10 restaurants to check out and enjoy at the Jumeirah food festival
Foodies on a budget, it’s time to get yourself to the starting blocks. Get ready to ring in your restaurant reservations for next week now.
Now in its fourth year, Jumeirah Restaurant Week kicks off on Thursday May 14, running for ten days until Saturday 23. Inspired by the discounted restaurant weeks of London and New York, Jumeirah has continued the annual tradition of offering three-course set menus at a set price, at restaurants throughout the hotel group, in the UAE. The promotion ranges from three courses at casual dining spot The Noodle House for Dhs95 per person to buffet dining at the Burj Al Arab for Dhs370 a head. In between, there are also two additional tiers of dining: Dhs120 per person for ‘premium casual’ restaurants such as Urbano, Tortuga and Alfie’s and Dhs180 per person for signature restaurants such as The Ivy, The Rib Room and Pai Thai.
While this has previously been a global promotion, taking place at Jumeirah venues across the world, this year the hotel group will be focusing solely on restaurants in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, with more than 40 eateries between these two emirates participating. The new addition this year is a grape package ‘add-on’, which will be offering selected bottles from Dhs95 (and also Dhs120 per bottle for a more premium selection), and bubbly for Dhs495 per bottle. This week, we take a sneak peek at a selection of the best and newest restaurants that will be participating to see just what they’ll be serving during Jumeirah Restaurant Week.
This high-end Italian restaurant, high up on the 50th floor of Jumeirah Emirates Towers, will be serving some of its signature dishes, as well as a handful of plates exclusively devised for Jumeirah Restaurant Week. On the Alta Badia set menu next week, you can take options such as grilled octopus with baby potatoes, smoked eggplant and avocado as a starter, or a main course of poached eggs with black truffle butter and seasonal, braised vegetables. Dhs180 per person. Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 366 5866).
La Parrilla Fine-dining Latin venue La Parrilla will be serving up a South American mix of items such as empanadas (stuffed with beef, chicken or cheese), Argentinian tenderloin steak and ‘La Huerta’, a recipe exclusively created for Jumeirah Restaurant Week, which consists of red quinoa, spring vegetables and salad leaves. For dessert, don’t miss an indulgent dish of churros with chocolate foam. Dhs180 per person. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Umm Suqeim (04 348 0000).
Brand new on the Dubai dining scene is Indian restaurant Naya at Jumeirah Beach Hotel. It will be offering a primarily north Indian selection for Jumeirah Restaurant Week. Dishes on the set menu will include Punjabi samosas, chicken malai kebab with crushed cashew nut, popular curries such as butter chicken and rogan josh, plus classic Indian desserts ras malai and kulfi. Dhs95 per person. Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Umm Suqeim (04 366 5866).
This is a sparkling and glamorous setting for Thai food, located on the Madinat waterways of Al Qasr. On the menu for Jumeirah Restaurant Week you’ll find classic Asian recipes such as pomelo salad, chicken satay, Thai-style fried fish, pad Thai and green curry. Delve into the dessert section and you’ll be able to sample ‘tap tim krob’ (crispy water chestnut with sugar syrup, coconut milk and crushed ice) or mango sticky rice. Dhs180 per person. Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 366 5866).
Perry & Blackwelder’s Smokehouse
A new Madinat Jumeirah restaurant, Perry & Blackwelder’s is a deep-south, all-American-inspired smokehouse. As such, come here ready for some indulgence. You’ll be in for a treat with a set menu of southern fried chicken, classic Ruben sandwiches and chocolate brownie banana split, Mississippi mud pie, or ‘s’mores in a jar’ for dessert. Dhs95 per person. Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 366 5866).
Well, frankly, we feel we should warn you… your wife may not be impressed if you decide to celebrate an anniversary with a reduced price meal. Having said that, though, if you’re looking for romance on a budget, then heading to this three-time Time Out Dubai Restaurant Award winner in the Romantic category during Jumeirah Restaurant Week may be your best bet. It is, however, the only non-Burj Al Arab restaurant priced at Dhs370 a head during the week. The menu includes a vegetarian tartare with avocado and king oyster mushrooms, grilled scallops with vanilla and bergamot butter, roasted yellowtail with black truffle sauce and baked Australian lamb loin with gnocchi. Dhs370 per person. Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 366 5866).
The Souk Madinat Jumeirah branch of this British import may have died a sudden death, but the Souk Al Bahar venue is still going strong. Head there for a taste of its signature recipes next week. Start off with roasted scallops and cauliflower puree or green pea soup with minted sour cream. Save some room for main courses such as braised lamb shank clapshot or Traditional Scottish or (a Jumeirah Restaurant Week exclusive) spring vegetable puff pastry pie. Then, finish with an über-English dessert of sticky toffee pudding. There’s also a decidedly English riff on the French crème brûlée available – ‘rhubarb burnt cream’. Dhs180 per person. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 366 5866).
A deliciously vintage spot for British cooking, at The Ivy you’ll be treated to some of the best service in Dubai. You’ll also get to dine off the Jumeirah Restaurant Week menu. From the starters, try the aromatic duck salad with watermelon, chilli and cashew nuts. Moving to main courses, the hot Scottish smoked salmon comes with horseradish potato and roasted beetroot, while the dessert selection offers treats such as the dark chocolate crackle bomb, blueberry pie or raspberry soufflé. Dhs180 per person. Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 366 5866).
The Rib Room There are now two branches of this award-winning steakhouse in Dubai to try, and both will be serving set menus for Jumeirah Restaurant Week. Head to the new Jumeirah Zabeel Saray branch for dishes such as crispy short rib with butternut squash and truffle Hollandaise, and pan seared foie gras with caramelised banana and brioche. Or, make your way to The Rib Room in Jumeirah Emirates Towers, which will be serving seared queen scallops with crushed garden peas and crispy veal bacon, flamed jumbo prawns with confit potato and the ‘duo of beef’, which is a combination of silver fern tenderloin and slow braised ribs. Dhs180 per person. Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Palm Jumeirah (04 366 5866). Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 366 5866).
Tortuga This lively waterside haunt for Mexican dining and drinking will be kicking off its Jumeirah Restaurant Week experience with a free mocktail made with rice water and cinnamon. After that, you’ll have choices to deal with such as shrimp tostada or chicken tamale, beef short rib or potato enchiladas, and Mexican-style rice pudding, buñuelos doughnuts or uchepo (a warm sweetcorn cake served with three-milk ice cream). Dhs120 per person. Mina A’Salam, Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 366 5866).
Jumeirah Restaurant Week runs from Thu May14 to Sat 23. Dining from Dhs95 per person. For a full list of participating restaurants visit www.jumeirahrestaurantweek.com.