  2. Baron – Beirut, Lebanon (Winner of Best Restaurant in Lebanon)
  3. Coya – Dubai, UAE
  4. HaBasta – Tel Aviv, Israel
  5. Myazu – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (Winner of Best Restaurant in Saudi Arabia)
  6. Reif Kushiyaki – Dubai, UAE
  7. Animar – Tel Aviv, Israel
  8. Trèsind – Dubai, UAE
  9. Kazoku – Cairo, Egypt
  10. Mimi Kakushi – Dubai, UAE
  11. Liza – Beirut, Lebanon
  12. Em Sherif – Beirut, Lebanon
  13. Lowe – Dubai, UAE
  14. Pescado – Ashdod, Israel
  15. Hakkasan – Abu Dhabi, UAE
  16. La Grand Table Marocaine – Marrakech, Morocco (Winner of Best Restaurant in Morocco)
  17. 13C Bar in the Back – Amman, Jordan
  18. Tawlet Mar Mikhael – Beirut, Lebanon
  19. Amazonico – Dubai, UAE
  20. Marble – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  21. Mirai – Manama, Bahrain (Winner of Best Restaurant in Bahrain)
  22. Iloli – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  23. BB Social Dining – Dubai, UAE
  24. Coya – Abu Dhabi, UAE
  25. Indochine – Dubai, UAE
  26. Cut by Wolfgang Puck – Doha, Qatar
  27. Porterhouse – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  28. Zooba (Zamalek) – Cairo, Egypt
  29. Fusions by Tala – Manama, Bahrain
  30. Milgo & Milbar – Tel Aviv, Israel
  31. Sufra – Amman, Jordan
  32. LPM Riyadh – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  33. White Robata – Kuwait City, Kuwait (Winner of Best Restaurant in Kuwait)
  34. Hoseki – Dubai, UAE
  35. Izakaya – Cairo, Egypt
  36. La Closerie – Tunis, Tunisia (Winner of Best Restaurant in Turkey)
  37. Clap – Beirut, Lebanon
  38. Butcher & Still – Abu Dhabi, UAE
  39. +61 – Marrakech, Morocco
  40. Tokyo – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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