Take a tour of new Asian joints and make a Turkish pit stop
This week, we make a tour of all that’s new in Asia (via Dubai) and with a pit stop in Turkey for Ramadan.
This week, Downtown Dubai continues to be a hive of activity with the continued launch of endless new eating options. Sake No Hana is now open in Souk al Bahar. The fine dining Japanese concept comes to Dubai from its sister venue in London’s Mayfair, first launched by Alan Yau, the restauranteur that brought us Hakkasan. What Hakkasan is to elevated and suave modern Cantonese dining, Sake No Hana is to Japanese, making it a promising addition to Dubai’s already highly competitive Japanese scene. Also new to the area is Kris Kros due to open this week on Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard. The casual dining café promises an internationally inspired menu, including recipes from North and South America, the Mediterranean and plenty of fusion cooking too.
In other news, JLT is up to its old tricks again, with more eateries opening. This week, we’re excited by the opening of K-Pop Chicken, a new Korean fast food venture serving this nation’s signature style of fried chicken, but with a focus on healthy eating. Other classics on the menu include kimchi, bibimbap (Korea’s answer to Japan’s sushi rolls) as well as bulgogi.
Across Asia to the South East, there’s also news from Thai restaurants that are expanding their repertoire. Mango Tree in Souk al Bahar has launched a Monday evening brunch. The unlimited à la carte affair offers dishes such as spicy green papaya salad, Thai fish cakes and tofu satay skewers for starters, pad Thai with mixed vegetables, Thai green curry and char-grilled ribeye beef for main courses. There are also Thai-style desserts such as mango sticky rice and western favourites including chocolate brownies with caramelised banana.
Not far away, on Sheikh Zayed Road, Shang Thai is offering a budget business menu on weekdays. Head here for a three-course set menu of classic Thai cooking for Dhs65. The restaurant is also offering cooking classes on request. Eager students need to make a reservation in advance, and classes are available for a minimum of five people, costing Dhs150 per person. The classes involve preparing a five-course set menu and the dishes change regularly depending on the chef’s particular desires. After the class, guests can sit down for lunch to try the dishes they have made.
From the far east to the east-west meeting point of Turkey. During Ramadan this year, Auris Plaza Hotel in Barsha is teaming up with the Culinary Arts Academy of Istanbul to host a Turkish food festival. The festival will run during iftar time throughout the Holy Month, serving traditional Turkish cooking, as well as this nation’s own Ramadan treats such as gullac (layered pomegrante pastry), and cay tea.