Estrellas: Tapas with a view

Category: Food & Beverage

The Arabs ruled Spain, and the rest of the Iberian Peninsula from 711AD to 1492AD.


Influences and legacies remain alive today from architecture to the language itself and yes, tapas, which has found its way to Estrellas, a popular rooftop, poolside restaurant tucked in the heart of Old Dubai.  

Not too many people know that like most any other popular delicacies, tapas, which came from the Spanish word “tapa” to mean “cover,”  had very humble beginnings: a piece of flat bread that served as lid for drinks to keep flies away.

The bread soon had something else on it to make for an hors d'oeuvre of sort if you will, and –voila! –  became a snack of its own with influence from the Arabs, who brought with them almonds, citrus, and fragrant spices; and further, with New World conquests by Spain, and Portugal, which brought maize, potatoes, and more spices on the tapas table.

Estrellas, Spanish for “stars,” aside from being a fitting name for a rooftop venue as you party under those luminescent dots in the night sky, is also where the city’s best tapas arguably are.

Pechuga de pollo con verduritas,chicken breasts with steamed veggies; or gambas en su salsa, tiger prawns with parsley and citric butter; or chuletitas de cordero,lamb chops with garlic chive crust, all served a la parilla, grilled, are must-haves best served in a mixed platter as one enjoys the view of Dubai’s skyline from couches as the DJ spins his own mix in a breezy, cool evening.

Estrellas has tapas frias, cold ones like the ensalada de aguacate y gambas,

or avocado and prawn salad dressed with cider vinaigrette; and tapas calientes, warm or hot ones like chorizo a la sidra or turkey chorizo in traditional cider.

Estrellas, one of the finer restaurants in Dubai, is on the eighth floor of the five-star, international Spanish hotel chain, Melia, one of the best hotels in Dubai, on Kuwait Street in Bur Dubai. Call +971 4 386 8111 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for enquiries and reservations.

By the way, has anyone told you dining is among best things to do in Dubai?

(By Jojo Dass)