Wine Dine and Play: Wheeler’s of Dubai

Wheeler’s of Dubai

Wheeler's of St James is a British Seafood restaurant in Dubai, UAE

An 1856 Traditional British Seafood Restaurant Hits Dubai
Dubai, United Arab Emirates 
Cuisine Style: British, Seafood
Average Price: $$$$
Overall Rating: 4/5
Dined in: March 2013
Article Updated: November 12, 2018
By Sean Overpeck (CFE)
**A full article and index glossary of restaurants, wines, recipes and travel for 
Wine Dine and Play are in the pages section above, or by following these links:

UPDATE: Wheeler’s of St. James by Marco Pierre White in Dubai is now permanently closed

Wheeler’s Executive Chef:
Marco Pierre White
Chef Marco Pierre White of the restaurant Wheeler's of St James

Classic British style seafood updated with a European Twist. The original brand restaurant dates back to London in 1856, however celebrity chef Marco Pierre White updated and improved the classic seafood recipes of the original Wheeler’s Brand. The menu is a fusion of the traditional such as Wheeler’s prawn cocktail, fish pie, and grilled Dover sole, alongside the older more traditional dishes of seasonal games, grilled meats, and vegetarian options. Marco Pierre White is a British celebrity Chef, restaurateur, and television personality. He is noted for his contributions to contemporary international cuisine. White has been dubbed the first celebrity chef, “the enfant terrible” of the UK restaurant scene and the godfather of modern cooking. At the time, he was the youngest Chef ever to have been awarded three Michelin stars. He has trained chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Curtis Stone, and Heston Blumenthal.

While traveling through Dubai, I had heard about wheeler’s restaurant and of course, the fame of Chef Marco, so I felt that since I had passed the restaurant over for others during my previous travels to Dubai, I decided to book it. I think I picked the worst time to travel through Dubai though, as I was looking forward to drinking some alcohol, but this time it was Ramadan. By UAE law, they could not serve any alcohol until later in the evening, so I thought I was going to have to enjoy a good coursed seafood meal without wine or other alcoholic beverage of my choice. So while at the bar waiting for the dining room to open up, I had some marinated olives, and a few non-alcoholic or “virgin” drinks also known as mocktails such as the berry mojito and the Wheeler’s Mary. They were both good, but they would have been a lot better if the Mojito had some Captain Morgan’s Rum and Mary had some Kettle One vodka, let me tell you. 
A Mocktail Bloody Mary at Wheeler's of St. James
Wheeler's / Mocktail Bloody May

I took my time in going to the dining room so that I could have some wine once the banning law was no longer in effect. Once seated, I decided on a glass of white wine to go with the courses of food I had selected. Their wine list was good, but one thing I have sadly learned while traveling the Middle East is that American Wines are not well represented. I am not saying this as an American to be biased, but California, Oregon, & New York have a great selection of wines, some of which in taste testing did better than French Wines. (Bottle shocked – Great movie.) Anyway, I had a bottle of the 2009 Domain Laroche, Chablis 1er Cru. When it comes to Chardonnay’s, I do enjoy some American bottles, but Chablis has a mineral flavor with the wine, and I preferred that with seafood. Certain red wines are also good with seafood, but I was not in the mood for a red that night. I try to not follow the stereotypes of wine with foods all the time or be snobby and follow the snob law of how you must drink white with fish and red with steak. Go by what you like, both red and white wines, sweet or dry, you're buying it, and that is all that matters.

I chose a five-course serving for my dinner meal, two starters, a salad, entrée, and then dessert. I began with citrus cured salmon, “Carpaccio style” wonderfully layered and topped with red and yellow grapefruit, and avocado. Separate the flavors were good, but combined, the taste was superb. I personally feel that the avocado needed some salt, but that is why salt is on the table. 

Shaved Citrus salmon at Wheeler's of St. James
Wheeler's / Citrus Salmon

The second course was Irish Crab Claws, served warm in a garlic, white wine butter sauce, and garnished with some micro greens. Crab claws I really enjoy, as I have been spoiled with stone crab claws from Florida when they come into season whenever I can get my hands on them. Mostly I have the claws chilled, but at Wheeler’s they were served hot. It made for an interesting flavor, but personally, I still prefer chilled ones. 

Irish Crab Claws at Wheeler's of St. James
Wheeler's / Irish Crab Claws

Course three was my salad, a roasted pear salad served over baby spinach, bresaola, and shaved parmesan with a lemon oil drizzle. Bresaola is an air-dried, salted beef that has been aged two or three months until it becomes hard and turns a dark red, almost purple color. The beef is from the top (inside) round, and is lean and tender, with a sweet, musty smell. It originated in Valtellina, a valley in the Alps of Northern Italy's Lombardy Region. 

A Bresaola salad at Wheeler's of St. James
Wheeler's / Bresaola salad

For the main entrée, I tried something new that I really had not even heard of before. I grew up eating shepherd’s pie, and enjoy making it from time to time, or bastardizing it with ground beef for some cottage pie, but the entrée course I had was the wheeler’s fish pie. Instead of beef or lamb, you put in fish and top it with mashed potatoes. The fish selection was shrimp and salmon cooked in a white sauce with pearl onions and peas, then topped with the mash. It was wonderful. I will have to make this dish at some point in the future. 

You have shepherd's pie, cottage pie, and now fish pie at Wheeler's restaurant
Wheeler's / Fish Pie

At this point, I was nearly at the bursting stage but still decided on a dessert. I tried the summer pudding special, which was a typical bread pudding recipe, nice and soft, drizzled in a raspberry sauce, and whipped cream, with a garnish of strawberry, blue, and blackberries. That with a cup of coffee did me in for the evening.

Summer pudding special with raspberry at Wheeler's of St. James
Wheeler's / Summer Pudding Special

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Please see these guidelines for Tipping in Restaurants and on following proper etiquette, customs, cultures, and avoiding assumptions when you dine out.

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See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary by country

Final notes, review basics, observations, and more pictures:

Most reviews are subjective, depending on the writer; but they should also be responsible, and respectfully written, upholding the truth, and accurately conveying the experience to the best of the writer's knowledge, even if it includes metaphors the restaurant may not like to read about. My ratings are by the stars I award (from 0 to 5). The rating is calculated on a point accumulation of six separate factors based on individual experience. They include wine and other beverage selections, plate presentation, customer service, restaurant or café ambiance, food quality, and wow factor. To see more details of this rating list, read this article:

Overall from this experience and the score factors outlined in the ‘about page’ section, based on my individual experience and rating, I give Wheelers 4 out of 5 stars, meaning that they not only exceeded my expectations and were far above the average dining experience of most restaurants, but they just outstanding.

Scores are detailed in the factor chart below:

**A full break down and explanation of the observations and point disbursement is available in the linked article above. To receive a detailed copy of your score, feel free to contact me at any time and I will provide it to you.**


Overall Star Rating:
4 of 5 Stars: 
88% Rating with a 1 point “wow” bonus
An Outstanding Dining Experience
Corkage fees:
Wheeler’s does not list any corkage fee’s however, most American restaurants charge $25.00 per bottle
Conservative dining
Cuisine Style at Wheeler’s:
British, Seafood
Allergen or dietary accommodations: 
Gluten-free choices, Halal, Low Carb Choices, Pescatarian, Vegetarian Options
The restaurant is permanently closed

Dress code:
Smart casual attire
Child policy:

The Restaurants reviewed on this site may have a kids menu or cater to them; however, for full enjoyment of food and wine, it is recommended that kids not to be in attendance, unless they have been trained in proper etiquette. 
If not then:
Hire a Babysitter! 
Place for foodies, Contemporary, Modern, Trendy, Business parties, Hotspot, Great bar, Good for special occasions, Classy, Upscale, and a Neighborhood Gem.
Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
Wheeler’s has a valet
3 hour validated parking up until 6:00 PM
The restaurants reviewed on this site may have Wi-Fi, but do not require you to go online, because the excitement of the food and wine alone will keep you too entertained instead of checking your social media and emails.
Noise level:
Wheeler’s is a non-smoking restaurant  
WARNING: has a smoking patio
Patio or terrace:

Food Prices 
(excludes, alcohol, taxes & 20% gratuity’s)

$£€¥ -                Under 50.00 (inexpensive)
$£€¥ x 2 -          51.00- 99.00 (moderate)
$£€¥ x 3 -          Over 100.00 (pricey)
$£€¥ x 4 -          Over 200.00 (expensive)
$£€¥ x 5 -          Over 400.00 (very expensive)

**Currencies reflect the world’s major travelers, restaurant, or wine connoisseur’s**

Arab Emirate Dirham (AED)
United States Dollar (USD)
Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP)
Canadian Dollar (CAN)
Chinese Yuan (CNY)  
European Union (EUR)

Wheeler’s of St. James:

Gate Village 2 
DIFC (Dubai International Financial Center)
Dubai, UAE

Contact Information: 

Restaurant website:

The world's best restaurants is a subjective list of who is writing it and changes on a regular basis. The Wine Dine and Play best experiences are based on my highest rated stared restaurants, meaning that the visit was an outstanding or extraordinary experience. From cafés, chains, mom + pops, hole in the walls, to fine dining including a few Michelin spots. Visit the Top 100 page to see the entire list.

A few to tease you with…
Eclectic tavern for Surf 'n' Turf  in Griffin, Georgia, USA
Nautically themed eatery with crafted cocktails and raw bar
Sarasota, Florida, USA
New American Cuisine, tapas, and exotic cocktails
St Pete Beach, Florida, USA

The Dubai financial center also known as DIFC in Dubai
Wheeler's / DIFC

The entrance to Wheeler's of St. James restaurant
Wheler's / Entrance

Mojito mocktail at Wheeler's of St. James in Dubai
Wheeler's / Mojito Mocktail

Wine Dine and Play reviewing Wheeler's of St. James in Dubai
Wheeler's / Wine Dine and Play

Chef Marco Pierre White and fellow cooks at Wheeler's grand opening in Dubai
Wheeler's / Chef Marco and crew at Wheeler's in Dubai

“Culinary perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, 
But in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”
-Angelique Arnauld (1591-1661)

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