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'Kosh-Armani' Cuisine: Dubai opens its very first kosher restaurant in the world’s tallest structure

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'Kosh-Armani' Cuisine: Dubai opens its very first kosher restaurant in the world’s tallest structure
Copyright  euronews   -   Credit: Dubai

Closer ties between the United Arab Emirates and Israel mean that Dubai is set to see an influx of Jewish visitors. That has restaurants scrambling to offer Kosher cuisine - food that complies with Jewish dietary requirements.

I visited the country’s very first kosher restaurant, the Armani/KAF which just opened its doors at the foot of the world’s tallest structure, the Burj Khalifa in downtown Dubai, to sample the menu with its regional and Mediterranean cuisine in Kosher Form.

There, I met Fabien Fayolle, the Executive Chef of the Armani Hotel who told me that we'd be making arancini, Italian snacks coated with bread crumbs and then deep-fried.

Fabien warmed up the pan first:

"I just add some olive oil in the pan. Then we get the carrots, celery, and garlic. When the vegetables are all ready, we just add the meat.

"After the meat, I add the tomato paste. You let the bolognaise cook for about fifteen minutes and then put it in the fridge; to make the arancini, you need to have cold bolognaise."

Hi-tech kosher

Fabien explained the rules around preparing kosher food and how this works with modern methods:

"The fire can be the burner or the oven (and) needs to be turned on by the rabbi himself.

"We have a smart oven. So basically, the rabbi has an app on his mobile. And we just text him and say: 'Can you please turn on the oven?' - and he can do it from a distance.'

"Next, we will make the tomato fondue; Mediterranean food is all about onion, garlic and tomato.

"Salt, pepper, a little bit of sugar, cumin powder and paprika. It's going to be kind of a marmalade of tomato, let's say.

Meat OR dairy

"When the tomato fondue is done, I cook the rice for the arancini: arborio rice. When the rice is well cooked, we add the margarine."

I asked why he used margarine and not butter and Fabien explained this was an important kosher rule, to keep meat and dairy separate:

"Either you prepare meat in the kitchen or you prepare dairy."

Fabien took some of the sticky, well-cooked rice and added some of the bolognaise sauce into it:

"Put it in your palm, then press the middle, where you can then press in the bit of bolognaise."

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Fabien adds the bolognaise to the well-cooked rice.Euronews

"Then the arancini will go first into the flour, then the eggs and then the breadcrumbs."

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The rice ball with bolognaise inside is then added rolled in flour, dipped in eggs and then breadcrumbs.Euronews

"And then a little bit lemon of mayonnaise on top. Add a few coriander leaves, just as a garnish."

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The finished article!Euronews

After that, there was only one thing left for me to do, which was to eat it!

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"Very nice, chef. Very, very, nice." James O'Hagan sampling the kosher arancini at the Armani/KAFEuronews

We were then joined by Rabbi Levi Duchman, the rabbi for the UAE.

I asked him to tell me more about the kosher traditions and the rules around kosher food:

"Kosher certification is certifying everything about the food.

"So, starting from the ingredients to the preparation, turning on the oven - anything that has to do with the process of cooking the food needs to be kosher supervised.

"This restaurant is something called Glatt Kosher, which is the highest kosher certification that one could achieve.

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Executive Chef Fabien Fayolle, Rabbi Levi Duchman and Euronews' James O'Hagan at the Armani/KAF restaurantEuronews

"We worked together with Chef Fabian and his team to create a kosher menu made up with available ingredients we have here in the UAE and as well as that, we did the first import of kosher meat into the UAE.

"So it was quite extensive, to put all of the ingredients together and to have them kosher certified.

"This restaurant is not only for the Jewish community. This restaurant is for the whole UAE community, for the tourists to come and come experience the kosher experience."

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"This restaurant is not only for the Jewish community. This restaurant is for the whole UAE community, for the tourists to come and come experience the kosher experience."Euronews