We all know that shopping can build up a serious appetite.Carrying those shopping bags, flexing the (credit card) muscles – you’ll certainly need a rest. And with all that walking around – especially at The Dubai Mall – you’ll have definitely earned those extra calories. And there are loads of places for a pit-stop at Fashion Avenue, from cakes to steaks. Enjoy.
If you’re looking for some tasty mezze during your shopping trip, look no further than Bebabel, which is the newest opening in Fashion Avenue, coming just this month. Bebabel is from the same company as Babel – the famous Lebanese brand that recently opened a location in La Mer. This mall spot is the “casual-chic café” version and offers up a traditional Lebanese breakfast and an all-day dining menu. Hello, hummus.
Open daily 10am-midnight. (04 419 0950).
You know the feeling, credit card and feet aching, all you want is to sit down, chill out and refuel with a bowl of pasta. Enter, Cova.
The famous Italian pasticceria – that’s a posh word for cake shop – boasts a full spread of desserts, including pannatone, which the brand claims to have invented. It’s the first Middle Eastern venture for Cova, which was founded in 1817, and boasts a menu packed with authentic and tasty Italian dishes. So if you’re after some burrata with your Burberry or cannelloni after Cartier, sashay on down to Fashion Avenue.
Open Sun-Wed 10am-midnight, Thu-Sat 10am-1am. www.covamilano.com.
Another Italian in Fashion Avenue, GIA is located right next door to Cova. The menu here is created by Tuscan-born chef Tommaso Gonfiantini and dishes are a combination of traditional Italian cuisine with a modern twist – focusing on fresh ingredients, some directly imported from Italy. Highlights include pizza, pasta and main courses such as salt-baked sea bass, chicken cacciatora and lamb chops. The stars of the show, however, are the desserts, which include tiramisu and Nutella profiteroles. Yum.
Open Sun-Wed 10am-midnight, Thu-Sat 10am-1am (04 2349986).
This restaurant does a whole range of interesting dishes, but we recommend the massive Turkish breakfasts. From baked eggs to pastries and sausages, there’s everything you could possibly want. There’s also a massive terrace area overlooking The Dubai Fountain for the cooler months, as well as a shisha lounge.
Open daily 10am-1am (052 173 3376).
Katsuya by Stark
Sushi fan? Don’t miss this one. Katsuya by Stark is open in The Dubai Mall (again). Katsuya previously had an outlet in the shopping centre, which shut before the brand relaunched in Dubai at Jumeirah Al Naseem last summer. With restaurants in Hollywood, South Beach and Las Vegas – to name a few – it’s safe to say Japanese big-hitter Katsuya Uechi is a famous name on the US sushi scene. Expect to be able to get your hands on dishes such as edamame hummus and the restaurant’s signature Hollywood rolls.
Open Sun-Wed 11am-midnight; Thu-Sat 11am-1am (04 419 0067).
Laduree Parisian Tea Salon
Crisp on the outside, smooth on the inside, deliciously pretty. Of course we’re talking about macarons. If you can’t get enough of these delicate French sweet treats, luckily there are heaps of them to choose from at this petite café. Whatever colour or flavour you’re looking for, it’s an excellent place to get a sugar boost before you continue your shopping mission.
Open daily 9.30am-midnight (04 339 8520).
Another spot that does pretty much everything, L’eto is best known for its breakfasts and desserts. Breakfast-wise you can get special platters that are either Arabic, Italian, Californian or green or red shakshouka to kick-start your day. There’s also a range of interesting drinks, from lavender white hot chocolates to saffron iced lattes.
Open daily 9am-midnight (04 345 2211).
Meaning “bites” in Arabic, this casual dining spot promises Khaleeji treats. The menu is traditional, so if you’re not au fait with Emirati food, here’s a good place to start. Our advice? You absolutely shouldn’t miss rounding off the meal with luqaimat (Emirati doughnut balls). The nation’s favourite dessert comes in a range of flavours including white chocolate or Nutella. The best is the traditional version, though, coming doused in caramel-like date syrup and sesame seeds.
Open daily 10am-midnight (800 56 462).
This quirky, travel-themed restaurant is a cool new addition to the fashion extension. And the theme is strong at this one (think maps and travel books). The Mediterranean-Middle Eastern menu is diverse, too, from kibbeh to moussaka. Our favourite bit? The hummus bar. With varieties from beetroot to jalapeño and black Angus beef, we can’t get enough.
Open daily 10am-midnight (04 329 5182).
Todd English Food Hall — Dubai
If you’ve visited celebrity chef Todd English’s Olives in Abu Dhabi, we’re sure you’ll want to check out this massive new concept in Fashion Avenue. Set next to Cova, this huge space spans 12,000 sq ft. It’s similar to The Todd English Food Hall, which is a popular location in The Plaza in New York. The Dubai branch serves up freshly prepared and gourmet food from diverse stations – including pizza, pasta, steaks, salads, noodles, seafood and more – so however fussy the eaters in your gang are, there’s sure to be something to tickle your taste buds.
Open daily 10am-midnight. (04 526 9054).
Two by Symphony
Based in luxury fashion store Symphony, this casual boutique café is from sisters Mouza and Salama Alabbar. There’s a central coffee bar complete with freshly baked goods with Middle Eastern flavours, too, where stars of the show include a cream cheese and fig jam cronut and a pistachio and rose cruffin, plus chocolate éclairs. But there’s also a range of breakfasts, main meals and desserts too (don’t miss the molten chocolate and peanut butter fondant served with a chocolate coated gelato stick). As if we needed another excuse to hit the shops.
Open daily 10am-midnight (04 874 8672).
Also new in the Dubai Mall
This cool new Asian restaurant has funky artwork on the walls, as well as plenty of tasty dim sum stuffed with everything from veggies to camel meat. There are also a range of noodle dishes and stir-fries, too.
Open Sun-Thu 11am-midnight, Fri-Sat 11am-1am (04 224 6819).
For those who love falafel, sharwama and hummus, the new Operation: Falafel is a welcome pit-shop at The Dubai Mall. The home-grown Middle Eastern street food chain’s mall outlet boasts all your favourites, as well as some special items just for The Dubai Mall such as kunafa.
Open daily 10am-1am (04 329 2936).
This branch of the popular Asian chain opened earlier this year, and became the first in the UAE to feature the same interiors as in the London flagship branch in Covent Garden. It seats 156 diners, spanning over 4,000 sq ft, with an outdoor terrace, and serves up all the signature dishes such as katsu curry.
Open daily 10am-midnight (04 320 3237).