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Inside Dubai’s booming food scene

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Inside Dubai’s booming food scene
Copyright  euronews   -   Credit: Dubai
By Sarah Hedley Hymers

With the launch of the first-ever Michelin Guide in Dubai, the emirate has earned its place on the global culinary map.

Michelin Guides International Director Gwendal Poullennec said: “Our inspectors have been in the field in Dubai for years monitoring the evolution of the local culinary scene and the selection we are revealing reflects the potential of Dubai as a culinary hub with a lot of diversity.”

Stay by Yannick Alléno in One&Only The Palm and Il Ristorante – Niko Romito in Bulgari Dubai were the highest-scoring restaurants on the list, each claiming two stars, while nine restaurants scooped one star.

Commenting on the win, One&Only The Palm Culinary Director Yannick Alléno said bookings increased by 30% overnight.

“I'm very proud to be one of the first chefs who came to Dubai to establish it as a gourmet destination,” said Alléno. “And Michelin is very important for the city because it means that the market is mature. There are so many restaurants of very high quality.”

© Euronews
One&Only The Palm Culinary Director Yannick Alléno© Euronews

Trèsind Studio was among the restaurants to win one star. Executive Chef Himanshu Saini was elated by the accolade.

“It feels amazing to win my first Michelin star,” he said. “I think it will motivate the staff.

There is pressure to retain one [star] and there’s motivation to go for two.”

The launch of the Michelin Dubai Guide follows the inaugural edition of MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants earlier in 2022, a regional Middle East and North Africa listing by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants association. Dubai dominated the list. Three of the top five restaurants are in Dubai, including Trèsind Studio in fourth place, Zuma Dubai in second place and – taking the number one slot – 3Fils, a humble harbourside eatery with an Asian-themed menu. Expertly crafted best-selling dishes such as Hokkaido scallops, dragon sushi rolls and Wagyu Overload burger cost between just €10 and €20.

More critically acclaimed affordable food can be found under one roof at Time Out Market Dubai. Championing homegrown concepts, the food hall is packed with concessions by leading local restaurateurs.

Dubai-based food blogger Courtney Brandt is a regular visitor to Time Out Market Dubai. “When I have out-of-town guests, it's the place to take them to sample all the best local food in one place. Plus, Time Out Market Dubai is close to key attractions, including the Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa,” said Brandt, who’s a dedicated fan of the American vendor, Pitfire Pizza. She added: “Anyone who knows me knows I love the garlic knots from Pitfire Pizza.”

New to the market is Latin American Slab Cocina run by chef Omar Rodriguez. His flavoursome sweetcorn fritters, laced with garlic mayonnaise and topped with a crumble of salty feta, strike the perfect flavour balance.

Also new to the market, Lana Lusa brings a taste of Portugal. The epic Portuguese ‘Francesinha’ sandwich is a popular choice, adapted to the Middle East market, made with layers of cheese, steak, beef ham and beef chorizo, covered with molten cheese, spicy tomato sauce and a fried egg.

Visitors can also find Portugal’s most famous egg custard tarts, pasteis de nata, in the market. Delicate flaky pastry filled with rich egg custard, caramelised on top and dusted with cinnamon, these tarts make the ideal dessert completing a globally inspired feast in Dubai.