Drum roll please! Excitement this week on the Eating Out desk as we see some genuine firsts arrive on Dubai’s dining scene. Just as we’d started to bemoan the absence of a proper Portuguese restaurant here, news has arrived of a new restaurant, opening in October at the Four Points Sheraton in Bur Dubai. Piri Piri is touted as a rustic eatery, offering authentic Portuguese home cooking. It has also secured a Portuguese chef, Luis Salgueiro, who is travelling all the way from his native country to take the reins.
Chef Luis aims to develop an authentic menu, showcasing the cuisine’s classic flavours. Signature dishes will include Algarve favourite seafood cataplana (Portugal’s answer to the paella, served in a special copper dish), and amejioas a moda Algarvia (steamed clams). Yet with all these potentially authentic credentials, it’s strange that the restaurant’s name, Piri Piri, brings to mind a much faster side to Portuguese food.
This Portuguese first comes hot on the heels of the launch of high-end African restaurant Kiza in Oud Metha, which has now been open for a few months (watch out for a review coming soon). Our greedy eyes are glistening in the hope that these developments are a sign of new times. We’re holding out for the first Scandinavian and Peruvian restaurants next. Fingers crossed.
Those hungry for experiences of other foreign cultures should try the traditional Chinese tea ceremonies now being held at Royal China. The restaurant claims to offer one of the largest selections of tea in the UAE, and guests heading there for dinner can now enjoy the spectacle of this ancient Chinese art being performed at their table on request. The hostesses are trained in the intricacies of this precise ceremony and can also advise on tea selection. Signature teas in Royal China’s collection include ginseng oolong and shinesherry black, as well as classic flowering teas.
Finally, for those of you still looking for gift ideas for Eid: first, it’s time to get cracking, and second, you’re in luck. Premium Swiss chocolatier Sprüngli has launched a special range of seasonal confectionary, which includes hand-made pralines, truffles and chocolate-filled crispy wafer-rolls. You can choose a customised selection, which will then be packaged in a pretty-looking gift box or hamper.
And on that note, until next week, bon appétit.