The Lighthouse D3: A unique licensed eatery (and concept store) in the Dubai Design District

The Huntr makes its second visit over to The Lighthouse D3, join us here…

Having last visited in the summer of 2017, a lot has changed at The Lighthouse D3 since we were last there. Chef Izu Ani is no longer spearheading the kitchen and instead, co-founders Hashem Montasser and Hany Bassiouny are running the show. Having closed for a brief spell thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, The Lighthouse has reopened for A/W20. One of two licensed eateries in the Dubai Design District (d3), The Lighthouse hopes to attract the city’s discerning foodies after sunset with its brand of “Mediterranean-inspired soul food with a nod to Middle Eastern ingredients”, reasonably priced bar menu and casual and cool dining vibes.

Everything is just as beautiful as we remember it. Natural light floods the space, the furnishings are modern and minimal with little pops of colour here and there, a curated playlist has you tapping your toes and the rather epic retail corners are there to tempt your wallet (featuring the likes of iconic Aussie skincare brand Aesop, an array of different books, homewares, kid’s stuff and more – perfect for gift buying!).

Small and large groups are catered to, there’s a small outside seating area for the cooler months (also licensed) and The Lighthouse is a family-friendly space that all ages can enjoy. Plus, the free WiFi makes it a great spot to study or get work done. The Huntr visited Lighthouse to try its new dinner series for September 2020 – Sail The Mediterranean – and we weren’t disappointed. We booked an early table for 6.30pm to catch golden hour and by the time we were ready to leave at around 8pm the place was filling up – so it’s worth making a reservation to avoid disappointment.

Our dinner encompassed a set menu (200AED for 3 courses with 2 alcoholic beverages). Homemade bread with rather divine hummus is offered as a complimentary appetiser. From the starters section of the special menu we opted to try the Lentil Salad, which has lots of lovely textures and flavours and the Goat Cheese & Cherry Tomatoes with Hazelnut Crust, which is totally gorgeous and highly recommended and the Fried Calamari topped with chilli, paprika and lime, which comes with a “omg I can’t stop eating this stuff” aioli. Appetites suitably whetted and it was time to greet the main courses – Rigatoni with Mushrooms in Cream Sauce, perfectly cooked pasta paired with a creamy sauce, flavourful mushroom and topped with crunchy shallots. Plus the Chicken with Dried Apricots, Fried Shallots, Pistachio and Basmati Rice, which is juicy, filled with different flavours and textures and also highly recommended. To end a truly delightful meal on a sweet note we shared the melt-in-your-mouth Passion Fruit and Yuzu Cheesecake and our favourite – TLH Umm Ali with Malt Ice Cream, a local flavour that’s fragrant and has just the right amount of sweetness – don’t miss it.

The expert bar tender crafted two wonderful cocktail/mocktails for us – the Classic Virgin Mojito and the Signature Lighthouse Cocktail. Over dinner we enjoyed two glasses of crisp white wine and there are a variety of drinks on offer to suit all tastes including speciality coffee (powered by Boon) and tea.

The Lighthouse is a great all-rounder (and the number of entries in the tag box at the bottom of this review are a testament to that) – romantic in the evenings for a date, bustling enough to impress clients any time, open for breakfast (available until 4pm no less) and lunch, licensed, spacious enough for a meeting, the list goes on. See you there soon?

Insider tips: Ample parking available at d3. Shop The Lighthouse’s concept store online here. Vegetarians are well catered to but options for vegans are quite limited. The Lighthouse is open 7 days a week. Breakfast is served from 9am until 4pm. Lunch from 12noon until 4pm. Dinner from 6.30pm until late.


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