Dubai’s food and beverage sector does not need the annual global restaurant ranking programme Michelin Guide in order for it to develop or grow, according to the founder and managing partner of hospitality company Bulldozer Group.
Speaking to Arabian Business, Evgeny Kuzin said the city does not have the number of fine dining restaurants that would require the guide.
“I don’t think we necessarily need the Michelin Guide, to be honest with you. I don’t see many fine dining restaurants in Dubai,” he said.
Bulldozer Group is known for bringing global concepts including Italian restaurant Cipriani to Dubai. The firm also opened its own concept Greek restaurant Gaia in DIFC in 2018. It is headed by Chef Izu Ani, who is famous for launching successes La Petite Maison and La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie.
Kuzin said consumers today are slowly turning away from fine dining and into casual dining.
“For instance, when I’m travelling, I don’t look to the Michelin Guide to see where to eat. We’re not into fine dining as a group anyway. Our concept is premium casual dining. We like to serve people food that they can eat. We’re just trying to serve real food with quality produce. And people don’t want extreme gastronomy anymore,” he said.
The premium casual dining trend is growing beyond Dubai, according to the managing partner, as people are no longer interested in ’22 course meals’.
“I can see this trend everywhere, not just Dubai. If you use the Michelin Guide in other countries, you’ll notice that the restaurants are full of tourists. But regular people are not demanding super fine dining. People want to eat and enjoy food, see their food on their plates, not wait for small portions in a 22 course meal,” he said.
The Bulldozer Group is expected to open London concept China Tang in DIFC this year. The restaurant in Dorchester Hotel serves Cantonese cuisine in rooms designed in Art Deco, aimed at evoking 1930s Shanghai.