As we hit the end of May, the opening of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s first Dubai restaurants gets closer. Currently penciled in for June, the three Michelin-starred chef will be launching two venues in the Four Seasons Hotel: JG Dining Room and JG Kitchen. The first will be a fine dining venue, while the JG Kitchen will be a casual all-day dining spot. Heading up the kitchens of both will be chef Colin Clague, formerly head chef at Qbara.
In fact, Qbara’s trailblazing kitchen seems to be spawning a number of new openings. Ex-Qbara pastry chef Elizabeth Stevenson-Hocks has launched her own new dessert venue Jam Bar. The first branch is located at The Dubai Mall and expansion is already on the cards, with two new sites earmarked for Kite Beach and The Dubai Mall Cinema. The café specialises in what chef Elizabeth dubs ‘artisan’ doughnuts, all handmade, using no artificial ingredients or preservatives. Also on offer at this retro spot is a selection of traditional ice-creams, sundaes and soda floats.
In other news, yet another Beiruti hotspot is coming to the UAE. Popular Lebanese brasserie BouBouffe Restaurant is set to open in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. And not only open, but expand. Plans have been announced to open six new branches of BouBouffe in the UAE, with four of those intended to open in Dubai by 2017. The first two Dubai branches will be opening by the third quarter of 2015 in as yet undisclosed locations. Since the original BouBouffe Restaurant has stood strong since 1976 in Beirut’s classy Ashrafieh area, we have high hopes for this new Lebanese chain.
As new doors open, two old ones are getting ready to close for the summer. Both, however, with plans to re-open with a refurbished new look. Hakkasan in Jumeirah Emirates Towers will close for Ramadan, with a re-opening scheduled for Eid Al-Fitr complete with a new-look bar and additional seating space within it. Bussola at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina is also closing for a makeover this summer. Shutting up shop from Monday June 1, Bussola’s fine dining half will be redesigned using a mixture of reclaimed timber, Italian mosaic flooring and brass. The pizzeria, meanwhile, will remain unchanged.
Finally, gardening fans can mark London’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show this week at Atlantis the Palm. There will be a flower show-themed afternoon tea taking place at Ossiano from Friday May 22 to Saturday 23. The restaurant will be decorated with orchids and floral sculptures and the menu will also take on a flower theme. A similar flower show-themed experience will be available for dinner, too, from Sunday May 17 to Saturday 23.
Until next week, bon appétit!