Mac ’n’ cheese, toasties, deep-fried mozzarella and more
6abooga Burger at Blaze Burger We’re kicking off this list with the cheesiest burger we’ve ever had the pleasure of encountering. Not only is it stuffed with cheese (you heard correctly) but it’s encased in two grilled cheese sarnies. Also known as “The Brick”, this behemoth burger is not great for your post-festive diet, but it tastes so good you won’t care. Dhs72. The Walk, JBR (04 248 2914).
AkKawi cheese manakish at Mantoushe Much loved among team Time Out Dubai, this is a breakfast of champions. We’ve searched far and wide throughout the city to find the very best manakish and this is up there with our favourites. The perfectly charred, not too thick bread, the gooey, tangy akkawi... we’re having cheese dreams just thinking about it. Slather it in guacmous (it’s a thing) and that’s your morning brightened up for under Dhs30. Dhs13 (manakish), Dhs15 (guacmous). Cluster E, JLT (04 277 8170).
A Veggie Version of Fish and Chips at The Irish Village There are plenty of cheese-based treats to enjoy at at Time Out Dubai’s Pub of the Year, and for a simple snack we suggest for the classic cheese and tomato toastie. However, for something more substantial, don’t miss this one. Battered halloumi comes with chips, mushy peas and tartar sauce. It’s not just for vegetarians, meat lovers. Dhs45. Garhoud (04 282 4750).
Belgian Abbey Cheese Croquettes at Le Petit Belge This Belgian eatery has made a big splash on the JLT dining scene, and the good news is that there are two more branches opening soon, one in Business Bay and one in Motor City – so the cheesy joy can be shared. These are belt-bustingly good cheese croquettes, which have a delightfully gooey centre. Yum. Dhs48. Pullman Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Cluster T, JLT (04 242 7794).
Burrata di Andria at Il Borro This top Italian restaurant at Jumeirah Al Naseem is a beaut in our eyes for many reasons, none least the stellar burrata. We love the authentic, traditional menu, especially this simple dish with its creamy, stracciatella centre and toppings of sweet cherry tomatoes and fresh, aromatic basil. Dhs85. Jumeirah Al Naseem, Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 559 7869).
Cheese balls at Trader Vic’s These are a classic for a good reason at this long-standing Polynesian bar, and they’re the kind of bar snacks we like. The simple name “cheese balls” does these little wonders a disservice in our eyes, they’re so much more. cheddar and Emmental are combined into a gooey, molten sphere and fried. We also love the warming kick from a pinch of jalapeño. Order up a side of these with your Hawaiian drinks and you’ll be a happy diner. Dhs52. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 368 6559).
Cheese Toastie at Qwerty If you’ve a regular reader of Time Out Dubai, you’ll have seen us raving about this one before. Gooey cheese, onion jam and chutney make this unmissable. A classic British dish that we can’t get enough of. Dhs29. Media One Hotel, Dubai Media City (04 427 1000).
Crack and Cheese Balls at The Black Lion Although we’re not always wowed by everything that comes out of the kitchen at this Brit pub, but these are a bar snack worth ordering. They’re on the large size (they’re practially a meal on their own) and packed full of macaroni. The twist? It’s made with Camembert and served up with a sweet fig jam. Pretty fancy for a pub, we’d say. Dhs55. The H Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 359 2366).
Fibbers Cheese on Toast at Fibber Magee’s This old-school Irish pub on Sheikh Zayed Road does a whole host of cheese dishes (think quesadillas, cheesy chips, cheese toasties), however our fave is definitely the classic cheese on toast. You can get it plain for just Dhs20, or push the boat out and top it with bacon and a hint of chilli for Dhs25. Be warned, it has a kick. Dhs20. Saeed Tower One, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 332 2400).
Fondue at Après Is there anything more warming that scooping up some gooey, piping hot cheese while overlooking a ski slope? Happily you don’t need to spend your winter savings on a trip to The Alps to do just that. Head to Mall of the Emirates, grab a spot by the window and gaze out over the snow at Ski Dubai below. Order up a massive pot of steaming cheese fondue and you’ll easily lose track of time. Dhs180. Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates (04 341 2575).
Halloumi fries at Axe House We’ll be straight with you – this one is so brand-spanking new that we haven’t tried it yet. However, these halloumi fries from new Brit bar and restaurant Axe House look like a dream to us. Our favourite squeaky cheese is fried in a batter containing spices and smoked paprika and served up with a fresh pomegranate, mint and yoghurt sauce. Dhs40. Armada BlueBay, Cluster P, JLT (04 399 9577).
Hot Spinach Cheese Dip at Nola Eatery & Social House Warm, rich and cheesy, this hearty dip is made with melted cream cheese and oven-baked right before being presented. Served with sour-dough croutons, you can’t do much better than digging into this as a bar snack. Dhs42. Armada BlueBay, Cluster P, JLT (04 399 8155).
Kuymak at RÜYA This traditional dish comes from the Black Sea region of Turkey is a cheesy, porridgy dish that’s served with bread. It’s made with cornmeal and a whole load of cheese, giving it a smooth and thick texture. This version is dished up with mushrooms and truffle for a totally indulgent starter. Dhs80. Grosvenor House Dubai, Dubai Marina (04 399 9123).
Mac ’n’ Cheese at Clinton St. Baking Co. No one does mac ’n’ cheese like our friends over in the States, so where better to head for a portion of this comfort food than New York export Clinton St. Baking Co.? This delicious dish is made from cheddar, Monterrey Jack and Swiss cheeses and topped with breadcrumbs for that perfectly crunchy crust. Eat slowly. And then fend off the inevitable post-meal slump. Dhs36. Various locations including City Walk, Al Safa Street (04 344 0705).
Mac and cheese at Eggspectation If you thought Eggspectation was purely for breakfast (although it does to a top one, see the monster pancakes on page 66), you’re mistaken. This is, apparently, “pasta for cheese-lovers”. And as that accurately describes us, we obviously love this one. More of a sarnie fan? Try the grilled cheese (Dhs54). Thickly sliced brioche bread is filled with cheddar, Swiss, Gruyère and provolone as well as maple-sautéed apple and onion. Dhs46. The Beach, opposite JBR (04 430 7252).
Mac and (four) Cheese with lobster tail at jones the grocer The brand-new branch of this Aussie café chain serves up a mean mac and cheese. Made with Shropshire Blue, mimolette, cave-aged cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. It’s a true fromage feast. Plus it’s packed full of meaty chunks of lobster. Visit the deli counter on your way out and stock up with all the cheese you could possibly need until your fridge is at capacity (we’d suggest the comté). Dhs69. Emirates Golf Club, Emirates Hills (04 417 9999).
Manakish at Al Reef Lebanese Bakery If you’re living in the Middle East and are yet to try one of these traditional bready basics, may it be the first thing you do after reading this. Head to Al Reef for a cheap and cheerful version, covered with cheese, zaatar or spicy meats. This is one Dubai institution you shouldn’t miss. From Dhs5. Various locations including Zabeel Road, Karama (04 396 8999).
Mozzarella in Carrozza at Bianca Mozzarella & Co, The Beach With mozzarella in the restaurant’s name, it’s safe to say that the standout ingredient is, of course, the creamy Italian cheese. The chef here uses it in plenty of ways – caprese salad, burrata, stuffed in a calzone, smothered on a pizza, bound into spaghetti – you get the picture. Our advice? Try the fried version. Hot, gooey rounds of fresh mozzarella are perfectly melted and fried in a crisp coating. Sweet cherry tomatoes cut through the richness. Dhs50. The Beach, opposite JBR (04 554 9459).
Onion Soup Gratinée at Couqley Your friends back at home (who live in countries with actual snow) might laugh when you moan about being “freezing” living here in Dubai, but it’s still winter, and while the temperatures are lower it’s the perfect excuse to warm up over a piping hot bowl of soup. We particularly love this traditional French classic from JLT bistro Couqley. Made with caramelised onions, baguette and topped with a layer of Emmental cheese, you’ll have this one slurped up by the time you can say woolly jumper. Dhs43. Cluster A, JLT (04 514 9339).
Raclette Toi at Publique We’ve waxed lyrical many a time about the fondue at Publique and its rich, strong flavour (and those gloriously crispy croutons). But that’s not to say you should overlook the humble raclette. Settle by the (faux) fire in this ski lodge-theme restaurant and dig into this deliciously warming dish. Slice off those shards of cheese and you could be in an Alpine haven. The moreish cheese is sharp yet smooth, and almost too good to share (though you probably). It also comes with cold cuts, potatoes and salad for a full meal. Dhs149 per person. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 430 8550).
Tyrokafteri at Mythos Kouzina & Grill A traditional Greek dish, this one is suitably cheesy to be included on this list. The spicy feta cheese dip is simple yet full of flavour. Take in your Mediterranean surroundings and pretend like you’re in Greece, rather than JLT. Dhs33. Armada BlueBay, Cluster P, JLT (04 399 8166).