A baseweld finger firmly placed on the pulse that creates a truly-blue fine dining experience যা virtually culinary glitz and unpleasant rajmataz-exploding at a spectacular show in Dubai. Now, imagine a few more beginnings … Yes, the 2022 edition of the annual Dubai Food Festival, which took place from 2nd to 15th May, saw the best food restaurants scattered across the city come together to celebrate what is best. All this, they left no workout to give food connoisseurs a treat of their lifetime. With lots of demonstration of their culinary brilliance and skill through food and presentation.
Luckily for me, I got a ringside seat for all the action as I gourmanded my way through the most exciting digstation dinners and carefully curated meals in a week’s time. It’s safe to say that each of my experiences was a reflection of the mind-boggling culinary diversity and innovation I saw playing on my table. In no particular order, here are five of the most memorable meals of my recent trip to Dubai – the ultimate ‘extra emirate’!
There are 5 fine dining restaurants in Dubai for you to enjoy:
1. Traced Studio
Imagine that you know nothing about the menu of a 17-course digestation dinner. My anxiety-stricken mind was in such a predicament when I entered the surprisingly extraordinary and rather harsh, darkly decorated interior of the Traced Studio for my dinner reservation at 9pm (another meeting at 6pm). With the recent relocation of the man-made Palm Jumeirah Island Nakheel Mall from its perch on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai to its new rooftop home, the focus here is on something other than the bite of most modern Indian food. Directed by Indian-origin chef Himanshu Saini, the 20-cover-only studio menu features an interesting, often inconsistent array of imaginatively coated, minimalist-style Indian food. Since only one person is given a menu at the end of a meal, it is up to the trained waiters to introduce each meal. These range from a duck cafaryal ‘taco’ to a morel pulao served on top of a nosturtium leaf to an Assamese tea dashi with shiso khakra. And on the 17th, the grand finale dessert course is a hive of cacao hive that serves the earth like the moon, with Frank Sinatra in the surrounding sound, signaling his famous Fly Me to the Moon ballad. Pure edible theater, this!
(Also read: Dubai: Your Guide to the Best Experiences in the World in One City)
2. Al Nafurah
For decades, I have expected nothing less than a fine dining restaurant at Dubai’s virtual landmark, the magnificent Jumeirah Al Qasr Hotel. But this brand new Lebanese restaurant has exceeded any of my expectations, with its glam-saturated ambience and incredible Levantine freshness of authentic food flavors. Meet the hotel’s plush lawn with a spacious veranda both inside and out, and further away the iconic Burj Al Arab Hotel – with a dwarf olive tree in the center of the main dining room, spotted by Al Nafurah. My set menu reads like a journey through Lebanese culinary wonders. Kibbe Nayeh, Chef Ali Fuad’s great spicy salad, beef shariat with cherry sauce and sweet spice like Halawat Al Jeben’s Cottage Cheese Dessert, have elevated my dining experience here to hitherto unknown gastronomic heights.
3. mm Kakushi
Often referred to as ‘Dubai’s Best Japanese Restaurant’, Mimi Kakushi’s footsteps in a dimly lit place are like the multi-sensory blasts of the past that she shared with Jumeirah’s Four Seasons Resort. More specifically, the 1920s Oscar jazz scene. An epoch-making epoch when the Art Deco movement in Japan was just beginning. This mood is reflected enough in the dining experience here. One that blends time-honored Japanese cooking techniques with new thinking, tastes of the Far East with Western influences. Oven-baked black cod and Kagoshima wagyu can be tasted here with everything from beef-like dishes to a three-foot-long dessert platter, from green tea ice cream cobblers to delicious Chavanmushi custard sweet litchi repeats. And if your curiosity is piqued by its name, ‘Mimi Kakushi’ is the “ear-covering” western-style, women’s bob cut hairstyle introduced to Japan in 1922.
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4. Mina Brasserie
The elegantly employed Mina Brasserie has brought a typical Parisian j ne sis koi flair to Dubai, the food capital of the growing world. Located at the Four Seasons Hotel in the city’s DIFC enclave, the brasserie was created by James Beard-winner, Egyptian-born and US-raised chef Michael Mina. Lots of vintage-style, perforated mirrors that reflect the natural light from the outside and with comfortable round couches, the atmosphere here is restrained and luxurious. Rather, the short menu includes a variety of simple brasserie-style dishes that make it the perfect restaurant for a stylish lunch. The foie gras is served with toast points and fig chutney in broccoli from a torch disc, and for the hungry a lobster pie with signature tuna tartar with pine nuts and a medium-rare steak of peppers in Povre, my lunchtime companion and I were the goblins. But only a dessert like a delicious ‘The Lemon’ (consisting of polenta strusel, lemon cream, lime and basil gel) can already transform this great dish into an almost religious experience!
5. Roaring rabbits
Perhaps the most bizarre of all the places on this list is the roaring rabbit gastropub at The Palm Islands’ brand new Taj Exotica Resort & Spa. With a steady English flavor that is evident from its surroundings, the pub pays homage to the hairy rabbit in innumerable shapes. Be it among the decoration elements যেখানে where food lovers are encouraged to find as many rabbit references-or the F&B offer where a rabbit has a latemotif. For example, rabbit thighs are served with desert like shiny carrots or rabbit carrot cake. Speaking of which, it would be a crime to leave without taking samples of other desserts, such as flashy sticky toffee puddings and generously shared banana splits. Trust me, this is a rabbit hole where you should read whenever you are in Dubai.
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