Review: Morah, JW Marriott Marquis

Spectacular views of downtown Dubai and a curated menu that keeps things on point

The bustling JW Marriott has a fantastic collection of restaurants ranging from Japanese and Indian to Thai and Peruvian, with celebrity chefs heading up each of the kitchens. Now, the hotel’s added one more restaurant to its star-studded portfolio, Morah.

The locale: Business Bay is chock full with five-star hotel options, but the JW Marriot Marquis quite literally towers above them. It is the second tallest hotel in the world, and its suites and dining spots overlook some of the city’s most iconic landmarks.

The setting: Located on the 71st and 72nd floor of the hotel, pick a table by the window for a panoramic view of downtown Dubai. A large chandelier sits in the centre of the room, with a spiral staircase separating the two-tiered restaurant.

Claim-to-fame: Chef Stuart Cameron knows he’s catering to an international clientele with eclectic palettes, and so he chose to fuse Middle Eastern cuisine with Levant-leaning Mediterranean flavours. Morah is located a level above Weslodge, its sibling bar-come-restaurant that, unlike Morah, speaks more directly to the clubbing tribe.

Duck Kibbeh in Morah Restaurant.

Duck Kibbeh.

Small-bites: We start off with crispy squid that requires a quick squeeze of lemon to pop the squid’s flavour. Next up is the duck kibbeh that comes served in a bowl lined with date molasses, used sparingly enough not to result in the duck tasting sweet. Our last starter was the wagyu lahmeh, a wood-fired pide inside where the wagyu is as smooth as the mozzarella. Tip: Ask for the habanero sauce when you order the starters – the spicy sauce is made in-house and a dash of it will pair well with nearly all the starters.

Lamb in Morah restaurant.


Mains: The waiters are trained very well and can make informed choices for you, should you solicit their opinion on what to order. After a quick chat we settled on the yoghurt baked grill that consists of walnut gremolata on a bed of baked yoghurt, a must-try. Next up was the slow-braised lamb shoulder served alongside pickles and lavash. If you’re feeling extravagant, and have an appetite to match, ask for the 320gram usda prime rib eye doused in veal jus and laid on a bed of creamed moutabel blended with za’atar butter.

Ice-cream in Morah Restaurant.


Sweet endings: The Eton Mess is a hipster’s favourite with its broken meringue artfully arranged within the whipped cream and strawberry mix. If you’re craving chocolate, settle on the Nutella ice cream or the Hazelnut mousse.

 Verdict: There isn’t an exhaustive menu to choose from, and that’s a good thing. It’s more of a curated picking, and Morah makes sure it nails the brief on each of them. With commanding views of the city and a swish set in attendance, this restaurant could work as well for date night as it can for an evening out with the whole crew.