Rising-star chef creates first iteration of authentic Dubai cuisine to stunning effect


On the Pass

Solemann Haddad

The lowdown: Moonrise is arguably the hottest reservation ticket in a city replete with exciting new restaurants. The brainchild of Dubai-raised chef Solemann Haddad, it offers just eight counter seats per twice-nightly sitting, where diners witness the plating of each dish in the eight-course tasting menu at touching distance from the small but well-drilled team.

A chef prodigy? Haddad is just 26 and almost entirely self-taught, having dropped out of university to set about building his very personal culinary dream. Born to a French mother and Syrian father, he is part of a new ‘third culture’ generation for whom the uber-multi-cultural city of Dubai is not just a workplace or luxury playground, but home. His culinary outlook – and output – is testament to that. Already named Michelin Young Chef of the Year 2022, his prodigious talent is reflected in the restaurant’s stunning debut on Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023.

Dubai story: Haddad’s menu is both an exploration of and love letter to the food of his city and childhood, mixing the Middle Eastern, European and Japanese influences that punctuate Dubai’s culinary culture. Dishes might include an explosive pani puri featuring foie gras, pineapple chutney and date syrup; a take on a ‘grilled cheese sandwich’ majoring on parmesan, truffle and black garlic; spiced hamachi with a Syrian sumac sauce; and a delicate strawberry Basque cheesecake. Ingredients are largely local and sourced from the small but growing band of artisanal producers in the Emirates, with the odd imported speciality incorporated, too.

Where do I find it? The compact space sits atop a luxury residential block with knockout views along Dubai’s coastline. As of February 2023, it’s currently unlicensed, meaning your dinner is paired with teas and imaginative non-alcoholic cocktails, but Moonrise may re-emerge in a fresh spot, complete with drinks licence, in due course.