Where to find wacky interpretations of Kunafa desserts in Dubai
The variations of this dish are as vast as the number of names with which you’ll see it described (kunafa? kunafeh? knafeh?), and as wide as the region in which you’ll find the dessert made. Typically, kunafa is made with two layers of crisp vermicelli, with a light, fresh cheese or sweet cream mixture inside. From Turkey to the Levant lands of Palestine, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon – and in Egypt as well – you’ll find fascinating and delicious variations of this treat. Its origins, however, depend on who you are speaking to. Did the Palestinians create kunafa? Their city of Nablus gave its name to one of the most famous recipes, after all – Nabulsi kunafa, using this city’s unique style of fresh cheese. Or, as some stories have it, did the Turkish invent the dessert, leaving the Palestinians to make it famous? Either way, it is not only Dubai’s must-try dish, but a tradition that we’ve seen taking on a new lease of life in the Emirates today. Forget those croissant-doughnut hybrids. From chocolate kunafa to kunafa in manakish, we pick our favourite and most unusual ways to enjoy this dessert in Dubai.
Kunafa cheesecake Dhs24 per slice. Sukar House of Desserts, Dubai Gate 1, Cluster Q, JLT (04 454 7805).
‘1,001 swirl’ kunafa cupcakes Dhs15. Hey Sugar Bakeshop, various locations including Village Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 344 8204) and Park Island, Dubai Marina (04 435 6871).