A unique addition to the Dubai Food Festival this year is the introduction of mystery dining tours. Created by Lime&Tonic, well known in the emirates for curated bespoke, exclusive, pop-up and secret dining events galore, the month of February will welcome a calendar of one-off food tours. Each event will be themed around a different aspect of Dubai’s restaurant scene, with multiple progressive dining-style stops at different, secret locations across the emirate. With an exclusive preview, Time Out Dubai has had a snapshot insight into these tours, and we can reveal a little snippet of each (no-longer entirely) secret schedule.
Old to New Dubai Food Tour
Not quite as simple as it sounds, this food tour is not just about crossing The Creek, from the geographically old to new parts of town. Starting with the deepest roots of Old Dubai, the tour begins at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding in Al Fahidi on the old side of The Creek. Here, diners will experience an abundance of authentic Emirati dishes (such as machboos, saloona and luqaimat), served in a traditional majlis-style setting, along with Emirati hosts who will be open to plenty of conversation about their food and heritage. From here, diners will continue the tour, with each stop designed to represent a different stage in Dubai’s history, sampling a dish at each stop that reflects this period of history.
Dhs550 per person. February 9.
High Flying Dinner Tour
Taking place on Valentine’s Day, this could quite possibly be the perfect gift for those with high-flying tastes. This tour whizzes visitors around Dubai from above in a helicopter. Start in style with pick-up in a limousine and private tours of one of Dubai’s premier hotel suites, with courses in two different restaurants, and a final course in an aquarium. Any guesses where that might be? If your partner is not impressed by this, it is time to start looking again… The experience is limited to only three couples, so advanced reservation is recommended.
Dhs9,120 per person. February 14.
From One Chef to Another Tour
Pop-up chef extraordinaire Tomas Reger takes control as tour guide for an event that sees diners move from one restaurant to another, with the chance to get up close and personal with some of Dubai’s most unique chef personalities. Dine at the chef’s table, with both chef Tomas and the resident head chef of the restaurant joining the party, and sample off-menu collaborations between the two cooks. Among other events, this tour takes diners to royal Thai restaurant Benjarong, to meet head chef Naruemol Poolkuan, not only one of Dubai’s longest standing female head chefs, but a charming figure who regularly cooks for members of Thai royalty.
Dhs1,700 per person. February 17.
Celebrity Hot Spots Tour
Dubai is no stranger to either celebrity chefs or international celebrity visitors. This tour embraces both, with trips to restaurant hotspots that have been frequented by famous guests. For the full VIP treatment you’ll even be chauffeured around by limousine, dine in the private rooms of each restaurant visited, sample the menus served to the stars, and have an opportunity to meet the chefs behind those menus. Since some of the restaurants on this tour are even fronted by celebrity chefs, where better to kick-start the night than with a private experience at Clé with globally recognised chef Greg Malouf at the helm. In addition to a menu of modern mezze enjoyed by the likes of Paris Hilton at the venues razzmatazz launch party, on our secret dining visit, chef Greg guided us on a tour through his kitchen, and its secret door.
Dhs840 per person. February 18.
Dubai Skyline Tour
One of the most visually arresting features of Dubai is its stunning skyline. This tour aims to celebrate it in a unique manner. At restaurants across the city, chefs at restaurants with stunning vistas of Dubai’s skyline will each serve a dish, which they have prepared as a creative interpretation of the view they enjoy each day.
Dhs550 per person. February 23.
Tickets for all tours can be purchased (and also gifted) through www.limeandtonic.ae.