WATCH: An action-packed tour of cultural hub, Global Village
Where else in the world could you polish off pizza in a cone in the time it takes to walk between the Burj Khalifa and Big Ben? Global Village, now in its 21st season, is an incredible melting pot of spectacular stage shows, unique shopping experiences, thrilling theme park rides, remarkable replica landmarks and, of course, mouthwatering cuisine served up in more than 100 outlets. And we didn’t even need to pack our passport or bring along a map to enjoy a taste of the world in the bustling stretch of food kiosks that even leave room for a dessert or two.
Boom Burger When only a trusty burger will do, this is the place to head to. A mighty Angus beef patty has been cooked up just over the road in Abu Dhabi, with a special sauce crafted in the emirate bringing the boom to this burger. A juicy slice of tomato, a slice of cheese and a soft bun complete the package.
America’s often underappreciated cousin has brought us ice hockey, Bryan Adams, Mounties and perhaps its greatest export, in the shape of this delicious comfort food. This classic dish is made the old-fashioned way here: a pile of crispy French fries, slathered in cheese curds and topped off with gravy.
Dynamite Junior Seafood The terrific taste of Thailand on offer at this eatery comes with an explosive secret. The super-friendly stall-holders stay tight-lipped over the mystery powder that brings the fiery dynamite flavour to a host of the seafood favourites that are available here. The big seller is the dynamite shrimp, which packs an extra punch, but you’ll also be reeled in by the calamari and squid, which will have you instantly hooked, as well a wide range of flavoursome soups.
This super-cool concept is the brainchild of Jordanian entrepreneur Abed Al Kareem, who has devised a theatrical way of refuelling village-goers. Dazzling drinks, including myriad fruity mocktails – as well as a fiery pumpkin milkshake – are placed in your hand amid a hail of ice-cold smoke. It’s flashy, fun and certainly refreshing. Just be sure to snap a picture of the stylish production before you drink up.
Fresh Fruit & Juices You can still be calorie-conscious while immersing yourself in culture. This kiosk is a kaleidoscope of colour, with beautiful fresh fruit from across the continents lining the stall. Pomegranate plucked from India, mango taken out of Africa, oranges from China and papaya straight from Sri Lanka are served as a snack or juice.
Mini Pancakes This Dutch delight has been a sweet success with village regulars for years. The miniature morsels are big on taste. Freshly made mini pancakes (known as poffertjes) are served in piping-hot portions of ten and smothered with a generous dollop of Nutella. You can also sprinkle on a range of other toppings, such as cinnamon or icing sugar, to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Pizza Cones For those times when a pizza slice seems hopelessly passé, why not trade it in for a cone? The innovative Italian eat is created using the same dough used to make the base before being placed in a cone-making machine until 75 percent cooked. The mess-free food is then placed in a pizza oven with your choice of toppings to finish off the job. For the ultimate fun of the fair feel, it’s hard to beat the hot dog pizza cone.
This is a Swiss dish not to miss. A gigantic wheel of cheese is heated up to melting point, split in two and scraped directly over an inspired culinary combination of baby potatoes, cornichon pickles and rocca leaves. The flavour-packed plate has proved such a hit in Dubai that hungry customers are eating through 6kg of cheese every hour at this thriving pop-up stall.
Takoyaki Spheerz This Far Eastern street food favourite originated in Osaka and is enjoying its first foray into Dubai at Global Village. The sphere-shaped snack is comprised of bite-sized doughballs, mixed with spring onion, red pickle ginger and a dash of soy sauce, and is packed with a trio of tasty fillers. You can choose from the authentic Osaka dish, filled with octopus, or plump for prawn or chicken. A small but perfectly formed treat.
Tunisian Bite Fast food doesn’t have to come in a bun or with a side of onion rings. This stall has been a fixture in the busy food kiosk stretch for six years. Get your hands on the tabouna, a freshly-baked Tunisian bread stuffed with mayonnaise, chilli and vegetable sauce and tender chunks of chicken breast and placed in a foil wrap for that raw street food feel.
Anyone with a love of Lebanese food will have sampled this sesame seed-covered bread born in Beirut. The thin and crispy bread is the perfect pick-up-and-go hunger-buster. The versatile Middle Eastern staple can be filled with slices of steak and chicken cooked shawarma-style as well as with melt-in-your-mouth cheeses.
Yuki No Hana
Can’t decide whether you want an ice cream cone or candy floss? There’s no need to fret over the choice when you can simply get two for the price of one. This Japanese dessert specialist is providing plenty of cold comfort with its people-pleasing serving of soft ice cream encased in a pretty, pink cloud candyfloss. The trendy treat makes for a perfect picture and tastes as good as it looks. Open Sat-Wed 4pm-midnight; Thu-Fri 4pm-1am. Until April 8. Global Village, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road (04 3624114).
Also in the area
Burek Sarajevo Food-lovers in Dubai are well-versed in cuisine from all over the globe. But even the most experienced of eaters may not have ever come across one of Bosnia’s most beloved dishes. A delicious pastry that is shaped in a swirl is well worth a whirl and not just due to the novelty factor. The hearty Sarajevo staple comes served with a variety of sweet and savoury fillings, from cheese and potato to apple and custard.
Chaat’s Corner North meets South at this culinary celebration of the authentic Indian street snack. An inviting array of well-loved bites, including panipuri and samosas, bring a traditional taste of the subcontinent to the city. A beautifully sweet tea made from a golden boiler with fresh milk from the South of India is a refreshing way to wash down your spicy feed.
Yallah Kiosk It’s easy to forget about the intriguing recipes lurking under your nose when you’re busy searching out flavours from further afield. Yallah showcases a traditional taste of Emirati life. The luqaimat is a fluffy fritter soaked in a bowl of saffron-infused syrup, which has long been a popular dessert in the UAE, particularly during Ramadan.