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This week we take a dessert binge, make amends with fad diets, and then crash on too much hot chocolate

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We start the week with a dessert binge, make amends with fad diets, before crashing on too much hot chocolate.

This year, five has definitely been the magic number in Dubai, with Nobu Dubai, Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire and now also the Rivington Grill all celebrating their fifth anniversaries. On Friday December 20, the Souk al Bahar branch of the Rivington Grill will be offering diners (in parties of two or more) a complimentary dessert platter featuring their sweet signatures over the years, which is a decidedly English selection of sticky toffee pudding, Eton mess, rhubarb crumble, banoffee pot and honeycomb ice cream. Diners visiting up until December 20 will also be entered into a draw to win a meal for two.

After those desserts, you may have your eye on something a little lighter on the waistline? In a fit of new aged healthy eating, Dubai has recently welcomed it’s first paleo diet spot, The Cycle Bistro, located in Motor City. There is also a new macrobiotic menu, recently launched at Comptoir 102, with dishes such as sweet potato quinoa with greens, mackerel poached in white miso sauce or red berry mousse made with agar agar.
There’s more new dining in the Oberoi, where Iris Dubai (originally a Beiruti concept, with a branch on Yas Island) has just launched. The restaurant lounge bar is serving a mix of contemporary European cooking, although we had to inhale sharply at the sight of a sea bass ‘tirradito ceviche’ (which is it?) and even more so at the bluefin tuna on the menu.

Another trendy lounge bar restaurant has hit at The Dubai Mall, in the form of Katsuya by Starck. That’s Philippe Starck, creator of that infamous plastic chair, and the famous French interior designer behind many a swanky dining spot (in fact one of his Paris venues has graced the screens in SATC). And Kaysuya is sushi chef Katsuya Uechi, whose fusion creations include spicy tuna with crispy rice and yellowtail sashimi with jalapeños.

And there’s yet another new opening in The Dubai Mall with fabulous French asethetics at the more traditional Angelina. Located in the mall’s Fashion Avenue, the original tearoom has sat on Rue de Rivoli in Paris since 1903, where it has apparently welcomed the likes of Coco Chanel. She supposedly always sat at table ten with a hot chocolate.

If you’re keen to make like Coco, Dubai’s branch is serving the signature chocolat chaud l’Africain (hot chocolate served with a pot of whipped cream) as well as a selection of chocolates, macaroons and pastries. We’re tempted by the sound of the Mont Blanc dessert, made with meringue, whipped cream and chestnut cream vermicelli.

Finally, you can also try new independent café Bean Machine in Business Bay. It too boasts a ‘famous’ hot chocolate, as well as a family friendly focus, locally roasted coffee beans, and a penchant for latte art.

Until next week, bon appétit!

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