This week we’re in party mode, with a big celebration for Dubai’s South African expats: South African National Heritage Day takes place on Monday September 24. In its honour, The Meat Co and Tribes, two of Dubai’s African-themed restaurants, will offer a special menu. Both venues are introducing a selection of dishes that are typical to South African cooking, which will only be available from Friday September 21 to Thursday 27. Homesick South Africans wanting to show their patriotism can tuck into biltong with wholemeal bread or slow-braised oxtail at The Meat Co, while Tribes will offer beef tripe stew with pap or pan-fried calf’s liver with yam mash. And at Tribes you may be treated to traditional African dancing and singing while you eat (the show happens on an ad-hoc basis).
It’s also celebration time for the Chinese community in Dubai: this month, it’s time for Zhong Qiu Jie, aka the ancient Chinese festival of the harvest moon. Celebrated annually in mid-autumn, this year the festival falls on Sunday September 30. In the run-up, several of Dubai’s Chinese venues are offering something special for the season. The traditional delicacy eaten at this time of year is the moon cake: a pastry filled with a rich, thick, sweet paste. Typical flavours include red bean, lotus seed or egg yolk – some are even made with the yolk from salted duck eggs. Venues such as Shang Palace, Royal China and the newly refurbished Long Yin are offering mooncakes during this period, and London-born dim sum chain Ping Pong will also introduce a special set menu on Sunday September 30.
We’ll end this week at the beginning – well, with the first meal of the day: we’ve heard that two of our favourite cafés have added new dishes to their breakfast menus. Sophie’s Gastro Café on The Palm has launched new breakfast eats, including healthy and organic treats with which to start the day.
We like the sound of home-made organic oat granola or scrambled tofu. Also offering something new, Baker & Spice has introduced a breakfast dish entitled the ‘(nearly) full English breakfast’. True to the venue’s ‘slow food’ philosophy (ie the opposite of fast food), the new dish features sausages, baked beans and bread that have all been made from scratch in-house. To get you licking your lips, the choice of sausages includes grass-fed heritage Angus beef with leek and onions, or chicken with fresh herbs and chicken liver.
Until next week, bon appétit!