#1 -Best Restaurants 2019 - Gaia Dubai
Chef Izu Ani is on fire. Not literally. The seemingly always-smiling chef has become the golden boy of the Dubai food scene thanks to a string of hit (La Serre), after hit (The Lighthouse), after hit (Carine).
His latest venture Gaia — a striking Greek restaurant in the heart of DIFC’s Gate Village — could well be his best. While the city’s business hub is awash with high-rollers, opening up a fancy restaurant there is by no means a guarantee of success, just ask Wheeler’s or Peyote).
If you’re going to prise clients away from stalwarts like Zuma and LPM, then you better bring your A-game, and Chef Izu is currently very much Dubai’s A-game. His trademark interiors of a light, muted colour palette are in full force at Gaia, with white painted woods and cream walls, warmed by perfect lighting and brought to life by a stunning seafood bar.
Nearly impossible to drop in without a reservation, some of that can still be chalked up to the fact that the restaurant is still enjoying its honeymoon phase, but the quality of its food and the genuinely elegant atmosphere should not be underplayed.
True to both the restaurant’s Greek concept the cooking style of Izu and his long-standing chef de cuisine Oresti Kotefas the simple, ingredient-led dishes are best enjoyed being shared among diners.
As with most restaurants in Dubai the starters are the stars, so in the context of multiple sharing dishes with options of lobster salad, raw tuna, garlic prawns and baked feta cheese, Gaia gets them very right indeed.
Having only been open for a few months, expectations for the restaurant are still sky high, but currently, for Esquire, there is no table we’d rather be sitting at.
DIFC Gate Village 4, Dubai. Tel: +971 4 241 4242
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