Bussola really surprised me. It's not exactly out of the way as it's at the Westin, but you could easily overlook it.
Great decor, beautiful outdoor setting overlooking the beach, decent service and truly excellent pizza. Their set menus are good value for money which is unexpected at a 5 star hotel and it has also has vouchers in The Entertainer. Good wine list too.
I always remember how good a time I had there, but for some reason keep forgetting to go back as it doesn't really advertise or promote itself!
This has to be one of my favourite spots in Dubai. It's chilled out and mellow midweek, but with just enough of a buzz to keep things interesting. You're bound to run into someone you know eventually here, even if they're just popping in for a short while. It must that old fashioned local pub feel it's got going that makes it so cosy.
They serve a crazy range of Belgian beers you've probably never heard of, some of which are served in very odd medieval style pitchers. It really is an ale lover's haven, but there are plenty of firm favourites. I'd been going there for about a year before I discovered the 'sampler' which you have to request from the waitress as it's not on the drinks menu. I'd been sticking to one or two types (Leffe Blonde and the super sweet framboise) but never realised how varied the different flavours on offer were till a friend ordered one of these samplers which consists of 6 half pints served on tray.
No night at the BBC is complete without their yummy (Belgian) fries and a pot of mussels. If you didn't like mussels before, you will like them now! A big plus is that unlike many Dubai establishments it has an open air terrace on the roof allowing you to escape the smoke fumes...and we've spotted kids on the second floor one or twice and were told they are allowed on that floor as it's a dining area. They really do think of everything!
Avoid on the weekends without a reservation...and even then it's so packed it loses its charm. I'd recommend sticking to midweek and trying one of their daily special offers.