Social Distrikt: eight dishes to try in Dubai’s latest food hall

The experiential space has opened at The Pointe on Palm Jumeirah

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Setting foot into Social Distrikt on The Pointe is a truly sensory experience. You first come upon a podcast booth, from where the venue will host its live radio station. This is followed by a vinyl record station by Raw Music Store belting out old-school tunes even as all the classic covers beckon you to have a browse. A few steps within lie railings of clothes, hats and eclectic accessories, courtesy of FLTRD’s pop-up shop, and finally, there’s an outdoor seating area with views of the world’s largest fountain dancing to some merry tunes.

And that’s only level one of the 20,000-square-foot, dog-friendly space.

A look inside Social Distrikt, a new food hall opening at The Pointe on The Palm Jumeirah. Antonie Robertson / The National

A flight of stairs leads you up to the main food hall, where 10 vendors serve up their culinary wares from open-kitchen-style counters in an industrially hip space, again with a huge terrace. You could almost miss the VR gaming corner set up by Robocom, but once you know it’s there …

While this is all very well, restaurant-hopping lies at the heart of a food hall, which enables diners to sample a variety of cuisines under one roof. We sample the offerings from the various Social Distrikt restaurants to give you our recommendation of our top eight.

Truffle tagliatelle at Luca

Truffle tagliatelle at Luca at Social Distrikt.

This al dente pasta is a truffle lover's dream – cooked as it is with light truffle cream, truffle sauce and truffle oil – yet without being overpowering. Shiristi Singh, head chef of the Italian restaurant, says the dish "encapsulates all the simple yet delicious flavours of Italy".

Chicken katsu at Japang

Japanese comfort food chicken katsu has become something of a go-to for discerning diners, and the panko-breaded iteration at Japang comes with soy-marinated chicken, fluffy brioche bread and senior head chef Muhannad Albkeirat's special "katsu ketchup" recipe. "We work with one of the best bakeries to make our bread, which elevates the texture of the dish," says Albkeirat.

Falafel platter at Zaroob

The perfect combination of crispy exterior and soft, fluffy interior, the falafel at this Middle Eastern restaurant is infused with an in-house spice blend and paired with hummus and tahini.

Kick My Boss sliders at Rock House Sliders

This one's not for the faint of heart. If you enjoy a kick now and again, though, the jalapenos smothered in spicy buffalo sauce will get your taste buds tingling, even as you enjoy the tender, juicy Angus beef patty that makes this slider at once compact yet wholesome.

Truffle Snuffle pizza at Pinsanity

A thin-crust dough topped with shaved black summer truffle and fresh buffalo mozzarella is baked until the bubbling cheese spreads unevenly over the base. Pure bliss for lovers of cheesy truffle.

Shakshuka at Circle Cafe

The Maghrebi dish comes with eggs cooked in a tomato sauce made from olive oil, peppers and onion spiced with cumin, paprika and a hint of cayenne pepper. Circle Cafe serves it with fresh sourdough bread.

Chicken souvlaki at Go! Greek

If chewy chicken is the bane of your culinary existence, get the souvlaki at this this Greek restaurant. The meat is marinated overnight, says head chef Nishant Ambavane, then grilled just sufficiently so it does not harden or char. It's served alongside tzatziki, fresh veggies and Greek pitta bread.

Salmon set at Ichiban

The 19-piece set offers salmon in maki, nigiri and sashimi form – and is one of the freshest iterations of the fish we've eaten at a street-style sushi-ya.

Scroll through the gallery below to get a look-feel of the ambience at Social Distrikt.

Updated: January 28, 2022, 5:11 AM