9AM – Breakfast at Boulevard Cafe
11AM – Coffee tasting at Orbis
1:30PM – Cooking Lesson and lunch at Traiteur, Park Hyatt Dubai
4PM – Gingerbread Cocoon body treatment at the Ritz Carlton Spa
7:45PM – Dinner at Reflet Par Pierre Gagnaire
Doesn’t that sound like a whole lot of fun? Since I am currently in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, I am going to introduce you to some local eats and places to visit that I have encountered on my trip. This culinary tour is courtesy of What’s On magazine.
Start strong with some protein at Boulevard Cafe in Old Town. Old Town, in my opinion, is much more beautiful than the New Dubai! Even though New Dubai has some amazing buildings and sights to see, Old Town truly gives you a feel for what Dubai used to be. This Parisian-style pavement cafe serves up French fare until midnight but the breakfasts are sublime. Go for the les oeuf a la mode: two eggs in any style, with herb roasted tomatoes, Provencale potatoes and chunky sourdough toast (Dhs35)
Boulevard Cafe, Burj Boulevard, Old Town, Dubai, 7am to midnight. Tel: (04) 4285923
The Coffee Tour
Orbis Roastery is the place to get your coffee if that is what you need to kick off your day. They sell caffeine to some of the finest hotels in the UAE, and even the Sheikh Mohammed himself. You can sniff it out on their Saturday morning tours at 11am, where you’ll go behind the scenes and even make your own custom blend.
FYI, Saturday here in UAE is basically like a Sunday for us in the US. People don’t work on Saturdays, but they do work Sundays.
Orbis Roastery, Al Lahbab, Hatta Road, Dubai, Tel: (04) 3417789
The Cooking Masterclass
Man is what he eats, according to the proverb. The beautiful Park Hyatt Dubai hotel offers a way out for those that are kitchen-challenged, with cooking lessons at Traiteur from head chef Franck Detrait. Franck is everything you’d expect in a head chef; food is his life, he knows the kitchen like the back of his hand, and boasts the type of French accent that would make a fried egg butty sound exotic.
This lesson is in how to make the slightly daunting chilled avocado and green apple soup (delish!) with smoked salmon and sesame seeds, followed by John Dory asparagus. The lesson couldn’t be easier. Franck and his team lays everything out and it is a simple case of he does, you do. (Dhs295)
Traiteur master class, park Hyatt Dubai, Deira Dubai, Tel: (04) 6021804
After all the hard work cooking and slaving away at the stove, treat yourself to a well-deserved little lie down. In keeping with the foodie theme, head to the spa at Ritz Carlton for the Gingerbread Cocoon treatment. You’ll be scrubbed before a body masque is applied. You then shower and are treated to a massage. All with the delicious scent of ginger.
Gingerbread Cocoon, RitzCarlton, Dubai Marina, Dubai, Tel: (04) 3994000
If you’re going to devote a whole day to food then the piece de resistance has to be Reflets Par Pierre Gagnaire. And if you’re going to eat dinner, eat dinner, don’t be a pansy! Order the Dhs790 daily tasting menu, sit back and enjoy. What you eat depends mostly entirely on “the mood of the chef”. You will not be disappointed though, rest assured!
InterContinental Dubai Festival City, Dubai, 7pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 7011128
And there you have it! The culinary whirlwind tour of Dubai. Enjoy! Please share your stories and pictures if you do any of this!