Tongue: Some might be put off by tasting something that once could, well, taste you, but beef tongue is a lovely, tender cut of meat, and at Sumibiya, patrons can cook their own thinly sliced versions on the central table grill. Also, cooking on the barbecue is much more entertaining than merely having plates of food put in front of you.
Sumibiya (04 222 7171) Radisson Blu, Dubai Deira Creek. Beef tongue, Dhs105
Cheeks: There are a number of cuts that diners typically associate with steak, but rarely do you hear one hankering after a good piece of beef cheek. That’s only ignorance, however, for this is pristine meat. Verre serves up veal cheeks, which after hours braising in an oven are the very definition of tender. It’s a sinfully rich dish, made only more so with the oxtail tortellini and braised wild mushrooms.
Verre (04 227 1111). Hilton Dubai Creek. Veal cheeks, Dhs215
Bone marrow: It’s amazing how much flavour exists inside the bones of a cow, and Signatures restaurant knows how to take full advantage of it. In keeping with its philosophy, the restaurant pairs organic, grass-fed fillet and serves it with oyster mushrooms and bacon and bone marrow juice. The whole piece is seasoned with thyme grown fresh in the neighbouring bio garden. Good for the environment, better for the belly.
Signatures (04 804 8604). Jebel Ali Hotel. The fillet is only available on the set menu. Dhs450 for three courses, Dhs700 for four courses with wine
Short ribs: Mirai has endeared itself to us, perhaps permanently. How? Two words: short ribs. Braised for hours in a marinade of soy sauce, sake, mirin and ginger, the meat is unbelievably sweet and tender. It is a taste unlike any other, and perhaps one of Time Out’s favourite short-rib dishes. It’s definite must for beef lovers.
Mirai (04 439 7333). Souk Al Bahar. Braised ribs, Dhs140
Sweetbreads: On special nights, Hunter’s Room & Grill does some delectable things with the cow’s thymus gland. Sweetbreads is a bit of a misnomer, in that it isn’t bread, nor particularly sweet. It is, however, one of the softest, most subtle parts of the animal. Hunter’s version, when it’s on the menu (call ahead), has a crispy exterior that gives way to something all-together silken. Some spiced milk froth gives the dish a bit of a kick, while matsutake mushrooms and beetroot make the overall effect woodsy enough.
Hunter’s Room & Grill (04 399 5533). The Westin. Price varies
Oxtail: Oxtail is a lean, rich cut of meat and, when braised, is tender while densely flavoured (as if the whole essence of the cow were in her tail). At Cin Cin, the meat is luxurious. Laced with melted shreds of Manchego cheese, these juicy balls are covered in a piquant barbecue jus and mustard hollandaise. It’s a sensual accompaniment to a fine glass of Bordeaux. The swanky decor adds some extra sophistication.
Cin Cin (04 332 5555). The Fairmont Hotel. Oxtail croquettes, Dhs70
Tenderloin: Margaux’s master French chef, Julian Mercier, is doing something sinful with tenderloin. The soft, almost spoonable cut of meat is served simply grilled on a slice of fine French bread, topped with a truffle sauce, and served with truffle mashed potatoes. For anyone who loves truffles (as some of us clearly do at Time Out), this dish is the ultimate. It is sleek, earthy and pliant. A definite must-have.
Margaux (04 439 7555). Souk Al Bahar. Tenderloin, Dhs159
Sirloin: Sirloin is one of the most classic cuts of beef, and one of the best types of sirloin without a doubt comes in the form of wagyu, the famous pampered cows that originated in Japan, but these days are mainly bred in the US and Australia. Rare, the Desert Palm steakhouse that this year became a Time Out favourite, serves up a massive, decadent, 300 gram cut of the good stuff (and, believe us, it is good). Each bite practically melts on the tongue (it’s almost worth the Dhs340 price tag).
Rare (04 323 8888). Desert Palm. Wagyu sirloin, Dhs340