Last week, one venue chose a portentious date to launch its new café concept on the 12/12/12. Black Iris Café, named after Jordan’s national flower and located in Uptown Mirdif, specialises in a healthy Mediterranean-style menu, offering sandwiches, salads and pasta dishes, with gelato made in house.
We’ve previously reported that Emaar Boulevard in Downtown Dubai is becoming a hive of new restaurant activity. New branches of Dubai favourite Burgerfuel, Beiruti café Leila and Middle Eastern destination Reem al Bawadi have already opened, and we’re waiting for Maison Bagatelle, Holllywood Burger, Steaky and Bennigans to open soon. There’s also a second Aprons and Hammers scheduled to open at the foot of The Address Downtown Dubai, and we’re predicting a spree of new crab shacks in 2013, with Claw Crabshack & Grill currently under construction in Souk Al Bahar. We like its ‘hammer time’-inspired adverts.
In other fishy news, on the subject of sustainability, we have some good and some bad news for you. First up, the good. We’ve discovered Sea Mood in Satwa, a small seafood restaurant that sells speciality fish and seafood at an exceptionally affordable price – from Dhs15 for a mixed grilled main course. It also specialises in selling only sustainable species such as shaari, and the menu is a hammour-free zone. We hear the restaurant buys its fish and seafood fresh every day, so doesn’t store fish in the freezer either.
After such good news, it’s disappointing to hear that two of Dubai’s well-respected Japanese restaurants, TOMO at Raffles Dubai and Hanabi at the Asiana Hotel, are introducing critically endangered bluefin tuna as a promotion. The demand of a primarily oriental clientele at both venues may explain this, but we think it’s a great shame to see these exceptional Japanese haunts serving this near-endangered and highly controversial fish choice.
Moving on to happier thoughts (it’s almost Christmas, after all), we’ve been hunting for last-minute edible gifts, in case you haven’t had time to finalise the list. Forrey and Galland is offering a collection of elegantly packaged sweets in understated white and silver shades, including candy canes made with marzipan and a pyramid of macaroons in assorted flavours. Online boutique Diva Life has a range of chocolatey Christmas gifts, and its products are now also available at Milk & Honey. For a no-guilt gift, Balance Café is selling festive hampers packed with healthy versions of baked treats, such as minced pies, ginger and honey cookies and mini carrot cakes. For more healthy-eating hampers, check out the gluten-free and whole food options at Organic Foods & Café. Until next week, bon appétit and happy Christmas!