Dine, Doodle, Food
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EATS OF THE WEEK

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La Cantine du Faubourg: A restaurant that has long been on my bucket list, we finally tried the famous La Cantine du Faubourg, a hot-spot that has been filling Dubai’s bellies with fine French food for nearly three years. La Cantine du Faubourg is based upon five key principles: sound, music, image, art and food. A contemporary yet elegant setting, the beautiful restaurant has a gorgeous garden terrace, a natural, minimalistic bar, a pergola and salon restaurant. Indoors, the salon is covered in modern art, wood, stone and marble, and accents of bright red to give the restaurant a sexy feel. The outdoor seating is low and comfy sofas lines the walls. The menu split into appetisers, main courses, grills and side dishes has an ample selection of traditional French fare, with the odd Mediterranean-Italian and South American dish thrown in for good measure. Favourites include the marinated Hamachi with pickled vegetables and honey dressing, Seabass carpaccio with ginger dressing, avocado and fresh horseradish and the squid ink linguini with lobsters and calamari – this might sound un-original, but believe me, this dish will knock your socks off!

Finishing the weekend on a foodie high with @lacantinedubai 💕

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DRIFT Beach Club: With the summer fast approaching, making the most of those sunny Saturdays has never been so crucial. A stylish, yet understated retreat, where luxury beach chic meets casual simplicity, DRIFT ticked all our boxes for the perfect Saturday sanctuary, with its laid back yet vibrant ambience. They are definitely smooth operators, and everything from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave runs seamlessly, from collecting you in a buggy from your car to making sure you never run out of water. Managed by Sunset Hospitality and located at One&Only Royal Mirage, the idyllic location is just a stone’s throw from Dubai Marina. As well as the general vibe and fantastic service, we loved the stunning infinity pool framed by cabanas as well as the extensive private beach area surrounded by the marina skyline and lush landscape. A sanctuary from the stresses of busy city life, DRIFT is a hidden gem set in a blissful oasis. Not only does DRIFT make for a great day out in the sun, the food and booze offering, headed up by resident chef de cuisine Maxime Le Van, is fantastic. DRIFT’s signature restaurant serves an innovative take on classic Provençal delicacies, with the poolside menu serving light and healthy dishes using fresh and organic ingredients. The food is matched by the skills of award-winning mixologist, Eric Ballard. We loved the Salmon Tacos and the Burrata from the poolside bites and will definitely be coming back for some of Maxime’s famous truffle and lobster risotto!!

Ting Irie Dubai: The restaurant comes from acclaimed executive chef Craig Wong, who has combined his Jamaican-Chinese heritage with the culinary techniques and discipline he learnt after years of working in Michelin-starred restaurants including Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée and Heston Blumental’s Fat Duck to create a menu that both tastes great and showcases authentic Jamaican cuisine. With a handful of ‘soul’ getting center stage, Ting Irie is in the heart of Downtown in Souk Al Manzil. Arrival was easy – right on the boulevard, you can either get to restaurant through the souk or directly from the main road – signage is everywhere so believe me, you won’t miss it! We were welcomed by a combination of classic reggae tracks and covers of retro hits and quickly ushered to our table by the brilliant team of staff who were just as bright and bubbly as the interiors. The interiors are lively with wooden shack-style décor and chilled-out beachside vibes. Accompanied by a coconut, you could literally be anywhere in the Caribbean. When it comes to food, Ting Irie nails it on the head! Ting Irie isn’t shy with their bold flavors or fun modern ideas. The kitchen has the utmost respect for traditional island ingredients and Jamaican dishes and many Caribbean ingredients and spices are imported straight from Jamaica, such as Scotch Bonnet peppers and Pimento seeds. On this particular visit, we sampled their new tasting menu, a five-course extravaganza full of Jamaican flavours. Favourites included the Jamaican Patties, Oxtail Cocobread Sandwiches, the Chips O’Mon Burgers and Flamin’ Appleton Wings.

BB DIFC: It isn’t every day that you come across new restaurants that literally knock your socks off and if I am being honest, I haven’t felt this excited about a restaurant since I visited PLAY for the very first time.  A fresh, homegrown approach, BB has come on the scene with a bang, backed by 60+ collective years of hospitality expertise. Having launched and managed operations for some of the region’s most successful F&B venues including LPM and Zuma, BB’s founding team has knocked the nail on the head and created a concept that everyone must try! Located in DIFC on Happiness Street, BB is all about social dining with elements of the East found throughout the experience. Delivered with polished but light-hearted service, and found in a compelling, compact interior, BB sits in a space that used to house an art gallery. Spread across three levels, which are connected by a stylish spiral staircase, the restaurant feels like a trendy London townhouse or secret speakeasy, immediately upping the cool factor. There are plenty of cosy nooks and crannies for a romantic night for two or you can opt to sit on the leafy green terrace or ground floor restaurant – there is also a larger dining spaces for big groups – the restaurant is huge yet tiny all at the same time (you get my jist…). The mostly Asian-inspired menu is split into four Bs – bao, bites, bowls and BBQ. Every dish is designed for sharing, which is where the “social dining” theme comes in. We loved the super green hummus, a genius blend of edamame, tahini and spinach, the crispy duck, chicken bang bang and Habibi Bao, the Shabu Shabu and freekeh aubergine.

21Grams Dubai: What comes to mind when you think of Balkan cuisine? Me – for some reason, my brain goes to heart-warming soups, stews and heavy dumplings. Not that I am opposed to these wintery dishes, but I wouldn’t necessarily think they would be suited to these warmer Dubai climes. So when 21GRAMS, a new Balkan bistro, opened on Jumeirah Beach Road, a stone’s throw from the beach, I was intrigued to see where it would slot into the Dubai restaurant scene. Evoking memories of a homeland’s favourite recipes, the warmth and comfort of a family home and the smell of freshly baked pastries, 21GRAMS offers Balkan brilliance with a twist. What I previously thought was heavy, appeared to be light, offering a menu of mezzes, dips, salads, soups and hot dishes including octopus, gnocchi and chicken. A labor of love, 21GRAMS aims to offer a sincerely authentic experience curated by their own operating and creative partner Stasha, from first appearances, the food, the space and the ambiance were on point – I loved the cozy urban bistro experience and the smell of coffee that constantly wafted through the venue. A vibrant bistro space with floor to ceiling windows, the eatery offers a light and welcoming indoor dining area bathed in warm tones, with a pastry counter and seating for 30, as well as an intimate outdoor area, with balcony views overlooking Umm Sequim Park. The menu honours Stasha’s passion for wholesome soul food, and her desire to create a uniquely authentic experience inspired by the diverse ethnicities, cultures and cuisines of the Balkan Peninsula. Every dish contains freshly-sourced ingredients, follows traditional recipes and contains modern execution. We loved the marinated octopus with baby potato and carrot puree and crispy skin chicken thighs with green pea puree and herb infused béchamel sauce.

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