“taste of Dubai”

Summer is on it’s way, today was around 32 degrees C. It’s hard to get used to the sudden change from Winter to Summer, as Spring doesn’t seem to happen at all. One day you wake up and it’s hot again, all of a sudden. This of course means that all the lovely outdoor activities we have enjoyed over the cooler periods will be winding down, but happily they aren’t all off the menu yet (pardon the pun). Taste of Dubai ran this weekend, and we spent a few (sweaty) hours there this morning.

If you haven’t visited a “taste of …” event yet then you may not know that it’s a massive festival of food – various restaurants offer up tastes of their menus, with the idea that you get a sense of their cooking styles and menus, and then obviously the idea is that you will go and have a full meal there at some point. Really a great way to discover some new places to try for a meal. There was also live music by the “Maple Jacks”, who were amazing. Some of the visiting celebrity chefs also host live cooking stations where they may even teach you a trade secret or two.

[Gary Rhodes being interviewed outside the Rhodes Twenty10 stall]

We concentrated on eating, and drinking, our fair share (til our cash ran out anyway). Our “discoveries” (in no particular order) are below, I hope they inspire you to try somewhere new as well.

1. Coffee Planet: OK, not really a new discovery for Stu and I as we already drink their coffee, but we went along to support our mate (the roaster) and try their single origin roasts, which are AMAZING. You really can’t beat a latte made with freshly roasted, and ground, coffee. If you would like to order online (in Dubai) go to www.coffeeplanetroastery.com.
2. Rhodes Twenty10: I tried the glazed duck with hoisin and plum sauce, served with a plum and japanese radish (I think) salad. Very more-ish.
3. Indego: Stu tried their lamb korma (sorry I didn’t get a pic). He said it was amazing! Give them a try, I know we will.
4. Chef Andy Campbell:  he didn’t have food for us to try, but was advertising his services – he caters private functions in your home, and also has a dinner club in the World Trade Center (33rd floor) which sounded like great value for money.
5. Gaucho: yes, we have eaten at Gaucho, twice actually, but I still enjoyed their taste of Salmon Ceviche (raw salmon “cured” with citrus juice and flavoured with herbs) and the tenderest steak served with humitas (steamed corn cakes – pic below). Yum yum. Stu had two portions of steak I might add.
6. Rondo Locatelli: I tried their subtle ravioli made with a potato and chestnut filling, and slathered with butter and slices of fresh black truffle. Sublime indeed.
7. Alfa Pizza: Stu has been on about a pizza oven for ages, so we were thrilled to discover this “portable” version that is now available here in Dubai. Not cheap, but certainly neat. Maybe for his birthday?..
8. Lafayette Gourmet by Galeries Lafayette: I had no idea they sold food at their store in Dubai Mall, so will definitely visit for organic meat, and some lovely French fromage, and hope it doesn’t completely bankrupt us in the process.

We finished off with a creamy, and tart, frozen yoghurt from PinkBerry and called it a day.

[a sweet treat]

How was your weekend?

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