Last week we were celebrating an explosion of Brazilian and Japanese foodie haunts in the city. But those aren’t the only nations making their mark on Dubai at the moment: India is at it too.
Named after a state in Punjab, Patiala has just opened in Souk Al Bahar. It specialises in northern Indian cooking, including kebab and tawa dishes (hot plate), and aims to be an authentic yet high-end fine-dining venue.
The JW Marriott Marquis is getting in on the Indian action with Rang Mahal by Atul Kochhar – the celebrated Indian chef will be visiting Dubai later in March for the Taste of Dubai festival. The restaurant also has a northern focus, this time taking its inspiration from the province of Rajasthan and, like Patiala, it cooks dishes using a tandoor and charcoal grill in an open ‘theatre’ kitchen. The menu comes with plenty of Kochhar’s signature innovative twists: dishes to try include spicy fried chicken khori kempu, and the Anglo-Indian-inspired fennel bread-and-butter pudding.
Over in JLT, Memsaab is the brainchild of chef Anil Kumar and his wife Reshmi. Also focusing on a modern Indian menu, the restaurant is unique in that it has a health-driven concept, using fresh produce, cooking with less (or even no) oil, and offering gluten-free, lactose-free and vegan-friendly food. Signature dishes include Lucknowi lamb kebab, and giant portobello mushrooms with pickled spices cooked in the tandoor. Memsaab has also declared a commitment to the environment: its initiatives include keeping hammour off the menu and using smoke-free charcoal.
In other news, Amala at the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray has introduced its Paranthe Wali Gali promotion for March. The name means ‘an alleyway of fried bread’, and is taken from the name of a street in the Chandni Chowk district of old Delhi in India. The venue has created street food-themed cooking stations on its terrace for the promotion.
Goans are also making their mark on the city. Since its closure, the former Coconut Grove restaurant in the Chelsea Plaza Hotel in Satwa has been replaced by Goan eatery Ambot Tik, which serves traditional vindaloos. Now-defunct bar Waxy’s at the Royal Ascot Hotel in Bur Dubai has also had a Goan makeover, with The Goan Shack now open.
Finally, we leave you with a reminder not to miss the Taste of Peru Festival, taking place from Thursday February 28. It features Peruvian chef Christian Bravo and live music from Peru Andino, and is the first time Dubai has hosted a dedicated showcase of this cuisine. Judging how Peruvian food has taken the rest of the world by storm, we’re predicting big things for it in Dubai this year. Until next week, bon appétit!