By Lindsay Trivers
April, 30 2017
Whether planning an intimate dinner, or a meal out for a large group where you want to avoid a disorderly, multi-table sprawl, sometimes the main restaurant floor just isn’t enough. This is when you enter the territory of the private dining room (PDR),
which can be a minefield, ranging from glass parlours with million dollar views, to darkened spaces for storing disobedient staff. After three years running wine tastings and dinners across Dubai, not to mention enjoying them as part of FooDiva’s wonderful Dine Around Dubai
experience, it’s fair to say that we spend a healthy proportion of our time in private dining rooms. So with that in mind, here’s our guide to the top 12 private dining rooms in Dubai
right now – in alphabetical order.
Accents – InterContinental Dubai Marina
Seats up to 32.
This bright and airy semi-private dining area has a clean and modern feel that’s far funkier than your average all-day-dining spot, with exposed concrete floors and four long tables each seating eight – all with lovely views of Dubai Marina.
Aji – Club Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah
Seats up to 8.
Set on the trunk of Palm Jumeirah, this quirky yet elegant Peruvian Japanese restaurant
has a cute, semi-private dining space that is situated in an intriguing black, wooden pagoda. You can see the rest of the restaurant, yet it still feels intimate and separate.
Seats up to 20.
Once the definitive place to be and still going strong
, the private dining room at this high-end, and recently redecorated Italian eatery has a private space separated from the restaurant by hanging white drapes.
Seats up to 16.
Certainly one of the more unique spaces in Dubai
, the cellar at Boca is exactly that – a fully functioning wine cellar lined with a sommelier-selected collection of Mediterranean varieties. It’s dark and mysterious, but that’s in no way a bad thing.
Seats up to 25.
Separated by a floor-to-ceiling black metal gate and featuring its own long bar, the semi-private area at Café Belge
is set apart, but still very much part of the action. Seating options are flexible and can accommodate a seated or standing event.
Seats up to 20. With great drinks, a welcome non-smoking policy and staff that redefine great service, Cocktail Kitchen has ‘The Back Room’; a completely private space where the furniture can easily be changed to accommodate an intimate dinner, a mingling event, or even a cocktail lesson at the private big brass bar. The Tasting Class uses this space once a month to host a public wine lesson.
Three PDRs, seating up to 8, 16 or 44 people.
With chairs decorated in black and white cowhide and some of the most sensationally bizarre chandeliers imaginable, the Argentine steakhouse Gaucho
has a choice of three private dining rooms to accommodate different sized groups.
Hakkasan – Jumeirah Emirates Towers
Seats up to 14.
The main restaurant space at Hakkasan
already offers tables privacy thanks to a variety of wood screens and partitions, however to really get away from the crowd, the PDR offers a long table for up to 14 people, which even has its own bathroom. To make the most of the exclusivity of the room try the harmony experience, where the sommeliers take you through six types of wine over four courses, allowing you to see for yourself how wine pairing works and enhances the dining experience.
Seats up to 12.
With an in-house bakery and white panel walls reminiscent of a Parisian bistro, La Serre
offers an authentically French feel. The private dining room features a round table that seats 12 people, which can open up into the kitchen for a genuine chef’s table experience.
Seats up to 14.
Set in an impressive room of wood panels and art-laden walls, all tastefully lit above stained wood floors, the completely private space at the gastro pub Reform
, with its long table feels rather grand – part old English pub, part stately home.
The Experience by Chef Reif – H Hotel (book through Play)
Seats up to 12. Play
, the Japanese-cum-Mediterranean restaurant from former Zuma chef Reif Othman, already has a formidable private dining area set on a mezzanine overlooking the main restaurant, Play. However, above the restaurant sits something quite unforgettable – The Experience. Designed as a relaxed and comfortable… well, experience, here Reif and his team will cook and serve you up to 13 courses, with the super chef himself describing each one. If that’s not enough, you can also retire to the private cigar lounge with simply incredible views of the city. You can even book dinner for just two people, provided you don’t mind neighbours.
Weslodge – JW Marriott Marquis
Seats up to 40.
Perfect for a larger group of up to 40 people, the modern Canadian restaurant Weslodge
offers a completely private area with amazing views of the city skyline, and even into the kitchen itself. Design could best be described as tastefully random, but the food, drinks and service are all excellent.
Did we miss some place special? Let us know your recommendations in the comments section below.
This article was first published by FooDiva
. You can view it here.
The Wines we tasted