Foodie news in Dubai

Mahiki and Oscar's unveil new menus

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New menus, new looks and new restaurants abound this week. Polynesian-themed hotspot Mahiki – a favourite of men wearing red trousers and ladies wearing minidresses – has introduced a lip-smacking new menu, prepared by one Marcus Chant. Who is this Chant fellow, we hear you cry (or chant) between mouthfuls of luridly coloured mixed drinks? Well, he’s worked under Gary Rhodes at Greenhouse Restaurant in London’s Mayfair, as well as with three-Michelin-star chef Brett Graham (currently of The Ledbury in London) at Banc Restaurant in Sydney, so the meals at Mahiki should be a little more interesting than deep-fried finger food (think salads, steaks, curries and even fish fingers). Keep an eye on Time Out for a review.

Oscar’s Vine Society at the Crowne Plaza Dubai has also got itself a new menu, along with a brand-new look. The bar, which specialises in grape, now boasts a ‘Provençal interior’, which is complemented by chef Emmanuel Pauliat’s Provençal menu, featuring dishes such as tian de légume aux herbes (forgive us, we effortlessly slipped into fluent French without thinking), aka vegetables with herbs; and poisson du jour grillé au fenouil et tian de legumes (there we go again), aka fish with fennel and vegetables. Très bon (very good).

After taking Dubai’s restaurant scene by the lapels and giving it a good shake-up, the folk at Table 9 are taking on the world wide web with the launch of the restaurant’s new website (www.table9dubai.com), featuring tweets from the chefs (touching on everything from food to football), plus details of the latest dishes, cooking classes and grape tastings.

Not content with forcing a week’s worth of fresh veg down our throats at the Ripe Market at Dubai Garden Centre, organisers are now threatening Dubai residents with a permanent store selling locally grown, organic produce seven days a week. The horror. Ripe founder Victoria Leckie isn’t giving much away, other than hinting that said store is set for an early May opening in Al Manara. As well as serving the Ripe fruit and veg boxes, there will be an abundance of coffee, dairy and cheese products. Keep your eyes peeled for news in Time Out or Ripe’s newsletter (www.ripeme.com).

Though it’s been open for some time now, we’ve just got a taste of the cocoa-based treats being served at Chocomelt Café in Ibn Battuta, which is effectively one big fondue station. There are five types of melted chocolate on offer (dark, milk, white, hazelnut and sugar-free) and a vast array of fruit to slather with the stuff. Reassuringly, the people of Chocomelt insist they are dedicated to providing the healthiest (yes, ‘healthiest’) top-grade Belgian chocolate around, meaning it doesn’t matter how much we eat. At least, that’s what we’re telling ourselves. Bon appétit.

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