Despite the Mayans’ concerns over 2012 proving to be unfounded, their Latin American cousins are still dominating the first months of 2013. The third annual Dubai Latin Festival begins on Thursday January 24, celebrating the region’s music and culture. Also on the horizon are two new Latin-inspired cafés due to open this year. Souk Al Bahar will welcome Café Habana, a casual dining venue from America with a Cuban-inspired vibe. The venue was originally intended to open in December 2012 but has been delayed, and is now scheduled to launch in February.
Meanwhile, Colombiano Coffee House is scheduled to open in Media City in March. Originating from Colombia, this venue already has several branches in Abu Dhabi, but the new Dubai outlet will be the first to open elsewhere in the UAE. It offers classic café staples such as pasta, pizza and salads, while the coffee is from Colombian beans.
Sailing away from Latin America and back across the ocean to the Iberian peninsular, January also marks the opening of a second Portuguese restaurant in Bur Dubai. After a name change, Picante is finally set to open at the Four Points by Sheraton and will launch at the beginning of next week.
From eating to drinking, and despite our best efforts to stick to our new year’s resolutions, January is starting with a handful of grape events. Exploring a lesser-known grape region, Icon Lounge is giving guests the chance to sample the sommelier’s selection of Lebanese grape alongside gourmet nibbles such as cheese and charcuterie, as well as a special tasting night on Wednesday January 16. Palm Grill at the Radisson Deira Creek is also getting in on the grape action, offering one free glass when you order two main courses.
Finally, we leave you with positive feedback regarding our recent reviews of new openings in Dubai. After our own positive dining experience at Richy’s in JLT, we’ve received some excited correspondence from Richy’s fans who share our love for the venue and seem to have used up their quota of superlatives in expressing this. There’s also positive news from Richy’s itself: the café tells us it’s in the process of addressing the issues with its ordering system by streamlining the phone system and hiring more drivers to make the deliveries. In fact, at the time of writing, we finally managed to get through on the phone ourselves.
On a similar note, our delightful dinner at new Bur Dubai eatery Portugal Genuine Piri Piri Restaurant a few weeks ago was met with one snag: the juicy fish we ordered turned out to be endangered species hammour. We’ve since heard from the management that thankfully, the restaurant now plans to take hammour off the menu entirely.
Until next week, bon appétit!