DubaiFoodRestaurant ReviewsUAE

Jara by Martín Berasategui Review: The best of Basque arrives in Dubai

The Spanish chef sprinkles his MICHELIN magic on The Lana – Dorchester Collection.

Martín Berasategui is one of Spain’s most celebrated chefs. Over the years, his restaurants have won 12 MICHELIN stars and put the Basque Country’s cuisine on the map. Now, he has opened his first restaurant in the region at Dubai’s newest luxury location, The Lana – Dorchester Collection.

Jara by Martín Berasategui descends on the Dubai dining scene at a time when high-end Spanish cuisine is trending, slotting nicely into the niche carved out by Jaleo by José Andrés at Atlantis The Royal, Qabu by Paco Morales at The Link and Tagomago. 

Perched on the 18th floor of the luxurious address, Jara by Martín Berasategui pioneers the introduction of Basque gastronomy in Dubai. Named after Berasategui’s granddaughter, Jara is inspired by the colourful spirit of life in Berasategui’s native Basque Country and an ode to warmth, connection and family where diners are encouraged to linger and enjoy the sharing-style menu. The restaurant is a lesson in sultry sophistication where sleek and smart décor includes dark shades of brown to gold, complemented by a grandiose flower arrangement hanging in the centre. Plus, there is a jaw-dropping view of Dubai, which sweeps across the city, taking in Marasi Bay Marina and the sound and light show across the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa.

Jara by Martín Berasategui

The beating heart of Jara is its open kitchen, where traditional clay-pit ovens and the elemental play of fire bring to life an array of charcoal-grilled meats and seafood while diners watch flames dance across the grill. The menu takes full advantage of Spain’s incredible fresh produce, including Galician red meats, and fish and seafood from the Atlantic and Mediterranean seas, which are presented on a glistening ice display at the front of the restaurant. A dry-ager showcases cuts of meat against an alluring red hue and whole fish illuminated in a blue glow, a perfect atmospheric match for the unexpected soundtrack that ranges from Janet Jackson to Kaytranada.

Martín told FACT: “It’s a walk down memory lane. The dishes come from the passion and respect I have for my land and my roots. Basque cuisine is one of the most recognised cuisines in the world, and we want to bring our way of interpreting it to Dubai. We take advantage of the amazing produce we have in Spain, bring the best fish and seafood from the Atlantic and Mediterranean seas, and the best red meats from Galicia.”

Jara by Martin Berasategui

The menu is divided into hot and cold starters, Martín Berasategui classics, from the earth, shellfish and crustaceans, meat, oysters, and the Jara caviar service. Signature dishes include a Duo of Cantabrian Anchovies, Kokotxas Casserole with Clams, and, of course, a Basque Cheesecake. 

We begin with Martín Berasategui’s Cecina Croquettes (AED 30 per piece), which are crisp on the outside and stuffed with a gooey mix of bechamel sauce and pieces of salted and dried beef. It’s a moreish morsel and a fantastic introduction into the culinary world of Martín Berasategui, who has worked as a chef for almost 50 years and has restaurants in Barcelona, Bilbao, Ibiza, Madrid and Tenerife.

Jara by Martin Berasategui

The Grilled Octopus (AED 135) is a pretty plate showcasing tender chunks of charcoal-grilled tentacle served with Galician-style potatoes and plenty of paprika. Forget the chewy chunks often found in Dubai restaurants, as Jara’s team managed to instill the hard-to-cook mollusc with a meaty tenderness that is difficult to achieve with octopus.

Renowned for its jumbo size and striking bright red colour, it’s easy to see why the Carabinero (AED 295 per piece) has been blowing up our Instagram feeds. With a robust flavour that is more pronounced than other shrimp and langoustine varieties, Jara’s Carabinero is adorned with a buttery Hollandaise sauce containing a hint of lemon. For Dubai decadence, a generous dollop of caviar can be added.

A 200g cut of Australian Angus Tenderloin is charcoal grilled Basque-style and plated into three perfectly placed pieces amidst a swirl of garnish. Additional sauces are not required as the grill imparts a slightly smokey taste that allows the flavour of the meat to prevail. However, accompaniments such as Basque Chimichurri, Béarnaise and Salsa Romesco are available.


Jara only offers four dessert choices, but most diners will gravitate towards the generous portion of Basque Cheesecake (AED 90). Boasting a beautifully burnt top, the cheesecake is luscious yet light and not overly sweet, resulting in a rustic finale.

Adjacent to the restaurant is Jara Bar by Martín Berasategui, a lounge that blends sophisticated interiors with high-end mixology inspired by the land, sea, and fire. The 360-degree bar in the centre of the space is the perfect place for a pre- or post-dinner drink and is anchored around an extravagant chandelier of burnt-orange oval spheres.

Jara by Martin Berasategui

Given the location, the price point is expectedly high, with many items sold per piece or by weight. However, Jara by Martín Berasategui is a culinary concept that stands out among the blockbuster chefs at the first Dorchester property in the Middle East. With Angelo Musa and Jean Imbert for culinary camaraderie, Martín Berasategui brings the best of Basque to Dubai while offering service with a smile.

GO: Visit for more information. 

What's your reaction?

In Love
Not Sure
David Tapley - Editor-in-Chief
As editor-in-chief of the region’s most fiercely local lifestyle publication, David is a self-proclaimed hip-hop aficionado, championing all things food, travel, street art, and streetwear across the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

You may also like

More in:Dubai

0 %