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Bubble tea in Dubai

Taiwanese bubble tea venue teams with local companies

Is anyone starting to feel the heat? We know the adage about getting out of the kitchen, but we’re cooling down with cold drinks instead. Bubbles & Boba, the Taiwanese-style bubble tea outlet in The Dubai Mall, has launched the first of its ‘customised secrets’ drinks, in collaboration with digi photo booth company Fishfayce. The venue is teaming up with local companies to create new flavour combinations. Customers are then challenged to work out what they are. As for the Fishfayce flavour, we liked the combination of squiggy, chewy tapioca pearls and the chunks of ‘young’ flesh from a certain nut, but that’s all we’re giving away, so let us know what you make of the secret flavour.

Sophie’s Gastro Café on the Palm has also introduced a new range of smoothies and juices with nutritional benefits. The brave can add a shot of wheatgrass for an extra health kick, while the adventurous can mix up their own creation. Try the ‘herbavour’, a mix of mint, basil, spinach, celery, green apple, beetroot, wheatgrass and flax seed.

In other news, while Nobu continues to be a wonderful venue in other respects, staff here displayed impatience when we (anonymously)revisited the Friday brunch recently, with service swaying between disarmingly personable and evident exasperation when dishes were not gobbled up quickly enough. Perhaps the waiting staff were under time pressure from the kitchen and reservation desk. The Japanese are certainly known for their admirable punctuality, but not for rushing guests. One would assume these restaurants would appreciate diners who appreciate the fantastic food.

From slower-paced eaters to lightning-speed competitors, Wok In restaurant at Mövenpick Deira held its first noodle-eating competition on Friday May 25. Twelve competitors tried to eat as many noodles as possible in three minutes, with the victor, Ahmed Salah Saad Hassan, winning numerous prizes including a year’s free noodles at Wok In. A similar event took place in JLT, with Pompeii restaurant holding a pizza-eating competition on Saturday June 2. Pizza fans with a large appetite were challenged to finish a 12-inch margherita pizza, in record time, hoping to beat the current Guinness World Record of 1 minute 9.36 seconds, set earlier this year by Takeru Kibiyashi from Japan (it looks as though we were wrong about speedy diners in Japan). The challenge was won by Anoop Soma Varma, who set a new Guinness World Record of 1 minute 4 seconds. Many congratulations.

The competitive spirit continued with the Taste of Ireland Green Box event. Designed to raise the profile of Irish produce, local chefs were tasked with creating a menu from a selection of Irish ingredients including seafood, oils and honey. The competition culminated in a gala dinner at Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel on May 24, where the competing chefs showcased their menus. The team from Jumeirah Zabeel Saray was triumphant, with a menu that included ‘ancient traditional druid potato and scallion chowder’. Until next week, bon appétit!

By Penelope Walsh

Time Out Dubai, 5 June 2012