The Dubai Food Festival is making a comeback once again.
The 14-day event, which will run from May 2 to 15, will highlight different culinary offerings around the emirate. The festival will also mark the return of Dubai Restaurant Week and Foodie Experiences, with bookings now open and limited spaces available.
Here's everything you need to know about the popular event.
What is Dubai Restaurant Week?
In partnership with 40 of the city’s top restaurants (including 21grams, Coya, The Maine Street Eatery, Miss Tess, Clap and The London Project), the event will offer special three-course dinner menus starting from Dh150 per person or two-course lunch menus from Dh95 per person.
Other outlets taking part include those named in the inaugural Mena’s 50 Best Restaurants list, such as Lowe, Reif Japanese Kushiyaki and Indochine, as well as newly opened restaurants 11 Woodfire and Tamoka.
UAE eateries that made the Mena’s 50 Best Restaurants list:
Which restaurants are participating?
The restaurants offering both lunch and dinner set menus are: 11 Woodfire, 21grams, Al Nafoorah, 99 Sushi Bar and Restaurant, Bastion, BB Social, Bella, Bread Street Kitchen, Carnival by Tresind, Clap, CMP, Coya, Hell's Kitchen, Hutong, Indochine, Indya by Vineet, Isola, Lowe, Maison Mathis, Marina Social, Masti, Noepe, Reform Social Grill, Reif Japanese Kushiyaki, Roka, Sucre, Tamoka, The London Project, The Maine Street Eatery, and Weslodge Saloon.
Meanwhile, Fi'lia, Indochine, Marea, The Maine Land Brasserie will offer only set lunch menus, while Bull & Bear, Hotel Caragena, Inti, Miss Tess, Pierre's Bistro and Bar, The Hide and Toro Toro will have only dinner menus.
How do I book for Dubai Restaurant Week?
All reservations must be made in advance through Open Table.
What other things can I do during the festival?
The Foodie Experiences event is for those who are looking to do more than simply eat. It consists of masterclasses, culinary collaborations and out-of-the-box experimental dining concepts that take place exclusively through the festival.
What are the masterclasses on offer?
There are five masterclasses that will take place during the Dubai Food Festival and they include everything from sushi making to learning to create a signature dessert. Here's the schedule:
1004 Gourmet: sushi-making classes
Learn how to roll the perfect maki or create your own special nigiri with the help of expert Japanese chef Tatsu at the Asian grocery speciality store.
May 8; 11:30am to 1.30pm; Dh350 per person (non-vegetarian) or Dh299 (vegetarian); The Greens; 055 633 7612
Mondoux: chocolate dessert creation masterclass with three-course dinner
Chocolate lovers will enjoy Mondoux’s masterclass, which comes with a three-course meal. Learn how to create one of Mondoux’s signature desserts – the chocolate bowl – as well as sample some of the restaurant’s best dishes through a specially curated dinner menu.
May 5 and 12; 4pm to 7.30pm; Dh325 per person; Dubai Creek Harbour; 050 118 9401
Teible: Low-waste sourdough class with chef Sheerin
Teible is offering a masterclass on how to minimise waste at home by creating sourdough from scratch using discarded ingredients. Guests will also get to take home Teible’s Mimi, a seven-year-old sourdough starter kit. The masterclass also includes a coffee break with pastries afterwards.
May 9; 1pm to 5pm; Dh550; Jaddaf Waterfront; 04 243 6683
Teible: Fermentation workshop with chef Carlos
Learn about the fascinating yet complex world of fermentation through an interactive masterclass with chef Carlos. Comparing the reactions of three different ingredients (vegetables, liquids and dairy), experience first-hand the mechanism and benefits of fermentation. Dinner afterwards is also included in the price.
May 10; 3pm to 7.30pm; Dh550; Jaddaf Waterfront; 04 243 6683
Dumpling class with chef Tatsu at 1004 Gourmet
Hone your dumping-making skills in a masterclass with 1004 Gourmet’s chef Tatsu. Whether you enjoy steamed or fried versions, the class offers tips on how to create the perfect parcel.
May 12; 6.30pm to 8.30pm; Dh275 (non-vegetarian) or Dh240 (vegetarian); The Greens; 055 633 7612
What experimental Foodie Experiences are taking place?
The experimental Foodie Experiences will feature unique creations, including a dinner made from would-be food scraps and another using locally sourced dates as the main ingredient. Here's the schedule:
Waste Not at Lowe
Lowe’s is bringing back its Waste Not dinner series. The restaurant will offer a multicourse menu comprised entirely of would-be food scraps as part of its commitment to reducing its impact on the environment.
May 11; 8pm; Dh150; Al Barari; 04 320 1890
Karama photo and food walks
Explore the vibrant and lively Karama with a walking photo and food tour with Gulf Photo Plus. Take photos of neon-clad shopfronts while sampling delicacies such as tandoor chai as you learn more about the neighbourhood and how to photograph it. The tour will end at a popular restaurant where the group can share their photos and feedback.
May 7 and 14; 6pm to 9pm; Karama; Dh295
Dinner in the dunes with Sonara Camp
Enjoy a gastronomic feast in the desert as Sonara chef Franck Sanna creates a specially curated menu for the occasion using locally sourced dates as the star ingredient.
May 14 to 15; 8pm; Dh913.75; Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve; 04 320 1890
Tiramisu pop-up at Penrose Lounge
Head to the lounge in Four Seasons Hotel DIFC to enjoy various Instagrammable tiramisu-inspired desserts. The limited-time menu runs for the duration of the Dubai Food Festival.
May 2 to 15; the Dubai International Financial Centre; 04 506 0000
What are the Chef's Table experiences at this year's Dubai Food Festival?
Running for the duration of the Dubai Food Festival, top chefs in the UAE such as Reif Othman, Ilias Doulamis, Rahul Rana, Matthijs Stinnissen and Carmen Rueda Hernandez will present special dishes and menus as part of their Chef's Table. Here's the schedule:
The Experience by Reif Othman
The head chefs at Reif Japanese Kushiyaki will curate a five-course omakase chef’s choice tasting menu.
May 2 to 13; Dh388 per person; Dar Wasl Mall, Jumeirah; 04 255 5142
The Greek restaurant will have a special four-course menu from executive chef Doulamis, who will also show off his table-side cooking skills.
May 2 to 7 and May 9 to 14; 7pm to midnight; Dh290 for food only; 04 444 7444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Vegetarian chef’s table at Avatara
Voco Hotel’s Avatara will feature a menu curated by chef Rahul Rana, that is inspired by humble seasonal ingredients that are pure, clean and natural. The cuisine he comes up with uses fresh produce and dairy products from local farms.
May 2 to 15; Dh368; Sheikh Zayed Road; 058 143 2867
Boca’s chef Matthijs Stinnissen will serve up a 10-course meal with a focus on sustainability. Vegetables take centre stage as the usually-discarded skins, stems, seed and produce get a second chance during this dining experience with a low carbon footprint.
May 2 to 7 and May 12 to 14; starts 7.30pm; Dh345; the DIFC; 04 323 1833
Take a taste adventure of all the senses around the world with The Escape, a five-course multisensory dessert-led journey led by chef Carmen Rueda Hernandez and her team at Brix. There are three slots per day: 2pm to 3pm, 6pm to 7pm, 9pm to 10pm.
Tuesday to Sunday, May 1 to 15; Dh325; Jumeirah Fishing Harbour; 04 323 1833
What culinary collaborations can I expect from this year's festival?
Guests can enjoy the creativity of two brands coming together to present a new dining experience. Here's what you can expect.
Paella master Eduardo Torres at Shai Lounge
Chef Eduardo Torres, who hails from Valencia, will serve up his signature dishes at the Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach’s Shai Lounge.
Dinner is May 3 to 5; 7pm to 10pm; Dh350 set menu; lunch is May 4 to 5; 1pm to 4pm; Dh145 for chicken paella and Dh180 for seafood paella; Jumeirah Beach Road; 04 270 7777
Pickl x Boca dining collaboration
Burger favourite Pickl and sustainable fine-dining establishment Boca will team up for a one-of-a-kind dinner. Using organic locally sourced ingredients and antibiotic and hormone-free meat, diners can experience a unique collaboration of fine-dining and fast food at Boca.
May 10; 7pm; Dh395 with drinks; the DIFC; 04 323 1833
Desert dinner with celebrity chef Akmal Anuar
Platinum Heritage’s chef Musaab Saloom and 11 Woodfire’s chef Akmal Anuar will partner to curate a six-course menu with 10 dishes at the Platinum Camp, with live entertainment such as acrobats and fire specialists adding to the occasion. Guests are asked to arrive between 5.30pm and 6.30pm.
May 10, Dh795 per person, www.platinum-heritage.com
Mirzam Pizzeria del Cioccolato
Sample secretive Emirati pizza-maker @ktchn.45 and Mirzam Chocolater Makers’ new collaboration. Enjoy sourdough pizzas made from locally sourced ingredients, cheese and sauces followed by an all-chocolate dessert selection, which will also be cooked in pizza ovens.
May 3, 5 and 10; 7pm or 9pm; www.mirzam.com
Dibba Bay x Moreish by K Supper Club
Moreish by K’s Kunwal Safdar is teaming up with Dibba Bay Oysters for a five-course culinary collaboration featuring her trademark Persian and Punjabi flavours with oysters are the key ingredient in every dish. The menu will be served for two nights only.
May 11 and 12; 7.30pm to 9.30pm; Dh265 per person; Jumeirah Fishing Harbour; 054 438 8537