Should you go for a eight-course meal or standard three course?
Two UAE food bloggers tell it like it is
I love everything about food - the smell, texture, presentation, taste and, most importantly, the way it brings people together. In fact, my husband and I owned a restaurant in New York before we sold it off to come and settle in Dubai! Owning a restaurant has taught me the ins and outs of the food business. It's also showed me that you don't need an eight-course meal to tell how good or bad a restaurant is - a three course meal is more than enough.
I'm not one to skip the breadbasket, especially if it's hot and served with salted butter. But if the bread you get served at a restaurant is stale and hard, then that might be an indication of what's to come. You may also not be off to a good start if you find brown-edged lettuce in your salad - it usually means that the lettuce was cut a while ago and isn't fresh.
In my personal experience, restaurants that have limited menu options usually have a high turnover of dishes and therefore the product quality is always good and fresh. Restaurants with menus that are over four pages long are probably stocking up several unused ingredients; this long-term refrigeration will stale items. I would always rather dine at a restaurant that specialises in four items and perfects them!
A good way of finding out if an item is going to be fresh is by looking for how many options on the menu use that particular item. For example, if oxtail is on the menu, look for how many dishes include that ingredient. If only one dish has it, then it's most likely not moving as much as other meats on the menu!
On that note, I'll end with a fun fact about Japanese culture. When eating sushi, customers usually order Tamago - an egg -based sushi dish - to determine the chef's abilities. Only once the customer is satisfied do they proceed to order more items on the menu!
Is a foodie and the blogger behind www.seraknowsfood.com. Follow her culinary adventures on Instagram @seraknows
When it comes to dining, Dubai has a whole lot to offer as it serves almost every national cuisine around the world. There's always something to explore from street food joints to cafés, and casual eateries to fine dining
While casual dining with a standard three-course meal is a must for every foodie in Dubai, a true dining experience comes only with an eight-course meal or a chef tasting menu - which can go up to 16 courses. Yes, I've tried 16 courses during one sit-down dinner! I personally love fine dining and am always inclined to visit restaurants that offer such experiences. The idea is to have a little bit of everything and enjoy the flavours and fusions.
In my experience, the classic eight-course meal usually consists of an amuse bouche, soup, salad, appetiser, palette cleanser, main course, second course, and dessert.
There are some outstanding chefs in Dubai that will take you on a culinary journey of textures, tastes, and unexpected surprises - all important factors when having an eight-course meal. The journey can be according to theme or highlight a region's cuisine. Some flaunt local ingredients or different cooking techniques applied to unexpected dishes. The possibilities are endless and they always fascinate me.
Some of my favourites in Dubai are the fine dining Indian and Thai restaurants. Tresind, Carnival by Tresind, Rang Mahal, Mint Leaf of London, and Ananta shine when it comes to Indian tasting menus. Every chef I've met at these fine establishments are truly creative and passionate. Tong Thai and Benjarong are my top choices when it comes to Thai cuisine. They often have limited-time menus that offer cuisines from different regions around Thailand.
A standard three-course meal can be had almost every day but tasting menus should be reserved for special occasions or celebrations. It can sometimes be expensive but that is the price of having a dining experience truly worth your while.
- Mr A
is the passionate food, lifestyle and travel blogger behind www.taqato.com. Follow him on Instagram @taqato and on Twitter @taqatoUAE