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Best Brunch Spots in Dubai

5 Brunch Spots Boasting City Views in Dubai

Weekends just got better.

Getting out of bed on weekends is always a challenge, but there’s nothing like brunch to get anyone up and running! It’s one of the best ways to spend quality time with friends, family, or a special someone. Now, take your brunch game to the next level by sipping your mimosas while you feast your eyes on stunning city views. Here are five brunch spots in Dubai that win our vote.

Marina Social by Jason Atherton

Founded by Michelin-star chef Jason Atherton, Marina Social is more than just your typical restaurant. It redefines social dining through its open gallery concept and dessert bars that offers guests a peek into the magic that happens in the kitchen. This glamorous destination at InterContinental also features an exclusive ‘Social Table’ where its patrons can enjoy a unique dining experience that consists of only the best selection of champagne, teas, cigars, and more. Enjoy a delicious meal with panoramic views of the city with your inner circle in this elegant joint – and don’t forget to share a side or two! 

Marina Social by Jason Atherton, InterContinental Dubai Marina, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud St., Dubai Marina, 04 446 6664, [email protected]

CÉ LA VI Dubai

A classic stop among brunch lovers, Cé La Vi owns the spot for being one of the city’s best destinations for contemporary Asian cuisine. Its famous Brunch on 54 on Saturdays offers guests an elevated brunch experience that combines a gastronomic set menu, incomparable views of the Burj Khalifa, and groovy music to make the dining affair like no other. With the restaurant name taking its roots from the famous French saying c’est la vie – that’s life – this spot truly paints a picture of Dubai’s best.

CÉ LA VI, Level 54, Address Sky View Hotel Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, 04 582 6111, [email protected]

CÉ LA VI Dubai

Source: @celavidubai

Hola Rooftop

This chic Dubai restaurant puts a twist on your usual brunch experience. Hola Rooftop transports its guests to the islands of Ibiza, Formentera, and Mallorca without ever leaving its premium spot atop The Meydan Hotel. The Mediterranean-inspired rooftop lounge offers delectable Spanish dishes paired with refreshing drinks and live entertainment with a remarkable golf course view in the backdrop.

Hola Rooftop, The Meydan Hotel, Nad Al Sheba 1, 056 358 3333, rsrvit.com

Bubbalicious 

Located at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Bubbalicious showcases over 10 live cooking stations in three restaurants within the resort: Baba, Sui Mui, and Mina’s Kitchen. With such a diverse selection, guests will be treated to a wide array of menu items that includes Indian and Asian dishes, seafood delicacies, mouth-watering roasts, and more. Don’t miss the roaming acrobats and live band sure to make this feast one to remember.

Bubbalicious, The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Dubai Marina, 04 399 4141, www.marriott.com

MOOD Rooftop Lounge

Perched atop The Meydan Hotel, this lavish rooftop dining spot is a go-to for local and international flavours and a laid-back atmosphere that lets guests unwind and socialise with their companions. Each dish is proudly made with top-quality ingredients and prepared with utmost care from the kitchen to the table. Crowd favourites include the charred king prawn, veggie sushi, and the truffle chicken & mushroom pizza.

MOOD Rooftop Lounge, The Meydan Hotel, Nad Al Sheba, 054 440 0227, www.moodrooftop.com

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Dress Up Your Meals With These Healthy Salad Dressings

Simple recipes to customise and make meals more exciting.

Making your own salad dressing at home is so much better than getting store-bought — think fresh ingredients and none of the artificial flavouring, added sugar, or low-quality ingredients. It could even save you money in the long run if it’s something you use a lot. Plus, using fresh ingredients is another way to get creative with eating mindfully and exploring your relationship with food.

Making key ingredients like salad dressing at home is a small but powerful way to take complete control of what goes in your food, as well as what doesn’t. These simple salad dressing recipes are a great way to balance meals and make them more exciting. Every salad dressing recipe shared here — a basic vinaigrette, tahini sauce, and a riff on the traditional green chutney — starts with a few basic building blocks: a base, an acid, and something that adds a rich, creamy consistency. These recipes are fully customisable and function as a base for you to add your favourite ingredients to and experiment with flavour profiles.

You can also add herbs to season your dressing; dry or fresh, they’ll add further depth to the dressing and your meal by extension. Just remember to let the dressing rest for at least 30 minutes to allow fresh herbs to infuse with the mixture.

Salad dressing can keep for up to a week if stored properly in the fridge: fully covered and in an airtight glass container. It’s perfectly normal for oil-based dressings to harden or congeal in the fridge, but don’t worry — let it come to room temperature on the counter before serving.

Coriander and Yoghurt Dressing

Serving Size:
1-2 cups
Time:
5 minutes
Difficulty:
Very easy

Ingredients

  • ½ cup plain full-fat yoghurt
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups coriander leaves, tightly packed
  • ¼ cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Pinch of cumin (powdered or seeds, roasted)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • Optional: green chillies or roasted peppers to taste

Directions

  1. In a blender or food processor, add the water first, then lemon juice, yoghurt, salt, cumin, garlic, and coriander leaves and blend on high until everything is well-blended, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Check for consistency; if the dressing is too thick, add more water one tablespoon at a time. If it’s too thick, add more yoghurt and adjust for flavour.

Simple Tahini Sauce

Serving Size:
1 cup
Time:
5 minutes
Difficulty:
Very easy

Ingredients

  • ½ cup tahini
  • 4 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ice cubes
  • Optional: a dash of extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, honey, or maple syrup

Directions

  1. In a blender or food processor, add the water, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, and salt. Blend for 30 seconds and add a few ice cubes, then blend until smooth.
  2. Check the dressing’s consistency and taste. If it’s too thick, add water 1 tablespoon at a time; if too bitter or sharp, add either olive or sesame oil to balance the flavour.

Simple Vinaigrette

Serving Size:
1-2 cups
Time:
8 minutes
Difficulty:
Very easy

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: a dash of orange juice, or a sprig of rosemary to infuse

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk well. Alternatively, add all ingredients to a jar with a lid, close the lid firmly in place, and shake well for 30 seconds.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
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3 Breakfast Smoothies to Start Your Day Right

Breakfast in 60 seconds or less.

Looking for a healthy breakfast fix that won’t take more than a minute? Look no further than the smoothie, which can be served as a breakfast, afternoon snack, or as an alternative drink alongside your lunch.

While the key to a great smoothie is fresh ingredients, they’re a great way to reduce food waste, an easy way to transition away from added refined sugar, and increase your intake of fresh fruits and veggies. Make sure to add on some granola, seeds, or nuts for extra protein, especially at breakfast, to avoid a sharp glucose spike in the morning.

Yoghurt and Berry Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ½ cup raspberries
  • ½ cup Greek yoghurt
  • ½ cup almond milk (or water)
  • Almonds or walnuts
  • Granola or muesli
  • Ice (optional)

Directions

  1. Blend the milk or water, Greek yoghurt, berries, and ice until fine and thick.
  2. Pour and serve, and add nuts, granola, or muesli on top.

Mango and Peach Cooler

Ingredients

  • 1½ cup mango
  • ½ cup Greek yoghurt (substitute with 1 cup of water for a dairy-free version)
  • 1 cup peach
  • 1 small sprig of fresh basil
  • Ice

Directions

  1. Peel, seed, and chop mango and peaches.
  2. Blend everything together, aiming for a rich, creamy texture.

Banana Blueberry Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Ice

Directions

  1. Peel and chop bananas.
  2. Add the almond milk, bananas, blueberries, vanilla extract, and ice to a blender. Blend until smooth
  3. Serve immediately.
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Doing Dry January? You Can Still Go Out in Dubai

You’re not missing anything.

January is well and truly here and brings with it a fresh sense of renewal and resolutions for the New Year to come. Whether it’s committing to a skincare routine or detoxing after the intense festive season with a plant-based diet, the start of the year is all about stepping back and dialling things down. Moderation. Abstention. Veganuary. Dry January.

Dry January started out in 2013 as a campaign in the UK in which participants volunteer to give up alcohol for the entire month of January. The campaign’s goal is to raise awareness about alcohol-related health issues, but it also serves to highlight unhealthy drinking culture and the widespread dependence on alcohol to socialise and entertain. Finding alcohol-free alternatives and non-alcoholic options on menus is far from a novelty now, especially when they’re this good and not just canned sodas or pumped full of sugar and food colouring. Read on to find some of the best places to go in Dubai if you’re not touching the bottle but still want to catch those after-work drinks with friends or a nice dinner with a special someone.

Amazónico

Step into a tropical paradise at Amazónico with a menu centred around seasonal and superfood ingredients, as well as a selection of non-alcoholic cocktails served in fantastic custom sculpted glasses. From the appetisers down to the mains, sides, and desserts, each course offers options that are perfect if you want to go out without the breaking your detox and dry January resolutions. Choose the Peacock Spritz, made with non-alcoholic Belli-No, maracuya, lemon, and tonic, or the best-selling Jaguarete with a carefully concocted mixture of papaya, tangerine, and salted cashew, finished with Perrier and Bôtan’s signature ‘No ABV’ spirit.

Amazónico, Gate Village 11, DIFC, Dubai, 04 571 3999 @amazonicodubai

KATA

This contemporary Japanese restaurant with iconic views of the Dubai Fountain at Dubai Mall’s Waterfront Promenade offers a year-round menu of delicious mocktails that complement its world-class food and has a wide range of alcohol-free beverages. Drinks include fruit-based takes on classic drinks, like the Redroni, which features red grape, botanical infusion, and forest fruits, as well as Ryui’s Kiss, which consists of infused juniper berry, hibiscus, and dragon fruit. The huge outdoor terrace dining area seals the deal.

KATA Dubai, The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, 04 273 3800, @kata.ae

NoLo

As Dubai’s first dry bar, NoLo serves thoughtfully crafted non-alcoholic drinks and mocktails that feel just like the real thing. Open until 1am. With a food menu that features light bar snacks, the casual atmosphere is perfect for catching up with friends after work.

NoLo, Dusit Thani Dubai, 04 317 4515, @nolodubai

Lobby Lounge

As an alternative to boozy brunches, enjoy a calm, luxuriant afternoon tea any day of the week at the iconic Ritz-Carlton Dubai with an extensive tea menu featuring 10 different types of teas, as well as an assortment of finger and open-faced sandwiches, scones, pastries, and sweet treats.

Lobby Lounge, The Ritz-Carlton Dubai, DIFC, Dubai, 04 399 4000, ritzcarlton.com

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It’s Time to Leave Your Food Sins Behind

Starting with this detox shot.

After a long season of indulging in rich food, festive drinks, and way too many desserts, it’s time to treat your body to a refreshing juice. Go for an apple, cinnamon, and ginger shot to detox – apples are in season this time of year, and so good for you. The cinnamon and raw ginger in this recipe are anti-inflammatory and help boost immunity to fight those nasty winter colds, while the fibre from the apple is good for your gut and skin, as well as full of antioxidants.

Optionally, you can add a dash of turmeric, too – powdered or raw – for that brilliant yellow colour as well as its functional benefits. You can strain the juice after blending, but you’ll be missing out on all the good stuff that’s in the fibre. The same goes for peeling the apple before blending it for juice.

Apple Cinnamon Ginger Detox Shot

Serving Size:
1 cup
Time:
5 minutes
Difficulty:
Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 large apple
  • 1/2-inch knob of ginger, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnnamon powder
  • 1 cup (or 200ml) water
  • Pinch of turmeric (optional)

Directions

  1. Wash, core, and cut the apple. Peel, if you prefer.
  2. Add the chopped apple, ginger, water, cinnamon powder, and turmeric powder into a blender.
  3. Blend on high speed for a minute, or until completely blended. If the juice is too thick, add a tablespoon of water at a time.
  4. Pour into a glass and sprinkle with more cinnamon or turmeric according to taste.
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Our Favourite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe, Revealed

Goodie bags, dessert trays, sugar cravings – check.

Christmas is only two sleeps away, so now’s the time to give our chocolate chip cookie recipe a try. Not only is this homemade dessert easy and fuss-free, but it’s also ideal if you’re looking to fill up those goodie bags, cookie jars, or dessert trays. You can also scoop (or roll into balls by hand) and freeze the cookie dough, making this a great make-ahead recipe, so you always have fresh cookies on hand.

Be sure to chill the dough for at least three hours before baking, or even overnight. If the dough is too soft, the butter will be too runny, meaning the cookies won’t hold their shape and the dough will spread too thin. Plus, letting the dough chill and rest makes for richer, toffee-like flavour thanks to the brown sugar.

Let your cookies have some space on the baking sheet – it’s exciting to turn out a big batch at a time, but place your dough evenly spaced apart. These chocolate chip cookies will stay soft and chewy for days if kept in an airtight container, and you can always use the cookie dough as a base for other toppings, like coarse salt, white chocolate, or nuts. If they do dry out or get overbaked – it happens to the best of us – place a slice of bread in the container with the cookies to soften them up again.

three plates of chocolate chip cookies flatlay mahnoor bari
Photo: Courtesy of Mahnoor Bari

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Serving Size:
24-36 cookies
Time:
35 minutes
Difficulty:
Very Easy

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 150g butter
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 200g chocolate chips

Directions

1. Soften the butter in a microwave until just partially melted, and allow it to melt slowly as it comes back to room temperature once out of the oven. In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together both sugars and melted butter until creamy and no lumps remain.

2. Add the beaten egg and vanilla essence and whisk again on high speed, then add the baking powder and all-purpose flour. Fold gently to combine instead of beating or whisking. Gently mix in the chocolate chips and press the dough together. It should be neither too runny nor too dry.

3. Cover and chill the dough for three hours in the freezer, or in the fridge overnight.

4. Preheat the oven to 180°C for 10 minutes. Scoop the dough (or roll into balls, if you don’t have a cookie scoop) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10-12 minutes, or just until the edges are set and beginning to brown. If baking the frozen dough, bake for an extra three to five minutes.

5. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to finish baking on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack.

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Festive Treats

These Festive Treats Are Healthier Than You Think

Zero guilt, plenty of taste.

The festive season is officially here, and it is just so tempting to overindulge during this time of year – but you don’t have to. These recipes will help you jumpstart that New Year’s resolution a little earlier this year without feeling like you’re missing out on all the good stuff. Want more healthy holiday treats? Check out this recipe for Pumpkin Spiced Baked Oats.

Chocolate-Orange Protein Balls

I am a big fan of homemade energy balls. Not only are they delicious, but they’re also packed full of nutrient-rich ingredients such as oats, dates, and cacao to help boost our energy levels and support good health in general. In this recipe, each ball is filled with protein, heart-healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, fibre, plus a whole host of minerals and antioxidants. Post-holidays, you can enjoy this snack as a quick pick-me-up in the afternoon or alongside your morning tea/coffee to get you going with your day! These chocolate-orange protein balls can be made in larger batches and placed in the freezer so you always have them on standby.

Serving Size:
8 balls
Time:
15 mins
Difficulty:
Easy

Ingredients

  • 1.5 scoops chocolate-orange protein powder
  • 50g oats
  • 2.5 tbsp coconut oil
  • 50g dates
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • pinch of salt
  • water, as needed
  • desiccated coconut for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine and blend all the ingredients together in a blender.
  2. Blend until everything is crumbly and broken down so it’s easy to form into balls.
  3. Add splashes of water to the blended mixture as needed to allow ingredients to combine with each other.
  4. Scoop a tablespoon of the mixture. Roll into a ball and place in a serving dish that can go into the fridge.
  5. Place the chocolate-orange balls in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Snickers Date Bites

These chocolate-covered peanut butter stuffed dates taste just like Snickers but are so much better for you as they’re naturally sweetened – perfect if the stress of this season prompts you to reach for those candy bars. Besides, once you have a chocolate-covered date, you will not want them any other way! And with only five ingredients, it’s so easy to make. These treats aren’t limited to the holiday season – if you love having something sweet in the middle of the day or after dinner, make a larger batch, store them in the freezer, and enjoy whenever the craving strikes.

Serving Size:
Varies
Time:
15 mins
Difficulty:
Easy

Ingredients

  • dates
  • peanut butter
  • peanuts
  • dark chocolate
  • Himalayan salt

Directions

  1. Cut open date and remove the seed.
  2. Spoon in some peanut butter.
  3. Add about two whole peanuts into the peanut butter center of each date.
  4. Melt the dark chocolate and drizzle (lavishly) on top.
  5. Sprinkle a little Himalayan salt on top of each date.
  6. Place dates in the freezer until set (about 15 minutes).
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banana bread chocolate chip walnuts mahnoor bari

Banana Bread, but Make It Healthy – Here’s How

For breakfast and beyond.

I absolutely love banana bread. There, I said it. What first started as a hackneyed coping mechanism during the lonely lockdowns of 2020 has now become, through trial and error, an almost weekly baking ritual in my household – as well as a canvas for exploring more seasonal fruit-based cakes.

This versatile dessert is not only a great way to use up those last couple of bananas that no one wants, but also is also perfect if you’re hosting a brunch or afternoon tea (or get peckish late at night). Sliced and packaged, banana bread also makes for an excellent basket stuffer or hostess gift during the holiday season. There’s nothing more personal than gifting something you’ve made yourself, right?

For this particular banana bread recipe, I’ve cut down on the refined carbs by using mostly wholewheat flour, which is made from grinding the whole kernel of wheat. This way, it retains the fibre, proteins, and nutrients lost during the processing of refined white flour. As a general rule, using wholewheat flour requires more hydration in your batter or dough, hence the use of yoghurt in this recipe. Keep it plain or mix in some extras before popping your bread in the oven. I usually add chopped walnuts, blueberries, or chocolate chips, or enjoy it plain with some blackberry jam or ice cream on the side.

homemade banana bread plain berry jam
Photo: Courtesy of Mahnoor Bari

Banana Bread

Serving Size:
8-10 servings
Time:
1.5 hours
Difficulty:
Easy

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1¾ cup wholewheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla essence or extract
  • 113 grams butter
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2-4 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons full-fat yoghurt, beaten
  • Mix-ins: chocolate chips, blueberries, walnuts (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC and line a 9×5 pan or 2lb loaf pan with parchment paper. Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature so that they’re easy to mix together.

2. In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), beat together the sugars and softened butter until smooth and no lumps remain. Start at low speed and increase gradually to high speed. Add the yoghurt, vanilla extract/essence, and beat until smooth.

3. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and then add to the sugar mixture bowl until well combined, making sure to scrape down the sides. In another bowl, finely mash the bananas with a fork. Add the mashed bananas to the sugar mixture and fold until just combined.

4. In a separate large bowl, sift the flours, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and whisk until everything is combined. Add half of the flour mixture to the sugar and banana mixture, and gently fold it in until just combined – do not overmix. Then, add the remaining half until just combined and no streaks of flour remain.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Add in your toppings (optional) and bake for one hour or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.

6. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Allow the banana bread to cool within the tin as this will make it easier to pull it out. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream or jam.

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Food Trends in 2023

7 Food Trends That Will Dominate 2023

These will be everywhere.

Farewell, 2022 – a year when cinnamon rolls were upgraded, charcuterie boards stole the spotlight, and microgreens continued to reign supreme. But a new year is upon us, bringing with it a whole host of culinary trends that are set to dominate the food and beverage landscape. Here are our favourites at a glance.

Swice Makes Nice

If the likes of mango salsa, Thai chilli sauce, and Mexican hot chocolate sound appealing, 2023 will be a good one for your taste buds as ‘swicy’ – sweet and spicy – food will take over. Incidentally, we can thank the birthplace of BTS for this one. South Korean cuisine is often swicy, most notably pairing spicy fried chicken with strawberry jam.

Pasta x Plants

As we continue to look for ways to increase our intake of vegetables, plant-based pasta will be on the rise in the year ahead. Now, we’re all aware of zucchini noodles and chickpea pasta, so plant-based pasta is hardly the new kid on the block. Food experts, however, predict that new alternatives made using hearts of palm and spaghetti squash will soon make an appearance.

Pasta x Plants

Time for Tinned

Canned tuna may be a staple in most homes, but 2023 will remind us that the tinned fish aisle boasts so much more – think: sardines, anchovies, and mackerel, which can be used in a myriad of dishes such as pâtés, tartines, frittatas, fried rice, and more. Unsure of where to start? Follow San Francisco-based chef Ali Hooke on TikTok for inspiration.

The Date Update

The Middle East has celebrated the merits of dates for millennia, and it seems that the rest of the world will catch on come 2023. Food experts say this fruit will soon trend as an alternative natural sweetener, showing up on supermarket shelves worldwide in the form of date syrup, date paste, and dehydrated dates. Elsewhere, more people will consume the date as it is, tossing them into smoothies and salads.

The Colour Purple

Between its Instagrammable hue and uniquely delicious taste, ube – a purple yam native to the Philippines – will be one of 2023’s most popular ingredients. Sweeter and more mellow in flavour than its orange counterpart, it is most commonly used to make ube halaya (ube jam), which is then used in Filipino desserts such as ensaymada and halo-halo.

The Colour Purple

Citrus 2.0

Beer, mocktails, sparkling water, ice cream, and even vinaigrettes – yuzu, a zesty fruit found in China and Japan, is slowly dominating food stores and restaurant menus. Tangy and versatile, it boasts endless culinary appeal. Not only does yuzu taste like a combination of lemon, orange, and grapefruit, but it also has a highly unique and powerful scent.

Spread the Word

Butter boards crept into our lives towards the end of 2022, courtesy of TikTok – and will only continue to rise in popularity. For the uninitiated, a butter board features a flat spread of softened butter accented with various toppings (think: nuts, seeds, herbs, olives, cheese, and peppers) over the entirety of a board, ready for your guests to swipe their bread across.

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Best Christmas Brunches Dubai

Still Looking to Book a Christmas Brunch?

We’ve shortlisted Dubai’s best options.

It’s time to break out the party hats and sparkly dresses because Christmas is almost here! And with Christmas comes celebrations in the form of themed décor, festive beverages, and loads of food. But before you get too excited, make sure you know what’s on offer this season. Gaggler has you covered, bringing you a guide to the best Christmas brunches in Dubai.

Amazónico

The Jungle Bell Brunch at Amazónico is one of the best Christmas Day brunches in Dubai. Taking place from 1pm to 4pm, the restaurant will be serving up signature Latin American dishes along with some exciting new festive additions, along with entertainment and back-to-back live DJ performances. This is the only time of year you’ll be able to enjoy this special holiday experience at Amazónico, so be sure to book before it’s too late.

Amazonico, DIFC, 04 571 3999, amazonicorestaurant.ae

Amazónico

Social Distrikt

Social Distrikt is pulling out all the stops this year for the festive season from Christmas to New Year’s Day. The experiential food and bar hall at The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah will be throwing the usual family-friendly Sunday Fam Bam x El Kiddo brunch but as a fun, festive edition with turkey on the menu. On Christmas Day, between 1pm and 5pm, kids eat for free while guests can choose between two beverage packages. The buffet-style approach will serve a variety of delicious meals at different food stations, including the classic festive turkey and trimmings, a roast dinner, pancakes and waffles, and special platters exclusive to the Sunday brunch.

Social Distrikt, The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah, 052 515 8995, @socialdistrikt

Social Distrikt

Tandoor Tina

At Tandoor Tina’s special Christmas brunch, you can anticipate contemporary Indian cuisine in a cool, whimsical holiday setting. The ambiance is perfect for the occasion, with festive décor and live music. The buffet will include savoury options and a wide selection of desserts. Bonus: there’s three different packages to choose from, offering diners more flexibility.

Tandoor Tina, 25hours Hotel Dubai One Central, 04 210 2500, tandoortina.com

Tandoor Tina

LAH LAH

LAH LAH is a Pan-Asian restaurant in Dubai that offers a range of delectable dishes, including sushi, Wagyu skewers, dynamite prawns, crispy chilli lamb, and grilled lobster. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a Christmas brunch with a Pan-Asian twist. And if you’re feeling peckish after all that eating, try out LAH LAH’s dessert platter, which features classics like the renowned roasted banana and pandan crème brûlée. Choose from lunch (1pm to 4pm) or dinner (8pm to 11pm).

Lah Lah, Zabeel House by Jumeirah, The Greens, 04 519 1111, jumeirah.com

LAH LAH

Netsu

Netsu is a Japanese steakhouse specialising in traditional straw-fire Warayaki-style grilling, sushi, sashimi platters, and more – all complemented by the restaurant’s dramatic interiors, mesmerising flames, and live music. This year, they’ve added an Omakase Brunch (12:30pm to 3pm) to their offerings, and it’s sure to be a hit. The atmosphere for an afternoon of celebrations will be set by Christmas crackers and holiday treats. Tip: book a table overlooking the central kitchen for the full experience.

Netsu, Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, 04 777 2232, @netsudubai

Netsu

Folly

Folly is a casual restaurant located at Souk Madinat Jumeirah, a great shopping destination and place to spend time with family and friends. The restaurant will be serving a traditional turkey roast meal with all the fixings from 1pm to 4pm, so you know it’s going to be good! There will also be plenty of entertainment during this festive season, perfect if you’re hosting out-of-towners,

Folly, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, 04 4308535, folly.ae

Folly

Bai Bar and Terrace

Bai Bar and Terrace is the perfect place to celebrate Christmas with your loved ones. With a casual atmosphere, great views of the city skyline, and live music, this establishment will make your holiday truly special. The joyful venue will offer an unlimited selection of small appetisers, five live stations, and a sharing-style dessert from 12:30pm to 4pm. Additionally, it has an outstanding drinks menu that will fuel you throughout your meal.

Bai Bar and Terrace, Radisson Blu, Canal View, 04 875 3340, radissonblu.com

Bai Bar and Terrace

Sushisamba

Whether you’re celebrating Christmas or just looking for a festive way to spend the day, Sushisamba is the place for you. This award-winning restaurant is known for its innovative fusion of Japanese, Brazilian, and Peruvian cuisines. Sushisamba has fast become a popular destination for those seeking high-quality food and great entertainment. For its Samba Christmas Brunch from 12:30pm to 4pm, the restaurant will host a lively menu of flavourful dishes and performers, including samba dancers and Ibiza-based DJ Megablast.

Sushisamba, Palm Tower, Palm Jumeirah, 04 278 4888, sushisamba.com

Sushisamba

Surf Club

There’s no doubt about it: Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. But what makes it even more fun? How about celebrating with a group of friends at a cosy brunch on the beach? Surf Club is offering just that this holiday season. It will be serving turkey-based meals and seasonal snacks while Arkaydyan Voyage and friends provide entertainment from 1pm to 5pm.

Surf Club, West Beach, Palm Jumeirah, 04 589 5444, @surfclubdubai

Surf Club

Lola Taberna Española

If you’re looking to enjoy a traditional Spanish Christmas this holiday season, head over to Lola Taberna Española. This authentic restaurant will be serving up food, drinks, and music as part of its Christmas Day brunch from 1pm to 4pm, as well as special set menus heading into 2023. Guests can choose from a wide array of paella, tapas, and sharing desserts. They will also be treated to a festive atmosphere as a flamenco dancer and live musician will set the mood for a jovial fiesta.

Lola Taberna Española, Tryp by Wyndham, Barsha Heights, 04 247 6688, lolataberna.com

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Michelin Guide Abu Dhabi 2023

Revealed: Michelin Guide Abu Dhabi 2023 Winners

Read on to see who took the top spot.

The verdict is out – the inaugural edition of the Michelin Guide Abu Dhabi shortlisted 42 restaurants for stars covering 16 types of cuisines, featuring the best the capital has to offer. Three restaurants received one Michelin star and four restaurants were awarded the Bib Gourmand, which is given to those who offer good food at moderate prices. In addition, three special awards were also given out. 

The Michelin Guide’s Abu Dhabi edition comes just months after the Dubai guide was released earlier this year, which saw 69 restaurants serving 21 cuisines. Two restaurants received two Michelin stars, nine restaurants received one Michelin star, and 14 eateries were named Bib Gourmand restaurants.

“The wonderful diversity of the cuisine proposed by these three restaurants [in the Abu Dhabi guide] perfectly illustrate the curiosity of local gourmets, as well as how Abu Dhabi welcomes international cultures to make them shine at their best level,” said Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the Michelin Guide.

“This first Michelin Guide Abu Dhabi selection is the beginning of a long journey for a city with unlimited gastronomic potential,” he added. “Our inspectors discovered a rich variety of cuisines offered in Abu Dhabi, from creative dishes conceived by some of the world’s most renowned chefs, to traditional cuisines of the region: Middle Eastern, Lebanese and, of course, Emirati.”

“This is the first step,” said H.E. Saleh Mohammed Algeziry, Director General of the tourism sector at the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, who emphasised to restaurateurs that not achieving a star, or even not being shortlisted for the Michelin Guide, does not mean a restaurant doesn’t have the potential to do so in the future. One star each was awarded to Talea by Antonio Guida for its family-style Italian food, Hakkasan for traditional Cantonese fare, and 99 Sushi Bar for a contemporary take on Japanese cuisine. 

The four restaurants awarded the Bib Gourmand are Almayass, Beirut Sur Mer, Otoro, and Tazal. In a vibrant black-tie event held at Emirates Palace last night, the award ceremony was followed by a five-course dinner with a menu curated by international Michelin-starred chefs, Bjorn Frantzen of Frantzen in Sweden and Cheryl Koh of Les Amis in Singapore included. Read on for the full list of winners – many have been featured in Gaggler in the past.

All Michelin Guide winners on stage

The Complete Winners List

One Michelin Star:

  • 99 Sushi Bar
  • Hakkasan
  • Talea by Antonio Guida

Bib Gourmand:

  • Almayass
  • Beirut Sur Mer
  • Otoro
  • Tazal

Selected:

  • Al Mrzab
  • Butcher & Still
  • Byblos Sur Mer
  • Cafe James
  • Café Milano
  • Catch by St. Regis
  • Cipriani
  • Coya
  • Dai Pai Dong
  • Finz
  • Fishmarket
  • Fouquet’s
  • Grand Beirut
  • Hoi An
  • Li Beirut
  • Li Jiang
  • LPM
  • Market Kitchen
  • Martabaan by Hemant Oberoi
  • Mazi
  • Meylas
  • Mijana
  • Moksh
  • Namak
  • NIRI
  • Oak Room
  • Oii
  • Paradiso
  • Punjab Grill
  • Shang Palace
  • Silk & Spice
  • Tean
  • VaKaVa Pan Latin Grill and Lounge by Richard Sandoval
  • Villa Toscana
  • Zuma

Service Award:

  • Rawad Hamdan and team, Li Beirut

Sommelier Award:

  • Marlon Nuque, Zuma

Young Chef Award:

  • Luigi Stinga, Talea by Antonio Guida
Tazal
Photo: Tazal

What Is the Michelin Food Guide?

Published since the 1900s, the Michelin Guide is one of the oldest and most prestigious food guides in existence, focusing its criteria squarely on the quality of cooking and ingredients as well as the presentation rather than the ambiance or decor of an eatery. The guide rates restaurants anonymously using an in-house team of inspectors and food critics employed directly by Michelin.

Using the same criteria and methodology to evaluate candidates for each category, the guide rates restaurants from one to three stars, as well as curates the Bib Gourmand list of restaurants that offer quality cooking at reasonable prices. Currently, the Michelin guide covers over 30 destinations around the world.

How Is a Michelin Star Awarded?

Inspectors anonymously visit eateries for evaluation and rely on the following:

  1. quality of the ingredients
  2. mastery of cooking
  3. harmony of the flavours
  4. expression of the chef’s personality in the cuisine
  5. consistency, both over time and across the entire menu

What Are the Different Types of Michelin Distinctions?

One Michelin star denotes a restaurant with high-quality cooking that’s worth stopping by for. Two Michelin stars are for restaurants with excellent cooking that’s not only worth a detour, but also reflects the personality and talent of the chef and team.

Three Michelin stars indicate exceptional cuisine that’s worth planning a journey for. In this category, the award is given for the superlative cooking of chefs at the peak of their profession. The ingredients are exemplary, the cooking is elevated to an art form, and their dishes are often destined to become classics. This is the most difficult award to achieve and maintain.

Michelin Guide-selected restaurants are those that have the potential to gain a star or feature on the Bib Gourmand list in the future. Restaurants on the Bib Gourmand list are those where inspectors consider they found good-quality cooking for good value.

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