Dim sum, dumplings, yum cha, whatever you want to call it, we’ve searched out the city’s tastiest pint-sized parcels
Dim sum refers to a plethora of dishes – steamed and fried little treats and dough-encased dumplings, traditional to the Canton regions of China. But it also refers to the Cantonese art of turning dumplings into a meal time and occasion; the Chinese answer to afternoon tea. In Dubai, dim sum varies from authentic yum cha served from trolleys, to highfalutin foie gras stuffed concoctions. We ate our way through bamboo steamer after bamboo steamer with dim sum deals and à la carte options galore (with even a Himalayan option thrown in for good measure) to find out where Dubai gives Hong Kong a run for its money when it comes to dim sum.
riding itself on good old-fashioned hospitality and flavours of the Deep South, Perry & Blackwelder’s serves some great food, but the overall experience doesn’t quite match up. Some staff are attentive and know their stuff, while others seem disinterested and forget parts of orders. It can also take a long time to place your order, and for the food to arrive. The vibe of the venue is spot on, though, with its US-style décor, sport on the TVs and funky tunes providing the atmosphere. When it comes to the food, we’d say steer clear of the Texas BBQ nachos (not a great deal of flavour) and loaded potato skins (they seem cooked from frozen) and instead go for the chicken wings or burgers, which are excellent. There are also a selection of sauces on the table, which help liven up some of the duller dishes. A good place for drinks with friends, especially if you sit outside, but to be a destination for dining, things need to improve, especially with such competition nearby.
Since opening, this cool venue has gone from strength to strength. As well as the diner area, there’s a bar (where you can also eat) showing games on big screens and offering happy hour drinks deals. In an unprecedented move, the Dubai branch has also messed with the concept and expanded the menu. No longer are the only things available a lobster, lobster roll and burger. There are now creative and fun variations (that, it should be pointed out, still stay true to the core ingredients). So, try the Beast Burger – a beef burger topped with brie and lobster tail and flanked by two enormous claws. It looks the part, but crucially, also tastes it. With smaller burgers now available, and new flavours added to the lobster rolls, we’re pleased the team decided to mix things up a bit. A good place to head with pals and enjoy the music, drinks and playful food.
Part of the Steigenberger Hotel’s poolside bar Swim & Tonic (which explains the less-than-catchy name), this new garden-style spot doesn’t look like most rooftop bars. It has a tree in the middle of it, for a start, as well as fake grass and even a white picket fence – in keeping with the back yard theme. There are picnic tables to sit at or you can recline on the sofas and look out over to the Dubai Canal – one of the many draws of this place. The fact that it’s unlike like anywhere we’ve seen in Dubai is another pull. The team have gone to great effort to make it look and feel as cool and quirky as possible – graffiti on the walls and pillars, bits of cars lying around, the DJ booth made out of the front of a truck. And it works.
We love the small design touches – there are dartboards hanging up next to the dancefloor that we can’t tell if we’re meant to use, or if they’re just there for decoration, like the lifebuoys alongside them. We also love that there’s a food truck parked in the space serving up Asian street eats. But if that doesn’t take your fancy, there’s a separate food menu and staff bring you free bowls of popcorn and nuts.
On our visit, the big screen behind the DJ was showing Inside Out and by the time we left, Marvel superhero films were being screened – a welcome change to sport. Those desperate to introduce an element of competition, though, can make a beeline for the table piled high with board games, including dominoes. If you’re not competitive, maybe they’ll come in handy if you get bored of the films (or your friend’s conversation).
The Backyard feels refreshingly different. We’ll be out to play again soon…
The bottom line
For a rooftop bar with a difference, check this one out.
This indie burger joint in Jumeirah gets the seal of approval from royalty… And us.
Amid Dubai’s many burger joints – from Texan through to Swedish – on Jumeirah Beach Road you’ll find something we haven’t seen before. Moylo’s is an independent restaurant that feels completely original, too.
This tiny hole-in-the-wall space is decorated in an edgy, raw style that feels like a converted warehouse. The fittings are industrial, with plenty of colour and witty character. Tables that look like they are made from reclaimed wood have been painted in rainbow strips of colour or the legs have been covered in myriad squished soda cans. Condiment bottles hang from the ceiling by chains and the counter is covered in an array of padlocks, customised by patrons (including one signed by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai). The walls are plastered in all sorts of silly and amusing signs, giving the space a fun common room-meets-neighbourhood-pub vibe. Staff will come to your table to take orders, and bring your food to you, and then you pay at the counter, and all are friendly, pleasant and efficient.
The menu includes the briefest list of burgers – five recipes to be precise – divided between chicken and beef varieties. There are also two side dishes (parmesan truffle fries and onion rings) and one milkshake (salted caramel).
That shake comes served in a cute jug-jar glass and is thick and creamy with a great sweet, salty, burnt sugar dynamic. The signature ‘Moylo’s burger’ comes stuffed with an onion ring, cheese and ‘Moylo’s sauce’. The patty is a little rare, but moist as a result. The bread is soft, light and fluffy (if a little sweet) and easy to digest. The onion ring gave the burger a diverting textural edge, while Moylo’s secret sauce provided a fresh, creamy, sour tang to complete the taste, making it, overall, a very good burger. The moreish truffle fries had a crunchy exterior, soft insides and plenty of aromatic flavour.
Moylo’s conjures up that old adage about nice things and small packages. But in this instance, it’s accurate. This place is tiny and cuter as a result. The menu is tiny and perhaps more care has gone into it as a result. It gets a messy, sauce-smeared thumbs up from us.
The bill (for one)
1x Moylos burger Dhs38
1x Truffle fries Dhs18
1x salted caramel shake Dhs25
1x water Dhs5
Total (excluding service) Dhs86
- 1 of 2