This week, instead of eating out, we’ll be mostly eating in: lounging around in our PJs enjoying gourmet food. It’s not just because of the weather (or because of a tragi-comic Bridget Jones-esque break-up) – this self-imposed sloth follows news that several new gourmet online stores have landed in Dubai’s cyberspace.
First up on the menu chez nous is a delivery service from gourmet online grocery store Chez Charles (www.chezcharles.ae). The website sells high-end delicacies including Valrhona chocolate, alongside more unusual ingredients such as yellow tomato juice or quince vinegar, as well as fresh vegetables, meat and fish. The snag? Delivery isn’t exactly speedy – you’ll have to give Chez Charles at least 24 hours’ notice, because the products are sourced from all over the world. Equally, the air miles racked up by an order aren’t particularly eco-friendly (some of the fresh produce travels all the way from France). Having said that, the positive aspect of a long-haul shop is the chance to get your teeth around burger patties made from Australian wagyu beef or artisanal French cheeses such as comté (which can be tricky to find at its optimum age of 24 months).
After devouring swanky cheeseburgers, our nights in will continue with confectionary from new online chocolate shop Diva Life Chocolatier (www.divalife.ae). The range includes sugar-free pralines and organic truffles, as well as interesting infusions of dark chocolate such as Taiwanese oolong tea, grapefruit or orange blossom. We particularly like the look of the ‘chocolate books’: gift boxes that look like novels.
And the week wouldn’t be complete without news of another new addition to Dubai’s ubiquitous cupcake scene. It’s not just any old cupcake place, though: popular London-based, NYC-style store Hummingbird Bakery is coming to The Dubai Mall. The store will be the brand’s first venue outside of the UK, and will be staying true to the original concept: selling indulgent yet gourmet American-style cakes. It’s due to open by the end of September.
Rounding off this week’s cupcake round-up is news of a special cake variety launched in time for Eid. Hey Sugar Bakeshop has introduced locally inspired cupcakes with a crispy kunafah topping: an Arab-style pastry soaked in sweet syrup. We like the sound of this clever fusion of modern and traditional – we might even head out of the house to try one.
And on that note, until next week, bon appétit!