The Eating Out insider

We celebrate the Madinat, markets galore and Marco Pierre

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We’re mad about the Madinat this week. Everybody’s favourite faux souk, complete with waterways and strange little boats, is proving quite the place to pick up a decent meal these days. Brunch-wise, Mina A’ Salam (04 366 8888) is giving neighbouring Al Qasr a run for its money – the selection is nearly as extensive and the price is Dhs100 cheaper than Al Qasr, which was highly commended at the 2011 Time Out Restaurant Awards. Not a bad place to while away an afternoon in the sunshine.

And then there’s the flurry of new openings to look forward to. Souk Al Bahar favourite Rivington Grill (www.rivingtongrill.ae) is bringing a dash of Hoxton cool to the Madinat, while Belgian Beer Café (www.belgianbeercafe.com) is opening its third Dubai venue in the area – the only downside is that it will be opening in place of Pisces, which closed this month. So we say a sad farewell to the winner of Time Out’s Best Seafood award from 2011 and hello to Belgian hops, a lot of waffles and bucket-loads of moules frites (every cloud, and all that…). Meanwhile, The Meat Co (www.themeatco.com) is in the process of completing its makeover at the Madinat – last we heard it was waiting for some kind of stone feature to arrive. Curious? We are too, which is why we’re heading down in early December to check out the new look.

Over at everybody’s other favourite faux souk (aka Souk Al Bahar), the Farmers’ Market (04 425 2240) started again for winter on November 18, with the freshest locally grown fruit and veg (yes, believe it or not, stuff can grow here). You can also get your five a day at the Ripe Market (www.ripeme.com), which takes place every Saturday from 9.30am until 1pm at Dubai Garden Centre on Sheikh Zayed Road. Dhabi-dwellers welcomed the first opening of Ripe at Khalifa Park’s Desert Garden Centre on November 18.

Lazy people wanting to give healthy living a shot without leaving the house can now get fresh produce delivered to their door, complete with recipes. A triumvirate of ruthlessly reliable Swedes are behind the scheme, which has taken their home country by storm (Sweden, lest we forget, is the home of Volvo and Ikea, so practicality is in their nature). The ladies at DinnerTime (www.dinnertime.me) deliver four set family dinners a week, complete with easy-to-use recipes.

Insider wouldn’t be Insider without a dash of celebrity gossip, and this time it’s firebrand British restaurateur Marco Pierre White who’s in the crosshairs. Not only is he opening seafood restaurant Wheelers in DIFC (we’re guessing January, but the official opening date is TBC), but he’s also set to unveil ominously named Titanic in the forthcoming Meliá Dubai Hotel (04 508 8473), opening in Bur Dubai. Bur Dubai, you say? Yes, Bur Dubai – it’s a place just beyond Trade Centre Roundabout, you muggins. Until next week: bon appétit.

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