Ethical progress, high-tech news, votes for women and free food for feminists
Time Out Dubai staff
We celebrate ethical progress, high-tech news, votes for women, free food for feminists and all before lunch.
First off, congratulations are in order to Time Out Dubai’s best café of 2013, Baker & Spice, which has just won another award, this time for its commitment to ethical practices.
The Social Value Certification was awarded by the Environmental and Ethical Certification Institute following extensive audits of the café’s sourcing, serving and even staffing activities and is the first accreditation of its kind to be given to a restaurant anywhere in the world.
Also set to make ethical waves in Dubai is Pantry Café, which has recently announced participation in the UAE Green Festival, which takes place from Sunday March 16-April 16. During the festival, Pantry Café will launch a ‘green menu’ using dishes with a healthy, organic and locally sourced ethos. The venue is currently selling a selection of merchandise designed by notorieties such as Heidi Klum and Susan Sarandon, from which the proceeds will go to charities including UNICEF, International Red Cross, Greenpeace, Anti-Slavery and WWF.
Meanwhile, other developments at Dubai’s eateries have taken a technological tone... New restaurant Ebony in Business Bay boasts a menu of fusion-fuelled African and Arabic cooking, but served at Dubai’s first interactive, high-tech tables. The touch-screen tables allow guests to order their food, see it being prepared via video links to the kitchen, send e-cards between tables, keep the kids entertained with cartoons and browse the web – you could even have a read of www.timeoutdubai.com while waiting for your food to arrive.
In fact Business Bay is the hub of digital dining right now. Nearby eatery The Pizza Guys has just become the first outlet in the UAE to allow payment via Bitcoins, a form of app-enabled virtual transaction. Leaving the matrix for a moment, next week, on Saturday March 8, is International Women’s Day. As if that wasn’t enough to celebrate, the Fairmont hotels will be offering women (who are quick enough off the mark to book in advance) a few freebies on the day. The events include a complimentary, ladies-only afternoon tea at Mashrabiya Lounge (Fairmont The Palm) and a mixology masterclass in the evening at Spectrum on One (Fairmont Dubai).
Finally, all that food news has whet our appetite for a spot of lunch. Good news then that two of the hottest restaurant openings in Dubai have both just launched new midday menus. Available just on Fridays and Saturdays, Wafi’s modern Arabian hotspot Qbara has started serving dishes such as seared scallops with sumac and black cod sayadieh from 12.30pm, while Japanese du jour TOKO in Vida Downtown Dubai will now offer a daily à la carte lunch service, in addition to a special three- course ‘joto’ deal for Dhs125, which includes miso soup, edamame and tea.