Antonio Carluccio and coffee in Dubai

We look forward to testing offal ragu from Italian master

Antonio Carluccio: offally good
Antonio Carluccio: offally good
International Coffee and Tea Festival: full of beans
International Coffee and Tea Festival: full of beans
Gerald: Costa’s champion barista
Gerald: Costa’s champion barista
Hanoi: a top takeaway
Hanoi: a top takeaway

Antonio Carluccio, the man behind international café chain Carluccio’s and dubbed the godfather of Italian gastronomy, visited Dubai last week to promote his new book, A Recipe for Life. It’s a memoir of his foodie life
to date, with a few of his favourite recipes thrown in for good measure.

In particular, we have our greedy eyes on the offal ragu, so we’re also pleased by news that Antonio is currently working on an iPhone app devoted to offal. It’s still under construction, but once it is launched it will offer a plethora of recipes for often-neglected cuts such as liver, kidneys and heart – an acquired taste, but a delicious one nonetheless.

Aside from internal organs, many Italians are also rather fond of coffee. So we expect Dubai’s Italian community to be out in force at the International Coffee and Tea Festival, taking place at Meydan Grandstand from Tuesday October 30 to Friday November 2. Part trade, part public event, visitors will be able to take a sneak peek at cafés and products that are not yet available in the UAE, as well as checking out the latest gadgets and caffeine-related accessories. The festival will also feature the UAE Latte Art Championship and UAE Barista Championship: the winning coffee maestros will be chosen to represent the UAE in the world championships.

In other coffee competition news, British chain Costa Coffee recently held its own barista championships for the entire MENA region. Dubai-based barista Gerald Delos Reyes, from Costa’s Dubai Airport branch, scooped the title – it may be a little far for most Dubai residents to travel for a coffee, but at least you now know where to head for a finer flat white.

In fact, Costa is on a winning streak: it’s just opened new café Metropolitan Costa Coffee on Dubai Marina Walk. This new-style venue has been brought over from the UK, where it has won awards, and offers a much more design-led, modern setting.

Finally, let’s end this week with news of something that made us smile. We’ve previously reviewed Hanoi, a Vietnamese café in JLT, and rather liked it. So much so that when a craving for pho overcame us this week, we decided to try its takeaway service. It’s not often we find ourselves impressed by home delivery, but in this case the endearing attention to detail certainly did. We were presented with a takeaway-friendly version of the Vietnamese condiments platter, stuffed with fresh herbs and the works, while the rice noodles were packaged separately from the broth to prevent them becoming slimy before they reached us. Hanoi will only deliver within walking distance, but staff will even walk across Sheikh Zayed Road to the closest reaches of Dubai Marina (via the metro walkways), making it an environmentally friendly service to boot. You’ve got to love them for that.

Until next week, bon appétit!

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