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Galvin Dubai, CityWalk: Created by the Michelin-starred chef brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin, Galvin Dubai is located in the vibrant The Square, City Walk, an area of town that is constantly soaring to new highs – if you haven’t been already, make this a mission! The opening of this elegant and social restaurant and lounge represents the brothers’ first venture outside the UK after the successful opening of Demoiselle by Galvin earlier this year, also at City Walk. Inspiration has been drawn from a commitment to ‘Best of British’, infused with a Mediterranean Basin flair; an evocative array of Italian, Southern French and North African ‘flavours of the sun’ themes which are apparent through the food, wine, interiors and even the water. Believe me when I say you’ll instantly fall in love when you walk through the doors – there is something about the cosy interiors that urges you to dig into some hearty food accompanied by copious amounts of red wine. The interiors are on the dark side but trust me, it works. The emerald green velvet and leather booths and chairs accompany mahogany tables, golden textured walls and exquisite gold light fixtures. In the middle of the ground floor a vast bar that doubles as a seafood counter covers the entirety of the room – the beautifully stocked Crustacea Bar full of Cumbrae oysters, Sturia Oscietra caviar, crab, clams and more is definitely a sight to been seen.  A seasonal led menu with ingredients from the west coast of Italy, Barcelona and the southern bay of France, Galvin Dubai features dishes from classic cooking methods such as wood fired ovens and charcoal grills, as well as a la plancha for lightness and flavour. Favourites included the Lasagna of Devon Crab, the Pumpkin Veloute with comte raviolini and sage oil, the Tagine of Lamb Shank and the Apple Tarte Tatin.

Khyber, Dukes Hotel Dubai: If, like us, you love a good Indian then we have found the place for you. Nestled on the 15th floor of the recently opened DUKES Dubai Hotel on the Palm Jumeirah, Khyber is the new kid on the Dubai block. On entry it takes a moment to grasp the sheer size of the place, providing large open plan and private dining areas – it can cater for the masses! Fitted out in keeping with its big brother, the restaurant provides authentic mixes of dark colours and splashes of gold in an ethnic style with realistic pillars, native art and glorious sculptures. Seated at our table on a foggy night over the festive period, we were assured the view on a clear evening provided something special (we will have to return in sunnier climes to attest). With a large variety of soups, salads, kebabs, grills, curries and desserts on the menu, we were happy that the staff, both friendly and informative, guided us, highlighting the house specialities – the reason revellers visit the flagship time and time again! Favourites included the Tandoori Chicken, the Reshmi Prawn, the Butter Chicken and the Khyber Raan.


Nathalie’s, Sport City Dubai: You might expect a café next to one of the city’s biggest gyms to be full of gym bunnies and yoga-mat-carrying-mummy’s but no – Nathalie’s, next to FitRepublik in Sports City, is home to everyone from start-ups looking for a quiet spot to work to friends catching up over lunch – the thing I love the most however is the organic café serves an epic selection of healthy and wholesome food, with nothing compromising on taste! Opening it’s doors in 2012, the coffee and kitchen concept founded by Nathalie Haddad, owner of Right Bite, serves fresh food prepared daily, free of any additives, preservatives, and words you can’t pronounce – and what’s more, food can be enjoyed in the understated yet stylish hangout which is light and airy OR can be taken away to be enjoyed at home (they also do catering – BINGO!). With coffees and juices, all day breakfast, freshly prepared salads and wholesome sandwiches, pizzettes, lunch and dinner, healthy treats and naughty goodies – there’s something for everyone. Favourites included the famous Monkey Business, a concoction of almond milk, peanut butter, bananas, honey, sea salt and vanilla protein topped with granola, the the Chicken and Avocado Burger and the Shakshuka. Make sure you finish with their seriously seductive salted caramel cheesecake!

Versailles Brunch, St Regis Dubai: Let’s be honest – Dubai wouldn’t be Dubai without it’s famous Friday brunch, and as we all know, Dubai has one for every occasion. Whilst most are normally a rowdy affair, there are a few brunches out there that don’t end in drunken oblivion – the brunch at Brasserie Quartier is definitely one of them. Elegant in style, serving some of the finest French fare in the city, this particular Friday haute offers free-flowing champagne in a fantastic setting. Known in town as BQ, the French Kitchen & Bar is located in the heart of The St. Regis Dubai, and the new brunch, named the Versailles Evolution Brunch, celebrates the love of food – we are totally on-board with that! Worth getting out of bed for, the beautiful interiors of Brasserie Quartier are reminiscent of a neighbourhood French bistro with light wood, green velvet seats and the monochromatic tiled floors transporting you straight to the heart of France. Split into three sections, the main dining area, complete with open kitchen is where the main buffet sits, the adjacent bar is where the talented team whisk up a delicious selection of cocktails, whilst at the entrance, the restaurant also has a small tea room which turns into a dessert and patisserie haven during Friday brunch (think chocolate fountains and stunningly decorated cakes). Greeted warmly by staff dressed in typical French attire, we were handed glasses of Bucks Fizz and escorted to our table. After a fresh loaf of bread and hummus with touboulah was delivered to the table, we took to the exquisite buffet to get our fill of starters before choosing our a la carte main. To accompany the experience, live music in the form of a saxophonist and singer plays throughout which matches the five-star service and indulgent modern French fare. More of an adult affair than one for families with young children, if you’re in the market for a fancy Friday, this is the brunch for you.

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