The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is today (Monday September 24), and there are a few ways to honour the occasion, namely with a feast of scrumptious Chinese dishes throughout Dubai.
Recognising the fullest moon of the year and marking the end of the harvest, the hugely celebrated festival brings families and friends together to enjoy good food, and is one of the only times of the year to tuck into delicious mooncakes.
Not sure what a mooncake is? It’s a sweet pastry treat made with a dense filling of red bean paste or fruit and veg, along with yolks from salted duck eggs that were traditionally made to be offered to the moon.
Want to try some? Check out the places below and see what suits your fancy.
Celebrating the long-stand Chinese tradition with a charming English afternoon tea, Al Bayt Lounge is hosting a special Chinese-inspired afternoon tea, along with an afternoon tea buffet every Wednesday. Friday and Saturday until October 7.
Al Bayt took home Best Afternoon Tea at the Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards in 2017, so you’ll be in for a treat.
For Dhs188, diners can take their pick from sweet delicacies from the tea stands, sip on gentle tea infusions, treat themselves to the buffet and be serenaded by the soothing music from the harpist.
With a collection of classic handmade mooncakes, guests looking to gift families and friends with the special treat can buy one for Dhs60 a piece, and choose from traditional flavours such as green tea paste, lotus paste, red bean paste, pandan lotus paste, red dates longan paste and mixed nuts.
Dhs188. Until Sun Oct 7. Dhs60 a mooncake. Afternoon tea: Daily 2pm-6pm. Buffet: Wed, Fri and Sat 2pm-6pm. Palace Downtown, Downtown Dubai (04 888 3444).
For a host of diverse Chinese dishes and specially set up decorations to celebrate the end of harvest, you’ll want to head over to Palace Downtown’s Ewaan.
With Chinese lanterns put throughout the restaurant to suit the occasion, guests can partake in a Chinese-inspired seafood buffet priced from Dhs288, along with an array of different delicacies. The special buffet will go on until Sunday October 7, but if you come along today (Monday September 24), diners will also get a mooncake free of charge. Yum.
Dhs288 (including tea), Dhs488 (house grape), Dhs788 (bubbly). Until Sun Oct 7. Open daily 7pm-11.30pm. Palace Downtown, Downtown Dubai (04 888 3444).
The signature Chinese restaurant of all Shangri-La Hotels will of course be celebrating the Mid-Autumn festival in Dubai, and will even have mooncakes for sale so you can eat them at home. And maybe share.
For Dhs198 per person, Shang Palace will have a special menu until Sunday September 30, dishing out traditional delicacies including dim sum platters, sliced duck with soy chilli sauce and marinated celery, along with sautéed Angus beef with mushrooms and asparagus.
As for the Mooncake boxes, you can nab yourself one for Dhs288 for a box of four or Dhs318 for a box of six, with home and office delivery available too.
Dhs198 (menu), Dhs288 (mooncake box of four), Dhs318 (mooncake box of six). Mon Sep 24-Sun Sep 30. Open Sun-Thu noon-3pm, 7pm-midnight; Fri-Sat noon-4pm, 7pm-midnight. Shangri-La Hotel Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 405 2760).
Zheng He’s Honour Harvest Festival
What better way to celebrate a Chinese festival than at one of Madinat Jumeirah’s best Chinese restaurants? Taking place from 6.30pm until 11.30pm today (Monday September 24), diners can head to the stunning waterways and take a seat in Zheng He’s for a four-course dining experience.
For Dhs188 per person, the restaurant will serve up classic Chinese favorites, including a dim sum platter with steamed mushroom-shaped buns and more, along with chicken dumpling wonton soup with vegetables and mushrooms.
As for the main course, you can take on the wok-fried king tiger prawns in kan xiang sauce, black peppered beef tenderloin and some egg fried rice.
Finish off with Chinese tea and delicate moon cakes, a must-have treat for all Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations.
Dhs188 per person. Mon Sep 24 6.30pm-11.30pm. Jumeirah Mina A' Salam, Madinat Jumeirah (04 432 3232)