Chocolate treats in Dubai

Time Out celebrates the best chocolate desserts in Dubai, as part of our celebration of comfort foods. Discover cakes, puddings, fondants and more

It doesn't matter how many courses have come before, we can make a little space for some chocolatey goodness, especially these 10 belting treats from around Dubai.

04 4383100 04 438 3131 Business Bay

This won our Best Pub Food gong at this year’s Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards, so it’s fair to say we’re a fan. The Eloquent Elephant is a majestically classy pub in the Business Bay end of town, with some of the greatest interiors in the city – all cool lighting, top quality furniture and a curvy, metallic bar dishing out exceptional mixed drinks. The food is stunning, too. The burgers are brilliant, the curries delicious (it is set in an Indian hotel, after all), the gnocchi is infused with truffle and the grilled smoked paprika octopus with padron peppers and turkey chorizo is one of the greatest flavour combinations you’ll find in Dubai. Small bites include crunchy, soda-battered onion rings, triple-cooked, chunky hand-cut chips and Thai-spiced chicken crackers. And the sticky toffee pudding to finish is the stuff of hazy, nostalgia-filled dreams. Simply superb.

Dessert café 04 455 1666 Al Safa

A bright and friendly eatery serving family fodder that will certainly appeal to young diners. The light pink and white interior reminds us of the Mad Hatter’s tea party, and sweet treats are piled high on the entrance table. The menu is extensive with all of the usual favourites including burgers, nuggets and the venue’s foot-long hot dog. The desserts are decadent, with cream and all sorts of gooey surprises hiding throughout.

Burgers +971 600 544005 Al Safa

What do you get when you combine a conveyor belt sushi bar with burgers? The answer, it seems, is Slider Station. The first surprise, though, on entering the restaurant is that the 1940s American gas station-vibe doesn’t feel tired – just post-apocalyptic, thanks to the rusty pipes that snake their way into a dramatic light fixture. Sadly, the second surprise is not such a positive one – the intrigue of those lofty conveyor belt claims is bitterly punctured when the tiny belt comes into view. In the style of a sushi bar, it seats only a few diners along the perimeters of its short delivery round. However, you’ll soon get over this disappointment when you try the food, including the sriracha-glazed lobster roll. The buttery milk bun is somehow simultaneously as soft as a bap, crisp as toast, and light as a rice cake, while the filling has punchy waves of wasabi peas. Though classic options – mustard, onions, pickles, lettuce, cheddar, west coast sauce – are technically faultless, creations like the southern-fried tiger shrimp handgun impress more. We also recommend the caravan wood-fired camel burger with Arabic spices, pickled red onions, machboos aioli and shredded cabbage that somehow really work with the brie cheese. In the battle of the gourmet mini-burgers, creativity is king. While Slider Station isn’t doing anything revolutionary, it is at least putting up a fight.

04 344 4462 Jumeirah

What started off as a delivery business for a Dubai entrepreneur has now taken off as a café inside Galleria Mall on Al Wasl Road.

Home Bakery is tiny, but with extra seating both outside and inside the mall’s main atrium. Its design is simple, with a light, airy domestic charm. Aside from a white-tile-clad counter covered in all manner of sweet baked goods, the other diversion for the eyes is the collection of mirrors and wooden chopping boards hanging on the wall.

Though small, this café is incredibly popular – a visit on a Tuesday evening required giving our name to a server with a waiting list. Once we eventually got a seat, the venue only started to empty towards the weekday closing time of 10pm. Staff were pleasant and polite, but there is a sense that servers are perhaps a little overstretched by the popularity of the venue.

If you make it here before 1pm, you’ll be able to sample a number of sweet and savoury breakfast dishes from French toast to an eggy ‘breakfast burger’. For the rest of the day at Home Bakery, it is desserts, desserts, desserts. And on that dessert list, alongside cookies and loaf cakes, you’ll also find a number of unexpected and creative entries primarily themed around Nutella.

Since every balanced meal time ought to centre around two major food groups (Nutella and carbs), we dined on two of Home Bakery’s signature creations: the Nutella cronut and Nutella kunafa. The cronut was so greedily and indulgently stuffed to bursting point with the hazelnut chocolate spread that it overtook attention from the light and buttery pastry. But it was a great little treat. The Nutella kunafa is a far more innovative creation by Home Bakery, and honestly we quite expected to have to tell you that without the cheese we were left wanting. However, nothing was wanting from this elegantly presented dessert with a swirl of hot Nutella on the plate and a liberal sprinkling of sliced, vibrant green pistachios. The cooked Nutella in the centre had taken on a caramelised flavour and texture, while the abundant shreds of vermicelli on the top and bottom of the dish were lightly packed and perfectly crisp.

Lastly, our crème brûlée milkshake didn’t quite live up to the other masterpieces on the table, since it primarily tasted of lukewarm vanilla-flavoured milk – how about some exciting burnt sugar and caramel flavours in there please?

Having said that, Home Bakery is still an excellent spot for creative sweet treats.

The bill (for two)
1x Nutella kunafa Dhs50
1x Nutella cronut Dhs15
1x milkshake Dhs30
1x small water Dhs15
Total (excluding service) Dhs110

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