From chicken to chocolate, Dubai has been importing some of NYC’s best food outlets. Daisy Carrington takes the taste tour
Magnolia Bakery: Ever since Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw sampled a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery, the NYC shop has boasted queues around the block (and they show no sign of abating). We finally have our own version of the ever-trendy bakery, and it more than lives up to its reputation. The cupcakes are just as addictive (think dewy sponge topped with sweet, buttery frosting), only the queues aren’t half as bad. Bloomingdale’s, The Dubai Mall (04 350 5333).
Bon Chon Chicken: In New York, Bon Chon Chicken is an established star. It’s a South Korean fried chicken joint that has captured the Big Apple’s imagination, and it recently launched its first Middle Eastern branch on Trade Centre Road in Bur Dubai. What distinguishes Bon Chon’s chicken is the method. Unlike KFC, these pieces aren’t breaded, but the skin has a glorious crunch, with nooks full of sweet, luscious marinade. We’re addicted. Trade Centre Road, Bur Dubai (055 266 2466).
Dean & DeLuca: When upscale grocer and deli Dean & DeLuca hit the New York market in 1977, it was a culinary tour de force that quickly caught the imagination of New York foodies. The Dubai branch is nowhere near as exciting, offering little more than a few deli staples. However, the chain still holds promise. The yet-to-open Dubai Mall branch looks as if it may be more like the gourmet supermarket that New Yorkers know and love. We’re expecting big things, so watch this space. Souk Al Bahar (04 420 0336).
Alison Nelson’s Chocolate Bar: For those not in the know, Alison Nelson is one of New York’s It chocolate shops. The Dubai branch, housed in the super-suave Souk Al Bahar, specialises in artsy choc bars with flavours that are both retro and funky. Its graffiti bars, with wrappers designed by New York’s top graffiti artists, are ever-popular. We also love the treats in the Atomic collection: home-made digestive biscuits topped with marshmallow and dark chocolate? We’re so there. Souk Al Bahar (04 438 0297). Other location: The Dubai Mall.
Nobu: Nobu may be an international chain, but its flagship restaurant is in New York City (after all, co-owner Nobu Matsuhisa’s partner is Robert DeNiro – a New York boy through and through). All of the signature dishes that Dubai-based Nobu fans drool over at Atlantis originated in NYC, so we have Mr. Matsuhisa to thank for the miso black cod craze that’s been sweeping the emirate. Atlantis, The Palm (04 426 2626). Pinkberry and Red Mango: Okay, so Pinkberry originated in West Hollywood, California, and Red Mango was born in South Korea, but as far as New Yorkers are concerned, both could be native sons. The frozen yoghurt craze rocked the city a few years ago and has long been the low-cal treat of choice for NYC’s socialites and fashion divas. Now, the treat is all ours. Both places specialise in tangy, not-too-sweet frozen desserts that continue to delight. Red Mango, Festival Centre (04 232 8887); Pinkberry, Mall of the Emirates (04 341 1378).
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Skipson May 05, 2010 06:54 pm
You forgot one of the best: Circle serves H&H bagels flown in from NYC. Now if we could just get some NY style pizza ...
Karen Apr 25, 2010 10:43 am
Thanks Daisy for bringing more deliciousness to our attention! Gotta love you for that!
Seriously flipped off that Dean & Deluca still hasn't opened. I've been waiting for this for a couple of years, I'm sure and I find it's too frustrating that this great NYC food store/deli has been given so much publicity (they are soooo good in NYC that it's deserved there at least) and yet have not bothered to open here on schedule.
If Dean & Deluca is going to pull out of Dubai, why don't they just let everyone know? Surely it can't be that hard to open up here, especially considering that Magnolia/Bloomingdales advertised its opening a year later and I have been enjoying the store for months...