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Leña Dubai Review: Take a seat at Dani García’s superb Spanish steakhouse

The stunning space also includes the omakase restaurant Smoked Room.

Things are heating up on the Dubai dining scene with the arrival of Spanish chef Dani García’s acclaimed concept Leña at St. Regis Gardens. Leña means “wood” in Spanish and is a fitting name for the superb steak restaurant which serves robataka yaki, jewels from the sea, fire-grilled steaks, sharing dishes and sides.

With locations in Madrid, Marbella and soon, Miami, Leña has a reputation for charcoal-grilled meats and wow-worthy interiors (the Madrid restaurant was recently voted the most beautiful restaurant in the world). With interiors to match its impressive pedigree, Leña Dubai has become the talk of the town. The restaurant offers a sultry, sophisticated space with indoor and outdoor seating. 

Leña Dubai

Inside, Wood dominates the decor, offset by shades of brown, brass and gold. Here, guests can expect perfectly-pressed tablecloths, a statement bar, a swirling light installation and plenty of pampas grass. Settle into a seat and watch the chefs hard at work in the open kitchen. Expect to see flames.

The perfect balance between product and technique, the menu at Leña Dubai showcases the power of cooking over hot embers. It is part steakhouse and part Spanish haute cuisine with a cosmopolitan touch inspired by Chef Dani’s travels.  

Leña Dubai

At Leña Dubai, everything whispers of smoke, and the restaurant uses wood-fired aromas and flavours to create a memorable meal, beginning with the Charcoal Grilled Leek (AED 80) served ashen with an emulsified gribiche sauce and crushed hazelnuts for texture. The Foie That Wanted To Be An Apple (AED 95) left this Editor-in-Chief floored. Similar to the ever-popular Meat Fruit at Dinner By Heston Blumenthal, this dish plays with perceptions. It is shaped like a glazed green apple, but a foie gras micuit is revealed when you cut into it. Served with green apple salad, caramelised walnuts and toasted bread, it’s a rich and luscious treat.

Leña Dubai

Served inside a vessel that resembles a grasping palm, the Andalusian Croquettes (AED 80) offer a creamy blend of beef and chicken stuffed into a light yet crisp tempura batter. Gloriously gooey, these Spanish staple packs a punch thanks to the robust filling. Big enough for sharing, the Leña Caesar Salad (AED 90), adorned with smoked cecina and grilled corn, is a top choice that is prepared tableside and utilises plenty of pungent anchovies. 

Leña Dubai

The impressive steak selection includes Angus Beef Tenderloin (AED 270), Angus Ribeye (AED 450) and the delightful Kiwami Beef Tenderloin (AED 320). On our various visits to Leña Dubai, we’ve proven partial to the Picaña Steak (AED 160). Grain-fed for 200 days, this cut of Australian Angus is thinly sliced, undeniably tender and pairs perfectly with Leña’s lovely Green Pepper Sauce (AED 30). Pick your weapon from a selection of sharpened knives and dig in! If go big or go home is your ethos, the 1.3kg Kiwami Tomahawk (AED 1,150) or 1kg Kiwami Porterhouse (AED 990) are great for groups.

Leña Dubai’s delightful desserts include a Savarin (AED 45) in honour of Chef Alain Ducasse, Hazelnut Soufflé with yuzu ice cream (AED 50) and the limited-edition Torta Di Rose (AED 99). Designed for sharing, the latter takes on the shape of a basket of rosebuds and tops a sugary, almost marshmallow-like dough with a generous dollop of brown butter ice cream.

Leña Dubai

Spanish cuisine has become Dubai’s trend du jour with the recent openings of Qabu by Paco Morales, Tagomago and TATEL. Dani García’s is flexing his culinary muscles and has opened the omakase restaurant, Smoked Room, tucked away inside the heart of Leña in Dubai.

Do as Cristiano Ronaldo and Georgina Rodríguez did on a recent visit to Dubai and take a seat at lavish Leña. It’s a captivating dance between fire, smoke, and exceptional ingredients, all orchestrated within a luxurious and contemporary setting. From its butter coated in ash to prehistoric mocktails served inside a cracked dinosaur egg, Leña Dubai redefines the classic steakhouse.

GO: Visit for more information. 

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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.

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