Ask a Local: The Hedonista

Ask a Local: The Hedonista 20150726T072937 20160228T094455:635922494953626507

In our Ask a Local series, we get the insider story on Dubai – from the signature dish of a hole-in-the-wall restaurant to the hottest local designers to watch. Sarah Walton, author of food and travel blog The Hedonista, shares with us her favourite spots for dining out and exploring the culinary melting pot that is Dubai.

A food blogger’s guide to eating and exploring in Dubai

A food blogger’s guide to Dubai

Sarah Walton, also known as The Hedonista, takes us on a gourmet-themed tour of the city

Trained as a sommelier and restaurant manager, Sarah Walton is more than qualified for her current job as a food and travel writer. Her website, The Hedonista, where she shares dining experiences, recipes and travel advice, is read by thousands and has been recognised as one of the UAE’s top food blogs. We talk to the Aussie expat and self-described “wandering glutton” about her favourite spots in her adopted home, Dubai.

When friends are in town I take them to…

It depends! Qbara is a great place to show visitors a combination of the glitz and grittiness of this city. I love the view from 101 at One&Only The Palm and I also get a kick out of taking newbies out of their comfort zone – something like Persian restaurant Special Ostadi, Al Tawosal or Mezza House on karaoke night, to show them some real Arabian culture.


The restaurant that best shows off local cuisine is…

That’s hard – what is local cuisine? Dubai is a mix of everything – I think Qbara demonstrates that, but for a place that shows off more traditional Arabic cuisine, it’s hard to go past Al Hadheera at Bab al Shams. The setting is perfect: carpets on the desert floor, oud player on the strings, tea on the fire and ouzi (baked lamb and spiced rice) in the pit.


What’s least known about Dubai is…

It’s an incredible place to learn about Indian food. Before I came here, it was all about butter chicken and beef vindaloo. Now I understand nuances of the cuisine I never knew existed. I even made Dahi Papdi – a popular street food snack of potatoes, rice, spices and fresh curd – for my last dinner party!


For local designer creations, I’d suggest…

Heading to The Cartel in Al Quoz. There’s a mix, but one of my favourites is Reemami, an up-and-coming fashion line.


My idea of the perfect memento is….

The Dubai stone. You’ll find it around your waistline – it shows how much you will eat while you’re in this city! Sadly, it does have its downfalls, like not being able to fit into your newly-purchased Reemami skirt.

The most romantic spot in Dubai is …

Pierchic for a restaurant, Al Maha for accommodation, and a night ride across the creek on an abra (water taxi) for a dreamy moment.


The best event on the Dubai calendar is…

Every weekend. There is always something happening - although do love a good gig at the Sandance music festival held at Atlantis.


My favourite souk is…

The Spice Souk in Deira.

My favourite hotel is…

The Palace Downtown for the location, Madinat Jumeirah for the whole Dubai experience, One&Only for the beauty and Bab al Shams for an escape.


To see the best art in Dubai I’d go to…

The Alserkal Avenue arts hub in Al Quoz. 


If I had a free day I would…

Shop at the Dubai Mall, get a full body treatment at Talise Spa, have lunch there and then lie on the beach in front of it, then take a Frying Pan Adventures tour through the streets of old Dubai. 

English Dubai Corporation of Tourism & Commerce Marketing
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