• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
wgallois

Good and bad in Dubai

132 posts in this topic

A very generous company is paying for me to go to Dubai for a 3 day conference in mid-March.

It comes with a free meal at the Asado.

Other than that, I'm looking at good quality places of any region of the world (although I've yet to have good Lebanese and I love Moroccan cuisine), in the region of £10-20 a meal (which my currency convertor tells me is 72-145Dhs). I'm looking at lunch only, as dinner is (again) generously provided.

Lunch is usually on the light side especially if preceded with a breakfast and followed by dinner! What will govern your choice is more of which area you will be in than travelling to the place where you want to be. Traffic in Dubai is very heavy.

Out of the previous recommendations on this thread for Lebanese and Moroccan, and the Thai place, which ones still stand?

All still stand.

Which non-alcoholic beverages are recommended apart from that ubiquitous mint lemonade?

Mango Juice and Pomegranate Juice.

Should I learn basic Arabic to communicate with the waiters?

You could learn Arabic but the waiters do not speak the lingo. English is the Lingua Franca.

Finally, should I negociate prices with the vendors in the spice souks, and if so, at what price are they likely to start (e.g. twice the usual final value)?

Price is so low that unless it entertains you to negociate in a stuffy and smelly environment......fogetaboutit.

Thank you in advance!

Welcome to the Cranes and Cement Mixer Trux Nirvana

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

going back next week, any new places I should check out? Also, is there any kitchen supply stores there? I found a place down by the river where the taxi boats leave from (next door to the Canon shop) that had a good selection of Victorinox.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
going back next week, any new places I should check out? Also, is there any kitchen supply stores there? I found a place down by the river where the taxi boats leave from (next door to the Canon shop) that had a good selection of Victorinox.

Too many to list.

Try Nobu at the Atlantis Palm.....if you can get a table as booked solid for the next two month.

Kitchen supply store. You need to specify. Is it for a professional kitchen or private? And are you looking for heavy cooking equipment or pans and saucers....etc?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hotel locations:

Reflets by Pierre Gagnaire InterContinental Dubai Festival City

Giorgio Locatelli's new place at Atlantis on the Palm Jumeira

Non-hotel location:

Bateel Cafe Souk Al Bahar

Victorinox equipment is available at kiosks in Deira City Centre and Dubai Festival City.

Stokes from Canada is a reasonable place for kicthen supplies in Dubai Festival City but the quality isn't the best.

A pricier option is Tavola (Mall of the Emirates and Jumeira Beach Road) that carries Zwilling Henckels and Global knives, Le Creuset cast iron ware and Wilton bakeware.

Check out http://www.bbcgoodfoodme.com/bbcGF/Shops/ for more options.

going back next week, any new places I should check out? Also, is there any kitchen supply stores there? I found a place down by the river where the taxi boats leave from (next door to the Canon shop) that had a good selection of Victorinox.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks guys. It looks like the powerhouses are moving in here. mayby Ducasse, Robouchon and more will follow. I read somewhere that even the waiting lists for all the restaurants at Atlantis are full. Just ate at Smiling BKK, and that was nice. The owner recogniced me from my last time there a year ago! I had a craving for clams and spagetti, but the seafood selection at Carrefour is terrible. Is that the best there is here in Dubai? Now I guess Ill try to get a steak...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ducasse is not yet in Dubai. However Gagnaire has joined the circuit at the Intercont Reflets restaurant as indicated in an earler post.


Edited by Nicolai (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
thanks guys. It looks like the powerhouses are moving in here. mayby Ducasse, Robouchon and more will follow. I read somewhere that even the waiting lists for all the restaurants at Atlantis are full. Just ate at Smiling BKK, and that was nice. The owner recogniced me from my last time there a year ago! I had a craving for clams and spagetti, but the seafood selection at Carrefour is terrible. Is that the best there is here in Dubai? Now I guess Ill try to get a steak...

If your looking for a steak come by my place; Hunters Room & Grill in the newly opened Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi....

just let me know and Ill be sure to take care of you...would love to have an e-gulleter here for dinner.

As far as powerhouse chefs....dont forget Santi Santamaria who also just opened at Atlantis...Ossiano, its a fantastic seafood restaurant, he has the best fish in town hands down!

As far as chefs knives, there is a place called Deans trading just off Shiek Zayed Rd. downtown area.....they have japanese knives around 200 dhs !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
thanks guys. It looks like the powerhouses are moving in here. mayby Ducasse, Robouchon and more will follow. I read somewhere that even the waiting lists for all the restaurants at Atlantis are full. Just ate at Smiling BKK, and that was nice. The owner recogniced me from my last time there a year ago! I had a craving for clams and spagetti, but the seafood selection at Carrefour is terrible. Is that the best there is here in Dubai? Now I guess Ill try to get a steak...

If your looking for a steak come by my place; Hunters Room & Grill in the newly opened Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi....

just let me know and Ill be sure to take care of you...would love to have an e-gulleter here for dinner.

As far as powerhouse chefs....dont forget Santi Santamaria who also just opened at Atlantis...Ossiano, its a fantastic seafood restaurant, he has the best fish in town hands down!

As far as chefs knives, there is a place called Deans trading just off Shiek Zayed Rd. downtown area.....they have japanese knives around 200 dhs !

great, thank you! I'll take my father and come by one of these next days. :biggrin: Ill check out Deans, sounds like the kind of place Im after :wink:

Do you have a little more info on where I can find Deans? I have a car, so mayby a nearby landmark?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ate at the Seafood Marked today. I know I might come of as sourpuss, but the whole "seafood marked" concept is stupid. this is the second time in two days (Sammach yesterday) Ive dined at this type of place, and I dont get it. The fish is overdone, underseasoned and full of bones. I dont know...is it me? What is better about the seafood at this kind of place as opposed to a regular a la carte seafood restaurant? Aaaaanyway, Verre on wednesday is probably good. and I cant wait to have chefAZ cook for me ;D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just got in the door after a perfect dinner at chefAZ's Hunters Room & Grill. Ill wright about it tomorrow, but let me say that it was a jewel in the concrete landfill that is Dubai. Thank you, chefAZ!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
just got in the door after a perfect dinner at chefAZ's Hunters Room & Grill. Ill wright about it tomorrow, but let me say that it was a jewel in the concrete landfill that is Dubai. Thank you, chefAZ!

Hey Christopher...thanks for the kind words....it was my pleasure and im glad your father enjoyed it aswell! Come back anytime....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So far Hunters Room & Grill has been the best food I've ever had in Dubai. I might be biased, as I had a tasting menu at a steakhouse, so I dont know how tha a la carte is, but from what I was served, Im confident that the steaks are first class. My father and me was taken incredibly well care of by friendly and attentiv staff and the food chefAZ kept throwing at us was world class. It is obvious that he stays updated on progressive technics, and they were used well. We both spent time at a nice restaurant in Chicago, so there were tounge in cheek references to this in the food that came out. Out of a series of excellent dishes the highlight for us was the amuse, puffed nori chip with toro, the torchon of foie gras and of course the orangescented scallop on parsnip pure. Also the shrimp with popcorn pure and brown butter was fresh and tasty. The mustard foam that came with the braised shortrib lacked a little sting, but in a time of sous vide, its nice to get a well excecuted braise. There was not one single let down during the meal and it is obvious that chefAZ has some high goals with this place. So if youre in Dubai, dont get blinded by all the bright Michelin stars, its definatly worth your time to go to Hunters Room & Grill at the Westin. Again, thanks a million for the food and the nice experience we had this monday.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the food at Verre was flawless. the sommelier was extremely friendly and made sure the evening would be one to remember. I can definatly recommend the place to anyone who wants a good meal, and though it cost a lot, its value for money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

out of famous chefs opening restaurants in Dubai, I have the following:

Nobu

Ramsay

Santimaria

Locatelli

Gagniere

Rostang

Have I forgotten anyone?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
out of famous chefs opening restaurants in Dubai, I have the following:

Nobu

Ramsay

Santimaria

Locatelli

Gagniere

Rostang

Have I forgotten anyone?

Guy Savoy is supposed to be opening a restaurant at the Tiger Woods development.

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/528218-top-...s-dubai-arrival


Edited by Flotch (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And Savoy as well. Thats quite an impressive list. I would think it would be a problem staffing these restaurants. In Europe, there is bussloads of good cooks dying to get in there to work for free, how does this work in Dubai? Are the sous chefs and head chefs sourced from the mother restaurants and the line cooks asian? I guess that would take care of labour cost. what about cooks jumping from restaurant to restaurant?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And Savoy as well. Thats quite an impressive list. I would think it would be a problem staffing these restaurants. In Europe, there is bussloads of good cooks dying to get in there to work for free, how does this work in Dubai? Are the sous chefs and head chefs sourced from the mother restaurants and the line cooks asian? I guess that would take care of labour cost. what about cooks jumping from restaurant to restaurant?

You're pretty much accurate. The chefs in charge tend to come from the original restaurant or have worked directly with the celebrity chefs and then the line cooks tend to be Asian.

I've heard mixed reviews about Reflets, I can't afford to go myself. :sad:

However, these guys

Fat Expat pretty much eat their way through Dubai and are passionate foodies so they will probably give you a fair idea of the experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And Savoy as well. Thats quite an impressive list. I would think it would be a problem staffing these restaurants. In Europe, there is bussloads of good cooks dying to get in there to work for free, how does this work in Dubai? Are the sous chefs and head chefs sourced from the mother restaurants and the line cooks asian? I guess that would take care of labour cost. what about cooks jumping from restaurant to restaurant?

You're pretty much accurate. The chefs in charge tend to come from the original restaurant or have worked directly with the celebrity chefs and then the line cooks tend to be Asian.

I've heard mixed reviews about Reflets, I can't afford to go myself. :sad:

However, these guys

Fat Expat pretty much eat their way through Dubai and are passionate foodies so they will probably give you a fair idea of the experience.

yeah, Reflets seems costly. Ill check out the fattys

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rhodes Mezzanine, also I guess

Yes, I've heard that it is quite costly. I was lucky to be at their first anniversary party last year and they had Rhodes serve small tasting portions of the menu. The one thing that stood out was the pork belly with apple sauce. Unfortunately I can't remember anything else from the main courses but the scones - which they serve complimentary after dinner - were fabulous. Worth every bit of the second helping :wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh, and has anyone been to Reflets par Gagniere?

hey chris...

Reflets is very good....i went once when they opened and again when pierre was in town to roll out the tasting menu which i thought was a great meal for the price.

Both times the service and food were extremely good.

It is pricey but to put it in prespective....think about how much you would pay for a tasting or ala carte in Europe, then think....hmmm 1200dhs aint bad at all!!

I would say that Reflets and Ossiano are the best restaurants in town right now.....thats considering food & service!

oh by the way ill be going to abu dhabi for the Charlie Trotter thing (the 11th) so i might see you there!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In Europe, there is bussloads of good cooks dying to get in there to work for free, how does this work in Dubai? Are the sous chefs and head chefs sourced from the mother restaurants and the line cooks asian? I guess that would take care of labour cost. what about cooks jumping from restaurant to restaurant?

With the economy as it is, plenty of sous chefs/line cooks being laid off and looking for work so don't know how Dubai authorities are dealing with cooks coming in from elsewhere when there are many in the country currently looking for work. It will be very interesting to see how things progress.

I was just there assisting in opening Baker & Spice (a London-based food shop) which, in Dubai, has plenty of seating and fabulous lunch and dinner menus, changing daily. If you want the best croissants and danish in Dubai, you'll find your way here. Located directly across the lake (yes, it is a lake now. it was such fun seeing the water level rise day-by-day) from the Burj Dubai, and in Souk al Bahar, which is in-between Dubai Mall and the Palace Hotel.

We have Filipino and Indian staff, some of whom we've hired due to their recently being laid-off. Lots of people being laid-off. We've had difficulty finding people who are experienced in what we do which is fresh and from scratch daily. I'm a pastry chef and to find those who have actually baked a cake from scratch is a difficult thing!


kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Baker and spice? Is this the same as the Baker and spice currently being disscused in the U.K. Dining forum?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.