Treat your tastebuds to Dubai's most impressive bread-based creations
Ditch those sub-standard lunch-break subs, and get some serious satisfaction with these greedy, gourmet creations.
Pulled beef brisket bun Fumé, Dhs55 This plump and fluffy brioche bun contains an equally buxom portion of beautifully tender brisket, doused in juicy, messy gravy. Although the peppery seasoning may be a little too much for those unaccustomed to Southern-style heat.
Pro tip: If your mouth is on fire from this sandwich’s peppery heat, soothe the burn with a forkful of the fresh, lively slaw on the side. Pier 7, Dubai Marina (04 421 5669).
Duck shawarma S’wich, Dhs30 Like most of the wrap combinations served up at S’Wich, this duck recipe is far removed from your average fast food shawarma. Sweet and meaty umami-packed duck slices (with a little crispy edge to the skin) join forces with the sweetness of fig and buttery wilted rocca leaves, all encased in a toasted saj wrap. Your classic roadside snack just kicked up a gear.
Pro tip: The menu here has been devised by top chef Izu Ani, from La Serre. Dubai Marina (800 79424).
The Cuban Café Habana, Dhs75 Popularised by America’s Cuban influx, this street food staple is a toasted sandwich crammed with more slices of corned beef and pastrami than you can shake a carving knife at. Add to that molten Swiss cheese and a smoky edge from chipotle mayonnaise, and you’ve got a greedy little feast in your hands.
Pro tip: If you’ve seen the supremely seductive food movie The Chef, it is this sandwich that’s just so titillating that El Jefe tries to wake his son up to try the real deal in Little Havana. Souk al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 422 2620).
The morning after wrap Tom&Serg, from Dhs37 This ominously named wrap is crammed with a kind of Anglo-Latino full breakfast combo that includes scrambled egg, beef bacon, roast chicken, mozzarella and crushed avocado. Frankly, all those good and oh-so-good-but-actually-bad fats are sure to cure whatever ails you in the early hours of the day.
Pro tip: Tom&Serg is fast becoming famous in Dubai for its Melbourne-style coffee making. Make sure you wash down your wrap with a cup of the black stuff. Al Joud Centre, near Ace Hardware on Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Quoz (04 338 8934).
Fish finger bap Reform Social & Grill, Dhs68 If you hold a British passport, we’ll warrant that the thought of a fish finger stuffed inside bread already has you salivating. This posh, gastro pub version contains house-made haddock fingers, teamed with classic stable mate tartar sauce, plus a scattering of fresh rocket leaves.
Pro tip: Head to the pool bar section of Reform Social and Grill to try this Brit-cool, posh-pub snack. Lakes Club, Emirates Hills (04 454 2638).
Crispy soft shell crab saj Qbara, Dhs92 A shawarma-style mash-up is never going to be the height of elegance, right? Wrong. It is in Qbara’s hands, where these pretty little bite-sized circles of soft saj bread contain a delicious mixture of crispy, crunchy crab with plenty of lettuce and pea shoots for freshness and crunch.
Pro tip: Try Qbara’s new Friday brunch, where the crab saj is just one of many signatures brought to the table. Wafi, Oud Metha (04 709 2500).
Lobster grilled cheese Slapfish, Dhs57 An inviting flash of pink, sandwiched between two fat slabs of golden bread looks drool-inducing. Inside is a simple but delicious combination of lobster chunks, whole tiger prawns, melted Monterey Jack cheese and a sweet, creamy riff on Marie Rose sauce tying it all together.
Pro tip: This Californian brand specialises in sustainably sourced seafood. So forget the calories; at least your sandwich is (ethically, at least) guilt-free. Ibn Battuta Mall, near Discovery Gardens (800 7527).
The Maple Leaf Maple Leaf, Dhs55 If you’ve got a hunger for Montreal-style smoked meat sandwiches, head here for messy, monstrous versions that sometimes have to be eaten with a knife and fork. This signature sarnie contains layer upon layer of beef slices, smoked in-house each day, with plenty of Swiss cheese and sweet caramelised onion, all sitting seductively in wait between two slices of rye.
Pro tip: In case Jumeirah is out of your way, Maple Leaf is due to open a second branch very soon in Cluster V, Jumeirah Lakes Towers. Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah (04 338 3001).
Fried chicken sandwich Clinton Street Baking Company, Dhs66 This beast looks and tastes like American comfort food incarnate. It’s a heavy but indulgent mix of the deli’s award-winning recipe for buttermilk fried chicken teamed with pickled green tomatoes for a little fresh bite, inside a fluffy, crusty bread roll.
Pro tip: Don’t get caught out by Clinton Street Baking Company’s unusual hours of operation. Between 4pm and 7pm the café is still open, but the kitchen is not. Burj Views, behind Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai (04 428 1331).
You want what with that? Amy Tomkinson, head chef at new British dining launch The Scene, shares her suggestions for some unexpectedly good (but slightly strange) sandwich pairings
1 Fish fingers and a sweeter curry sauce. It’s a great combo. Flaky fish and cumin flavours pair well in a soft white roll – comfort food heaven.
2 Smoked salmon with a vanilla mayonnaise. The vanilla gives a delicate taste that compliments the salt and sea salmon flavours.
3 Crispy chicken baguette smothered in peanut butter. It works well as it’s the perfect combination of sweet and savoury with lots of crunch.
4 Feta cheese and Marmite. It may sound weird but this salty-sour combination works marvellously.
5 Honey and Swiss cheese. Make the humble cheese sandwich much more exciting. Gently sweet and nutty. Add some truffle to ramp up the wow factor.
6 Strawberry jam and turkey slices. The fruit meat combo is tried and tested but this makes for an extra tasty sandwich.
7 Chocolate sauce and blue cheese. This is the ultimate: umami, sweet, sour, bitter, salty. The Scene, Pier 7, Dubai Marina (04 422 2328).