Street food or fine dining, what would you go for?
If I have a choice between fine dining and street food, a meal at an elevated restaurant is almost always going to get my reservation. Why? I love the artistry, the finesse, the beautiful plating, and the range of flavours. I love dressing up to go out and making the eating out an event. I love a tasty menu and spending hours at degustation. While I realise I might be in a select group of the population, I want to celebrate the chefs who come up with these stunning (and delicious) creations. I want to enjoy their creativity, techniques, and dishes. Furthermore, in these establishments, I love chatting with the servers, who are usually just as proud of their menu as the kitchen.
I recognise that food is (of course) subjective. Just as much as I love a fine dining experience, I would never want to take away from another diner's favourite restaurant. However, for those looking for something in the middle, I offer a search that won't take them too far. Chef Reif Othman's newest restaurant, Reif Kushiyaki, in my opinion, blurs the difference between fine dining and street food. With a bustling location, a menu that showcases a variety of techniques and proteins, and reasonable price points, diners are spoilt for choice.
So, yes, while there is (always) room in my life for High Joint, Pitfire Pizza and Streetery, there are equal parts in my life for Tresind Studio and Michelin star restaurants. I'm never going to apologise for liking good food, and I would encourage you to try something outside your comfort zone. Perhaps there is a special upcoming occasion, a reason to step out and try something new. I urge you to make a reservation at someplace that's always been on your list!
(Courtney Brandt is author, blogger, Zomato Ambassador and founder of A to Za'atar. Follow her on Instagram: atozaatar; or visit atozaatar.com)
I would always opt for street food, if given a choice. Fine dining, for me, is for occasions that need to be celebrated, like an anniversary or a promotion. A fine dining experience is supposed to be one of a kind and memorable, and therefore, doesn't warrant to be something to be done frequently. I don't consider it to be budget-friendly, either.
Street food is for your lazy moods, for being yourself with a gang of friends or just for having a 'chill' time. It makes sure that you get your dose of food and enjoyment, without being a burden on the pocket. It is well-known that street food serves a huge urban population - mostly middle class and lower middle class - as the major source of dining, mainly due to the availability and affordability. The advantage of living in a metropolitan city like Dubai is that it caters to every imaginable food choices at reasonable pricing. Moreover, apps like Uber and Zomato make it very easy to get the desired food at the doorstep.
The current climate is just apt for enjoying street food, with most of the joints already having outdoor seating facilities or even a takeaway that can be enjoyed at the beach side or the park. Even though many of us would have our reservations about the quality of ingredients used and the conditions in which the food is cooked, it is a huge relief that the strict monitoring and stringent laws in this country makes it safer to enjoy the food and drinks that are sold at smaller outlets.
I am somebody who eats out at least once a week and surely street food is a pocket-friendly option to some great food and good times.
(Rafeeda AR is a procurement expert. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram: @thebigsweettooth; or visit thebigsweettooth.com)