The 2023 list of the Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants was revealed with a glamorous ceremony in Abu Dhabi on January 30th 2023.
Orfali Bros Bistro - Winner of the MENA's 50 Best Restaurants 2023
Dubai-based restaurant Orfali Bros Bistro in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is named The Best Restaurant in the Middle East & North Africa 2023, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, and The Best Restaurant in the UAE. Owned by three brothers originally from Syria: Mohammad, Wassim and Omar Orfali, Orfali Bros Bistro is located in the Wasl 51 neighbourhood of Jumeirah and was founded in 2021. The menu features dishes with a core Middle Eastern theme paying homage to the brothers’ Aleppian roots, while capturing the multiculturalism and avant-garde spirit of Dubai.
A thrilling dining experience is led by charismatic head chef Mohammad Orfali, while brothers Wassim and Omar are both top-level pastry chefs and work from an elevated pastry kitchen which overlooks the main dining room.
Fine dining Indian restaurant Trèsind Studio which is located on The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai and headed by chef Himanshu Saini, claims the No.2 spot, and is followed by Fusions by Tala in Manama (No.3), which is also named The Best Restaurant in Bahrain and takes home the Highest Climber Award 2023. Dubai’s Ossiano (No.4) is awarded the Highest New Entry prize, sponsored by Aspire Lifestyles.
William Drew, Director of Content for Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants, says: “It’s a great honour to announce that Orfali Bros Bistro has made it to the No.1 spot at the second edition of Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. It is a masterfully executed independent restaurant, loved by local residents and visitors alike. There is no doubt that it sets a new standard in creativity, innovation and food presentation, coupled with an intimate service style, and we are thrilled to celebrate its brilliance. Additionally, we are excited to see restaurants from 14 different cities represented on this year’s list, showcasing the rich diversity of cuisines across this region.”
The United Arab Emirates is the country that tops the list with an impressive 18 restaurants featured, including three from host city Abu Dhabi, while Israel follows with six establishments, one of which is in the top 10: George & John (No.6), winner of The Best Restaurant in Israel. Following close behind are Egypt and Jordan with five restaurants each, with Fakhreldin (No.8) named The Best Restaurant in Jordan, while Zooba (Zamalek) (No.9) is named The Best Restaurant in Egypt.
Riyadh’s Myazu (No.18) is the winner of The Best Restaurant in Saudi Arabia title. Morocco is also well-represented with four restaurants featured in the ranking including La Grande Table Marocaine (No.27), making it The Best Restaurant in Morocco. Lebanon also has a player in the top 20 with Baron (No.16) in Beirut named The Best Restaurant in Lebanon.
Tunis restaurant La Closerie (No.34) claims the title of The Best Restaurant in Tunisia, while the anime-inspired Japanese eatery White Robata in Kuwait City comes in at (No.42), making it The Best Restaurant in Kuwait.
As a recognition of excellence in restaurant service and dining experiences, the Art of Hospitality Award is presented to Beirut’s Em Sherif (No.20). The restaurant is honoured for its personalised style where the guest’s experience is tailored to their individual preference, all while embodying the spirit of Lebanese generosity.