Thanksgiving in Dubai

We talk turkey, trimmings and sides ahead of November 24 Discuss this article

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Thanksgiving is one cultural pastime that the US hasn’t made a point of enforcing on the rest of the world. It’s a pity, really, because the tradition of stuffing yourself with turkey on the last weekend of November is something that has appeal beyond the States.

Thanksgiving commemorates the anniversary of the first European pilgrims landing in the US and their subsequent rescue by Native Americans, who taught the newcomers how to fish, hunt and harvest in the New World in 1621. Another theory relates Thanksgiving back to settlers of Virginia’s Jamestown, who celebrated the first Thanksgiving as a version of the UK’s harvest festival.

Turkey is the centrepiece dish of the feast: fitting considering the bird originates from the Americas. Today it’s thought that about 46 million turkeys are eaten every Thanksgiving (compared with a measly 22 million at Christmas and 19 million at Easter), though the popularity of the bird isn’t limited to the dinner table. US Founding Father Benjamin Franklin is said to have been dismayed that the bald eagle was chosen ahead of the turkey as America’s mascot, saying: ‘The turkey is a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America.’ Maybe, but it wouldn’t look quite as cool on the back of a biker’s jacket.

Thanksgiving is traditionally enjoyed at home with friends, family and a home-cooked meal, although if you’re too lazy to cook on Thursday November 24, there are plenty of Dubai restaurants dishing up a feast. Here’s our pick of the best.

Baker & Spice
This Souk Al Bahar favourite will be serving a family-style version of the Thanksgiving feast. In fact, so committed is Baker & Spice to home-grown ingredients that, in the absence of locally reared turkeys, it will be offering a tasty (and enormous) whole roast chicken that can serve up to six people. Baker & Spice will also prepare and deliver a feast to your home. The menu includes corn chowder (Dhs28 per person), roast chicken with roasted and sweet potatoes (Dhs275, serves four to six), organic okra with lemon zest and pistachio (Dhs28 per person), pumpkin, squash, chickpea and cabbage succotash (Dhs28 per person), sourdough stuffing (Dhs38 per person), apple and cranberry relish (Dhs28), pumpkin pie (Dhs160, serves four to six) and pecan pie (Dhs180, serves four to six). Orders must be made at least four days in advance.
Dukkan Al Manzil, Downtown Dubai, (04 425 2240).

This venue will dish up Thanksgiving treats all day on November 24. Dishes include oven-roasted turkey, maple glazed sweet potatoes, herb roast chicken with giblets, poached salmon steaks with asparagus veloute, roast lamb with apple chutney, honey-glazed duck breast on red cabbage, and an irresistible dessert buffet. For those who like their turkey to go, Boulevard Gourmet is offering Thanksgiving takeaway treats (turkey, pumpkin and dried apricot quiche and pumpkin pie) from November 23-25, with dishes starting at Dhs75.
Dhs125 (lunch), Dhs155 (dinner). 12.30pm-3.30pm, 7pm-midnight. Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek, Baniyas Road (04 205 7333).

Market Café
This Grand Hyatt venue offers a Thanksgiving brunch on Friday November 25, featuring favourites such as roast turkey with baked squash, mashed potato, broccoli and cranberry sauce. For kids there’s face painting, balloon making and plenty of other rambunctious activities.
Dhs195 (soft drinks), Dhs250 (house beverages). Dhs95 (children aged six to 12). 12.30pm-4pm. Grand Hyatt Dubai, Oud Metha (04 317 2222).

Seafire’s three-course Thanksgiving set menu is enough to get even non-Americans in the spirit. Starters include scallops and pumpkin purée, with a main of honey-glazed turkey breast and ending with Granny Smith apple pie and pecan praline ice cream.
Dhs295 (food only), 6pm-11.30pm. Seafire, Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2626).

Sloane’s will be serving Thanksgiving food with a twist on November 24, offering turkey with \trimmings and pumpkin-inspired desserts.
Dhs220 (food only). 7pm-11.30pm. Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina (04 399 8888).

By Oliver Robinson
Time Out Dubai,

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