In a ceremony held in Abu Dhabi on Monday night, the World's 50 Best Restaurants MENA list awarded Riyadh's Myazu Japanese Restaurant as the best restaurant in Saudi Arabia, with Dubai's Orfali Bros Bistro taking first place overall.
The classification is decided upon by the Academy, a group made up of 250 local restaurant specialists. Each participant gives seven votes for the restaurants that, in their judgment, provide the finest dining in the MENA region.
The top 10 restaurants came from all over the region, with a strong representation from Dubai. Moonrise in Dubai was ranked number 10, Zooba (Zamalek) in Cairo was ranked number 9, Fakhreldin in Amman was ranked number 8, Kinoya in Dubai was ranked number 7, George & John in Tel Aviv was ranked number 6, 3 Fils in Dubai was ranked number 5, Ossiano was ranked number 4, Fusions by Tala in Manama was ranked number 3, Trèsind Studio in Dubai was ranked number 2 and Orfali Bros Bistro in Dubai coming in at number 1.
Shortly after the reveal, @theworlds50best posted on Instagram, “Also crowned The Best Restaurant in the UAE, this Dubai establishment is the restaurant embodiment of three brothers from Aleppo, Syria. The dining experience here is focused on storytelling, where every flavour, ingredient and technique has played a special part in the trio’s story. The atmosphere, with the rhythm set by the work in the two-storey kitchen overlooking the dining space, is fun, indulgent and at times nostalgic.”
The organization also commented on Instagram on Saudi Arabia’s best restaurant Myazu: “Under the leadership of chef Ian Pengelley, this is a spot where harmony reigns in texture, aromas and flavors. Some dishes push the envelope of gastronomic craftsmanship while others focus on Japanese fan favorites, but all are set apart by a sophisticated presentation that has become part of this restaurant’s DNA.” The restaurant came in at number 18, just behind Tawlet Mar Mikhael in Beirut.
Furthermore, the Estrella Damm N.A. Chefs' Choice Award for this year was given to Moustafa Elrefaey of Zooba in Cairo, while the Middle East & North Africa's Best Female Chef Award 2023 was given to Palestinian chef Salam Dakkak.