Great Food And A Buzzing Atmosphere – This Media City Restaurant Has It All

Oh, did we mention the views?


In Dubai, there’s no shortage of rooftop bars with spectacular views. They’re probably more common than bars on the ground level in other global cities, and with the amount of towers constantly cropping up, why wouldn’t we want an after-work drink with a vista?

In Media City you’ll find Media One Hotel, home to a huge variety of Dubai-favourite venues. Surprisingly, although our office is based nearby, this was my first visit to the 43rd level of the hotel – home to the aptly named (and much acclaimed) Q43 bar and restaurant.

q43venue 2
q43 venue3

Stepping out of the lift into the dimly lit foyer, they have their mission statement etched into the wall. Everyone from the staff to the punters can see what they’re all about: “we have built it, you guys will make it”. In truth, most people stumbling in after a happy hour and heading for the glamorous bar probably don’t take this in – but I thought it was a nice touch.

Ultimately, I was here for food. But this place combines the buzzing atmosphere of a bar with a restaurant so well, that I couldn’t help but stop for a quick pre-dinner drink (it reminded me a bit of London’s Hakkasan, but a more affordable version). Although it was late in the evening, there were only about 20 other diners because the bar was packed and spilling into the restaurant – it actually gave the place a nice edge.

A post shared by Q43 Dubai (@q43dubai) on

A post shared by Q43 Dubai (@q43dubai) on

A post shared by Q43 Dubai (@q43dubai) on

I was in one of those funny moods where I wasn’t starving, so I decided to get a bunch of tasting dishes, including Carpaccio of beef (best I’ve had in ages and a huge portion), prawn tacos (weird hard taco shells but decent filing) and a tuna tartar (superb). Given that there weren’t many carbs in that, I ordered a sushi roll as well – which was outstanding; as good as any sushi I’ve eaten in the city.

On this occasion, I gave into temptation and had a couple more drinks in the bar and a game of pool. The venue was absolutely buzzing with media-types, and when it’s packed the dark, sultry lighting draws you in like a moth to a flame. At least it did me.

A post shared by Q43 Dubai (@q43dubai) on

A post shared by Q43 Dubai (@q43dubai) on

If you’re visiting in the day, they do a great business lunch with a view across The Palm. Their menu is packed full of dishes and this is a super talented kitchen. I’ll be back to try their steaks, because I saw a few coming out of the kitchen and they look big enough to satisfy a carnivorous caveman.


Come here for the food, or come here for the drinks and bustling nightlife. The chances are you’ll probably do both, and have an incredible time doing so. Top marks.

Written By

Niall Harbison

Niall founded our sister site Lovin' Dublin with a few simple aims: discover new places to eat in Dublin and share simple recipes cooked up in his kitchen.