Dubai is not short of restaurants with fantastic views, such is the dazzling cityscape of the Middle East’s most popular Emirate but whilst most of these are enjoyed from an elevated position, few offer so-close-you-can-touch-it scenic dining from the powdery sands of the beach.
Villa Beach is somewhat of a hidden gem and every time I visit, find it hard to believe that people are not being turned away at the door, but this sense of seclusion, only adds to the charm, of which, it has plenty.
With easily the best setting in the city, Villa Beach boasts a prime location at the foot of the iconic Burj Al Arab offering an exquisite vista out towards Dubai’s most prominent seven-star hotel. With a delightful Mediterranean inspired menu and atmospheric live music, its setting couldn’t be any better for a spot of romance.
Nestled away in the grounds of the extensive Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Villa Beach can be reached on foot or by golf buggy for those less able, and is tucked away down a long wooden walkway perched at the waters edge. Normally dining so close to the glistening water of the gulf means overpriced bar food and beachside snacks, but not here. Managing to be the right combination of fine and casual dining, Villa Beach prides itself on being a relaxed, stylish restaurant with unrivalled views and even better food, perfect for dinner a deux.
This is not a place that needs ostentatious furnishings or decorative tricks, for its setting does the talking. Simple polished wood floors, exposed beams and overhead fans compliment the soothing sound of the ocean lapping at the shore of Burj Beach with the atmosphere further intensified by the harmonic crooning of a live guitarist and the gentle flicker of mood lighting.
The food here is surprisingly good; surprising for a beachside restaurant and not for the renowned Jumeirah Beach Hotel.
Seafood as you would imagine, is fantastic here with entrees such as the Pan Seared Octopus with pickled vegetables or Scallops Thermidor being a delicious start to a meal. Dishes are aesthetically pleasing and dressed to perfection with garnish and accompaniments worthy of any five-star dining.
Villa Beach is known for it’s fantastic Paella and rice based variations and sees diners come back time and time again for these alone. Serving two, expect a varied selection of chicken and seafood mixed with Calasparra Rice, Saffron and lemon with the paella. It’s a creamy, hearty dish that makes the ideal sharing plate for loved ones and pays homage to the Mediterranean inspiration behind the restaurant. For meat eaters succulent steak or juicy Duck Breast is best enjoyed with a variety of sides from pureed potato to creamed vegetables mopped up with crusty, warm bread.
Villa Beach is one of those rare venues that transport you to another world, creating a sense of wonder in first-time tourists and long-term residents alike. It’s setting is arguably the best in Dubai and the attentive service and fine quality of its fare makes it your trump card. It’s perfect for celebrations and special occasions, dining under the faint twinkling of the stars and the soft glow of the moon reflecting in the stillness of the water, basking in the colourful shadow of the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, hand in hand, the chinking of glasses and the aroma of flavour, but then again a visit to Villa Beach needs no celebratory excuse for dining here is a celebration of Dubai in itself, a chance to disconnect to reconnect with the beauty of the region through good views and good food. If you’re looking to fall in love or simply need reminding of the love you have for Dubai, then this restaurant is an absolute must.