Cool beats from local DJs, an industrial vibe and a canopy of stars overhead will set the scene for the launch of the city’s brand-new Street Food Market DXB. Taking place at Dubai International Marine Club from Thursday January 19 to Saturday 21, and again from Thursday 26 to Saturday 28, the event is the latest project from Alexandre Teodoresco, the entrepreneur behind the city’s popular Truckers DXB and Street Nights events, among others. With 20 food trucks serving up a globetrotting menu of street eats, hops and grape, and no under 21s allowed, this weekend Market promises a different vibe. Here, we profile ten of the outlets taking part in the inaugural edition.
One of two trucks operated by The Foodsters, Inc – set up by five friends who decided to ditch the corporate world and follow their culinary dreams – BurgerItch is the team’s take on home-made burgers. The menu is simple – cheeseburger for Dhs45, without toppings for Dhs40, skinny fries Dhs25 – but it seems to be a recipe for success. Reema Shetty, one of the founders, says, “We entirely had someone call us and tell us BurgerItch was the best part of their New Year’s at Coldplay. They made our year, for sure.”
Huguette and Guy Creperie
“Huguette and Guy is a creperie company I built to pay tribute to my grandparents,” explains founder Maxime Simon, whose grandmother, Huguette, handed down a recipe that had been in the family for six generations. Expect “the real taste of French crepes”, Simon says, including the truck’s original “Classic”, featuring smoked chicken, Emmental, home-made salsa and oregano, and the gluten-free, vegan “La Vergiere”, filled with fresh spinach leaves, wild mushrooms and more of that home-made salsa.
Ka’ak Al Manara
“We often get asked, ‘What’s ka’ak? And why is there a hole in the bread?’”, says Ziyad Ayass, who left his office job three years ago to launch his own platform selling the classic Lebanese street food. The breads (pictured above) are traditionally sold on the streets of Beirut by vendors who hang them off the wooden planks on their trolleys. Ka’ak Al Manara’s versions include an “Originals” range, with classic fillings such as Picon cheese and dry zaatar or sumac, and “Specials”, crammed with heartier choices such as chicken or beef. Ayass recommends newcomers try the halloumi version, sprinkled with zaatar and packed with vegetables, and finished with a dash of chilli paste.
The brainchild of Sophia Sleiman, Mantoushe launched in Dubai in 2014 with its first branch in JLT. Sleiman explains there are two principles underpinning the brand: “Lebanese Fusion and The Science.” The first part means everything on the menu, from the wraps to the salads, is inspired by the classic flavours of Beirut. The second is all about making as much as possible in-house, which the team do, from the bread to the ketchup. According to Sleiman, some of the most popular wraps they offer are the Steakmous, featuring slow-cooked steak, Lebanese hummus, roasted pine nuts, spicy potato, fresh tomato, home-made roasted garlic sauce, and the FalafaGuac, packed with falafel, freshly made guacamole, lettuce, tomato and home-made tahini. Don’t miss them.
Moshi – Momo and Sushi
“Moshi is a merging of two different places – Nepal and Japan – but it’s inspired by the Middle East,” explains founder Rahul Sajnani, who was born and raised in Dubai. Inspired by the scepticism towards raw fish in sushi, not least by the vegetarian members of his family, Sajnani decided he wanted to bring new flavours to the cuisine “and encourage people to try something they would normally shy away from”. A visit to Nepal saw him fall in love with the nation’s traditional dumplings, and so the fusion restaurant – and Flamin’ Cheetos maki – was born. Head to the truck to try his Zaatar Labneh, Cheesy Chips Oman and Falafel creations.
Much-loved on the city’s home-grown food scene, Moti Roti challenges the way the preconceptions many people have about Pakistani cooking. “Forget the usual curry house cliches,” says founder Tahir Shah, “This is proper Pakistani food, made fresh, cool and accessible”. At Street Food Market DXB, the team will be mixing up their usual offering. “We’re excited to try something new and more ‘street’ – mini naan rolls, which chef will bake fresh to order and serve with a chargrilled version of our Spicy Chick, as well as meat and veggie options.”
Sir Loin & Sons
The third venture from Food Truck Co, following the launch of Cuban street eats brand El Cubano and Go Nuts on the Palm Jumeirah Boardwalk, Sir Loin & Sons describes itself as a “gourmet meatery”, serving up quality meats and burgers, with the aid of a six-metre-long, custom-built Texan smoking rig. On the menu at its Street Food Market DXB pop-up will be The Great Burger (featuring a smoked Black Angus patty, crispy cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce, pickled onion and Sir BBQ-mustard sauce in a potato bun) and a Buffalo chicken sandwich (filled with six-hour slow-cooked pulled chicken, Buffalo sauce, lettuce, guacamole, crispy potato and blue cheese mayo) among others.
The Foodsters Inc’s first brand, The Shebi is named after two of the company’s partners, Reema Shetty and Mohamad Bitar, who are married and have named their house The Shebi (a portmanteau of their last names). A fusion of Indian and Lebanese cuisine, combining both their heritages, expect dishes such as chicken shawarma wrapped in Indian paratha, butter chicken sauce over chicken shawarma and cumin rice, and pulled beef in a potato bun.
Passionate about food from a young age, Ahmed Hassan launched Wingsters in the UAE in December 2013, when he opened the 1920s mobster-themed chicken wings haven in Dubai Marina. As well as 21 different types of wings, the fun, characterful outlet also promises “a mobster-themed atmosphere and the protection of the mafia when needed”. At this week’s event, the truck will be serving up a number of its bestsellers, including its most popular (and the owner’s personal favourite) Al Capone wings, the spicy garlic flavours of which took three months to perfect before making it onto the menu.
Founded by well-known UAE entrepreneur Khalid Bin Hadher and Australian chef Pascal Moser, Yumtingz has made a name for itself on the city’s food truck scene thanks to its tasty burgers – every aspect of which are made in-house – and Parmesan truffle fries. Don’t pass by without trying the camel burger, made from locally sourced meat.
Dhs10 entry fee. Over 21s only. Thu Jan 19 to Sat Jan 28. Thu 8pm-2am; Fri noon-2am; Sat 4pm-11pm. Dubai International Marine Club, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street, www.facebook.com/streetfoodmarketdxb.