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Food & Drink

Top food trends to try in Dubai

Tue, March 16, 2021

As the Dubai Food Festival returns from 25 March to 17 April, it's the perfect time to explore tasty culinary trends in the city.

As the Dubai Food Festival returns from 25 March to 17 April, it's the perfect time to explore tasty culinary trends in the city.


Supper club sessions

Discerning diners are increasingly on the lookout for intimate culinary experiences, seeking out supper clubs that often take place in the host's house. Insider status is secured the moment you book, as these pop-ups usually stay under the radar with only a select few knowing how to confirm a seat. Whether you're after The Curry Bureau's Indian coastal cuisine, Haya's Kitchen's Palestinian feasts, Spanish-accented menus curated by Tano's at 8, or Neha Mishra's steaming ramen, there's a table ready in Dubai to satiate your craving.

Tiktok cookery

Food trends and where to eat them
The power of TikTok was demonstrated when an easy-to-follow pasta recipe went viral worldwide, clearing feta cheese from the shelves of most major supermarkets. Three basic ingredients and minimal cooking prowess fuelled its success but Dubai restaurants weren't going to miss out on the craze. Spots like Public at The Dubai Mall added their own twist and theatricality, elevating this make-at-home dish to something you'd definitely want to order when out.

Avocado mania

Avocado on toast may have become the most ubiquitous option on a breakfast menu over the last few years, but the fruit, formerly known as an alligator pear, has firmly established itself as an ingredient that draws diners to any dish. That's why Avocadolicious – a Dubai cafe in Umm Suqeim putting the spotlight on the green hero – is such a hit. Head here to try tacos, fries, salads, guacamole, popsicles and much more avo-focused fodder. 

Molecular gastronomy

Chef Himanshu Saini's Tresind Studio has firmly established itself as a foodie favourite, serving up Indian-accented dishes in a fine dining setting that keeps diners coming back for more. Fans of molecular gastronomy however will be wowed by the intricate plating, bold colours, billows of smoke, bubbling concoctions and curious 'coffee stones'. You can also visit its sister restaurant Carnival by Tresind at Dubai International Financial Centre to enjoy limited-edition set menus until 10 April, as part of Dubai Restaurant Week.

More greens, please

Many may have eschewed meat at the start of the year during Veganuary, but plant-based diets are now a permanent fixture for many and picking up such momentum that restaurants are having to officially tweak their menus. Dubai's eateries have been quickly adopting new green-friendly recipes, while dedicated vegetarian and vegan spots like SEVA Experience, Folia, Bounty Beets and Comptoir 102 continue to serve up delicious meat-free feasts, packed full of flavour.

Tsunami cakes

Food trends and where to eat them
Cronuts, move over, there's a brand new dessert that's gathering column inches this season. The tsunami or pull-me-up cake sees a cascade of creamy frosting or chocolate ganache spill over the pudding once its cylinder-like wrap is whipped off. The hit local cafe Parker's, which opened its latest outpost in Safa Park, is showcasing three different flavours to try. An original milk cake with vanilla ice cream and a wave of dulce du leche sauce, a chocolate-covered brownie version, and a decadent Lotus delight for caramel lovers.

Charcoal bites

Charcoal may not necessarily be the ingredient you think of when whipping up a treat but pastry chefs are going all-out to incorporate black hues into Insta-friendly desserts around town. You'll usually find it paired with citrus lemon flavours in refreshing drinks but Dubai hotspots are also leading the way with other creative offerings – for example, ice cream parlour Scoopi makes its activated charcoal ice cream with liquid nitrogen and serves it in charcoal-infused black waffle cones.

Nostalgic flavours

Food trends and where to eat them
People are increasingly craving comforting flavours as evident by the recent prevalence of banana bread. Dubai's chefs are picking up on this trend, incorporating ingredients and items that locals love into their own dishes. For example, spicy Chips Oman crisps top the Chips O'Mon burger at Ting Irie in Downtown Dubai, while HumYum in Umm Suqeim has put together a Cheese Chips Oman paratha roll that's divine, and Moshi in Business Bay has even paid homage to the crisps via moreish sushi rolls. Those looking for sweet treats can indulge in the Lotus brand of biscuit-like speculoos which is transformed into truffles at SugarMoo online bakery, teamed with French toast at Boxpark's Gossip Cafe & Desserts, and mixed with banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery at The Dubai Mall.

Fabulous food halls

Diners looking for elevated offerings, premium ingredients and artisanal fare – with the added bonus of fast service, casual seating and lots of choice – are flocking to gourmet food halls popping up across the city. Upscale spaces like Depachika at Nakheel Mall have been joined by the lunchtime favourites Downtown Kitchens and South Market Food Hall so discerning diners can try homegrown and boutique culinary concepts all under one roof.

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