The weather is cooling down, but it’s heating up outside as Dubai gets ready to crank up the barbecue. Plenty of new barbecue promotions have launched across town in recent weeks to cater for grill-loving cultures across the globe, including Italian, Argentinian and Balinese options. Later this month, Crossroads at Raffles launches a new weekly barbecue promotion and, starting this week, Asado takes barbecuing a little further with a masterclass in the finer arts of grilling. We’ve tested four of the city’s top barbecue deals and rounded up ten more to tuck into, to ensure you can munch on skewers and steaks for weeks to come.
Rosso Style: Italian, although it seems similar to most other Western-style barbecues.
What’s cooking? For Dhs189 you can have limitless meat for two people brought to your table, as well as veg, salad and soft drinks. Barbecued fodder includes extra chewy calamari, prawns, salmon and chicken, plus sausages, ham and steaks if desired. You also receive warm bread, with Parmesan cheese and a tomato paste, and two dips: olive oil and garlic. However, we could have done with a few more sauces to help flavour the slightly lacklustre meats.
The setting: Rosso is one of the best venues in the JBR area, and the large, green outdoor terrace has a very relaxing, family-friendly vibe.
The drill: Food is served to your table as frequently as you like, although we were full before we even finished the first round. Happily, Sunday is also a ladies’ night, so women get two free glasses of grape or short drinks. Dhs189 (soft drinks) Sun 8pm-10pm. Ongoing. Amwaj Rotana, JBR (04 428 3088).
Rivington Grill Style: In keeping with the restaurant’s London gastropub stylings, this deal captures the essence of a British summer barbecue.
What’s cooking? The à la carte menu offers a broad selection, including salmon, prawns, marinated baby chicken, lamb cutlets with rosemary, the Rivington burger, lamb sausages and Black Angus sirloin steak, plus barbecued vegetables for non-carnivores.
The setting: The Rivi Bar’s terrace, on which the barbecue is held, features great views of the Burj Al Arab and the surrounding Madinat complex.
The drill: Guests can scoop up a selection of dips (including regional favourites baba ganoush and cauliflower hummus) with pitta or toasted bread as they decide which main course to order from the à la carte menu. Seasoned Dubai brunchers might be disappointed that they can’t order as much food as is humanly possible to eat, though mains do come with a choice of two side dishes. Dhs150 (food only); Dhs375 (selected house beverages). Fri-Sat 12.30pm-4.30pm. Ongoing. Souk Madinat Jumeirah (04 366 6464).
Kempinski Hotel, Palm Jumeirah Style: An Argentinian-inspired affair.
What’s cooking? Along with a modest salad bar and small island of desserts, the barbecue itself serves seafood, fish, veal ribs, sausages, chicken and lamb chops. The meat can be a bit of a let-down, sometimes undercooked and sometimes too fatty. On our visit, there was no steak (much to the dismay of our Argentinian dining partner).
The setting: A casual outdoor affair situated between the hotel’s pool and beach, the vibe is relaxed and the views, whether you’re facing the fairy-lit hotel gardens or Dubai skyline, are extremely pleasant.
The drill: Friendly waiters will attend to your every need – not long after you sit down, expect a plate laden with a variety of barbecue items to find its way to your table. The salad and dessert table are self-service. Dhs185 (food only); Dhs275 (selected house beverages). Thu-Sat 7pm-11pm. Ongoing. Kempinski Hotel and Residences, Palm Jumeirah (04 444 2501).
Wavebreaker Style: The laid-back beach bar and restaurant’s barbecue revolves around seafood dishes served within earshot of the sea.
What’s cooking? An à la carte menu, with lobster, king prawns, ribs and surf and turf. Though the steak served as part of the surf-and-turf dish can be on the chewy side, the king prawns are top notch. However, the baked potatoes are disappointingly small, so stick with the fries for your side order.
The setting: As mentioned, Wavebreaker is set on the beach, providing the perfect setting for a beach barbecue. When we visited in the evening, however, the dim lighting made it difficult to see the food in front of us. What’s more, our experience was undermined, ever so slightly, by the slow drinks service.
The drill: The barbecue options are served every night and are listed on the blackboard that greets guests at the entrance. The event is fun, but it isn’t the best value for money in Dubai. Dhs179 (surf and turf); Dhs155 (ribs). Daily 10am-8pm. Ongoing. Hilton Jumeirah, The Walk at JBR (04 399 1111).
Asado Chef Noberto holds barbecue lessons, followed by lunch on the terrace. Dhs295 (advance booking required). Sat 11am-1.30pm from November 17. Ongoing. The Palace, Downtown Dubai (04 428 7806).
BBQ Donut Jump aboard one of these six-man donut-shaped boats and head out on a tour of the creek while tucking in to a barbecue. Book 24 hours in advance. Dhs180 (for 30 minutes), Dhs300 (one hour), Dhs500 (two hours). Barbecue menus Dhs130-160. Daily noon-8pm. Ongoing. Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club (04 295 6000).
Beachcombers The selection of barbecued seafood and fish dishes takes a primarily Asian turn. Dhs230 (soft drinks). Sat 6.30pm-11.30pm. Ongoing. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Umm Suqeim (04 406 8999).
Crossroads A range of Balinese, Caribbean and Arabic dishes are served on the patio. Prices vary. Thu 9pm-midnight. Ongoing. Raffles Dubai, Oud Metha (04 324 8888).
Double Decker A relaxed barbecue serving all the classics, such as steaks, ribs, burgers and grilled chicken. Dhs169 (house beverages). Sat 3pm-7pm. Ongoing. Al Murooj Rotana, Downtown Dubai (04 321 1111).
Links There are à la carte European main courses, including beef, fish and non-Muslim meat. Dhs60-190 (main course). Thu-Sat 5pm-10pm. Ongoing. The Address Montgomerie, Emirates Hills (04 390 5600).
Le Mèridien Village Terrace Thursday night is barbecue night at this al-fresco evening brunch, dishing up an international selection that includes tandoori and teppanyaki stations. Dhs219 (selected house beverages); Dhs259 (premium beverages). Thu 8pm-11pm. Ongoing. Le Méridien Dubai, Garhoud (04 702 2449).
The Irish Village Choose from a range of barbecued meats – from chicken to steak – and you’ll get a free glass of hops or short beverage with each order. Dhs50 (includes one drink). Fri-Sat noon-4pm. Ongoing. The Irish Village, The Aviation Club, Garhoud (04 282 4750).
The Terrace Unwind with a hearty selection of barbecue dishes at this creekside spot. Dhs190 (soft drinks); Dhs280 (grape and hops). Sat 1pm-5pm. Park Hyatt Dubai, Deira (04 602 1804).
West 14th The ‘East Meats West’ (groan) international menu includes a selection of American-style mini burgers and Indian lamb tandoori. Dhs150 (soft drinks); Dhs295 (selected house beverages). Wed 7pm-11pm.Ongoing. Oceana Beach Club, Palm Jumeirah (04 447 7601).
An al-fresco alternative: picnics Blades Get into the great outdoors at the Al Badia Golf Club without having to move a muscle or test your swing. For an unusual Saturday brunch, guests can head onto the grass to enjoy a packed picnic basket and spread out on the blanket provided. Dhs265 (soft drinks); Dhs365 (house beverages); Dhs525 (bubbly).Sat noon-4pm. Ongoing. Al Badia Golf Club, Dubai Festival City (04 701 1127).
Carluccio’s Fancy discovering your own picnic spot, but want someone else to do the culinary work? Pick up one of the picnic sets from Carluccio’s, and wander off to Safa or Jumeirah Beach Park. The hampers are stuffed with simple Italian classics, including mixed antipasti and freshly baked focaccia. Dhs245 (meat or vegetarian hamper for two); Dhs60 (children’s hamper). Advance order advised. Ongoing. The Dubai Mall (04 4341320), Dubai Marina Mall (04 399 7844), Mirdif City Centre (04 284 3728).
Nomad If you’re visiting the venue for Friday brunch, you can opt instead to have your midday meal packed into a picnic hamper. Take it, along with the cosy rug provided, to enjoy outside, amid the restaurant’s grassy garden. Dhs295 (soft drinks); Dhs395 (house beverages). Fri, noon-4pm. Ongoing. Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, Garhoud (04 230 8571).