Restaurant Reviews


All you wanted to know about the nomination process and details about the first Asian food awards

Over the years, Masala! has proved to be true representative of the voice of the Asian community in Dubai. Each year, the Masala! Awards honours individuals and brands that have done the country proud and made a name for themselves in the UAE. This year, in 2019, we focus on the one thing that binds us Asians together like none other – food. 

The first ever Masala! Food Awards will be held on September 15, 2019 and the objective is to bring together the cream of the Asian food and beverage industry in one of the most competitive markets. While the F&B industry in the whole of UAE has grown exponentially over the past few years, the Asian food scene has taken the country by storm. From hole-in-the-wall eateries that serve authentic dishes that remind you of home to Michelin star Indian chefs who have set up their footprints, the desi food scene is buzzing and how! 

The Masala! Food Awards will honour these individuals and brands that have become a part and parcel of our daily lives. We have been watching, observing and appreciating the hard work and skill that has made your outlet such a talking point among foodies. Masala!’s editors and anonymous diners from the city have experienced the food and services for a long while. Now, it’s our turn to recognise and celebrate the dedicated professionals who make the food scene so exciting. The Awards will pay tribute to the sheer spunk and the hard work of those in the restaurant business. From the CEO whose vision has ensured that Asian food has made an imprint on the global scene to the chef whose magical creations have taken desi dishes to a whole new level to the mixologist who has added the pizzaz to the bartending scene, this is one award that will recognise South Asian talent on the food scene.

Read on for the categories and nomination process.


1. Street Food Restaurant of the Year

Restaurants that serve the most tempting pani-puris, bhels and samosas – enough to stop you in your tracks! A meal for two would not cost more than Dhs 75.

2. Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year

The regular haunts for quick daily lunches and dinners, offering food that is delicious, comforting and is very easy on the pocket. A meal for two costs between Dhs 120-150.

3. Premium Casual Restaurant of the Year

The go-to place for special food, quirky concepts, pricey but not entirely unaffordable. A meal for two costs no more than Dhs 500.

4. Fine Dine Restaurant of the Year

Restaurants offering avant-garde treatment and unique food experiences. Perfect for a formal, glam evening out. A meal for two begins at Dhs 800.

5. Indian Night Club of the Year

The best Bollywood tracks, perfect fusion drinks and bar bites and offering unforgettable night outs with a desi twist.

6. Themed Restaurant of the Year

Does your outlet offer live music or special décor that tell a story? This is your category.

7. Best Interiors

Décor that makes your establishment stand out from the rest and makes it oh-so-instagrammable.

8. Mixologist of the Year

The beverage wizard who can conjure up magic in a glass mixing sugar, spice and all things nice.

9. Chef of the Year

A shout out to those culinary geniuses who can turn a simple dish into a gastronomic masterpiece.

10. F&B CEO of the Year

The entrepreneur who has taken the culinary scene by storm with new ideas and concepts. 

11. Best Debut Restaurant

The newbies on the list! Be it fine dine or casual, these are the joints that have made a splash on the food landscape this year.

12. Restaurant of the Year

Established outlets that have successfully maintained brand recall and have continued to win patrons’ hearts with quality food, fabulous service, impressive ambience and innovative campaigns.


The way to enter the Masala! Food Awards is very simple:

  1. Send an email entering your nomination for a restaurant/personality to
  2. In the subject line write MASALA! FOOD AWARDS – (Category). For eg: If you have a fine dine restaurant that you wish you nominate write, ‘MASALA! FOOD AWARDS – FINE DINE RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR’
  3. Write 100 words on what makes the restaurant/personality special, the big achievements in the last one year, a brief history of the brand and why you think you deserve the title.
  4. A panel of judges consisting of ITP editors will then shortlist the 10 best entries which will be announced on August 22, 2019*. 
  5. The shortlisted restaurants will be reviewed anonymously by ITP writers and the final top FIVE nominees will be selected from them.
  6. The top 5 nominees will be invited to the exclusive evening and the winner will be announced on stage.


For all updates, follow and Masala!’s Social Media:

*The date for the final shortlist is now pushed to August 26, 2019. Instead of the top ten, the top entrants will be announced on the aforementioned date. Watch our social media pages and website for updates.

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