Some like it hot: best restaurants for UAE spice-lovers

Our pick of the UAE’s top restaurants that will add some serious spice to your life.

Peter Iantorno March 2, 2015

Here at EDGAR, we're big lovers of spice - as far as we're concerned, the spicier the better!

So as spice-lovers, we're lucky here in the UAE that there are so many options for us to get our teeth into. From Indian curries and grills, to Southeast Asian soups, salads and spicy seafood, there's a tooth-tingling dish to suit any spice fan's palette.

The only trouble is, with so much on offer, knowing which restaurant to try from the extensive selection available is far from easy. However, fear not, because here we've picked out our favourite restaurants in the UAE where you can get your daily dose of spice:

Abu Dhabi

Market Kitchen - Spice Market Menu, Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi
Market Kitchen has embraced spice this month, as it has welcomed Peter Lloyd, the Head Chef of London's Spice Market restaurant, and is showcasing his vibrant Southeast Asian cuisine. The special Spice Market menu - featuring inventive Asain fusion cuisine including chargrilled chicken kumquat with lemongrass dressing; ginger fried rice; and Ovaltine kulfi - will run alongside Market Kitchen’s regular Jean-Georges Vongerichten-inspired menu until March 16.

One to try: Black pepper shrimp with sun-dried pineapple.
Details: Market kitchen Abu Dhabi.

Angar, Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi
Bringing a taste of India to Abu Dhabi, Angar has a modern take on classic Indian cuisine, using the flavours, ingredients and methods of the homeland and presenting them in a sleek and sophisticated style befitting its modern location in the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi.

One to try: Lamb vindaloo - fiery Goan lamb curry cooked with Kashmiri red chili, red onion and vinegar.
Details: Angar Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi.

Smoking Doll, Reem Island Abu Dhabi (also main image)

The cuisine at Reem Island Abu Dhabi's Smoking Doll is traditionally Thai with Chinese and Japanese influences. Think salted edamame, Thai fishcakes and Thai green and red curries.
One to try: Singapore chilli crab - Wok-fried fresh Australian blue crab with egg, shallots, ginger, garlic, chilli and spring onions, in a hot and spicy sauce.
Details: Smoking Doll restaurant Abu Dhabi.

Sontaya, St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort
An intimate Southeast Asian offering set in the stunning beachside surroundings of the exclusive St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Sontaya prides itself on offering the very best of authentic Thai, Indonesian, Singaporean, Malaysian and Vietnamese cuisine.

One to try: Singaporean wok-fried lobster - whole Canadian lobster in spicy tomato sauce, served with steamed broccoli and turmeric rice.
Details: Sontaya, St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort


Nina, One&Only Royal Mirage Dubai
A colourful Indo-European venue set in Dubai's One&Only Royal Mirage, downstairs restaurant Nina specialises in classic curries, biryanis and tandoori dishes typical of India. Expect slow-cooked black daal, lamb biryani, poached lobster curry and a range of Indian breads, pickles and chutneys.

One to try: Spiced duck in ginger and coconut curry sauce with apple and puffed rice.
Details: Nina, One&Only Royal Mirage Dubai.

Mint Leaf of London, DIFC
With its prime DIFC location, Mint Leaf of London is a high-class Indian restaurant catering to the city's young and affluent. Expect classic Indian dishes such as Lahori chicken tikka and spicy lamb seekh kebab, served in a fine-dining style.

One to try: Keralan Jheenga - South African king prawns served with spicy Keralan coconut sauce.
Details: Mint Leaf of London, DIFC Dubai.

Spice Emporium, The Westin Dubai
Nestled in the cavernous Westin Dubai, Spice Emporium is a little dose of Thailand in the Middle East. The venue runs a special set menu, featuring everything you'd be likely to find - from hot and sour tiger prawn soup to green seafood curry - in a Phuket seafood restaurant.

One to try: Deep-fried cod fillet in sweet and sour chilli sauce topped with crispy hot basil leaves.
Details: Spice_Emporium The Westin Dubai

Junoon, Shangri-La Hotel Dubai
With its flagship New York restaurant having held a Michelin star for four years, hopes for the brand new Dubai branch of Junoon, located in the Shangri-La Hotel, are high. Focusing on quality sustainable ingredients, Junoon serves traditional Indian cuisine of the highest quality.

One to try: Scotch curry - Goat, green cardamom and mace gravy, green chilli.
Details: Junoon restaurant Dubai.