Fuelling further speculation as to his (or her) identity, Hawkerboi — chef of an eponymous supper club in Dubai — looks set to be opening a restaurant in Jumeirah Lakes Towers in Dubai.
The building where the Hawkerboi signage was recently spotted has been the talk of the culinary community for some time. Originally called The Park, and helmed by EatX founder Tom Arnel (Common Grounds, The Sum of Us, The Guild), the three-level restaurant has been in the works for at least two years and is meant to open in the third quarter of this year, according to Arnel's Instagram page.
While the multifaceted venue was always meant to have hawker stalls inspired by South-East Asia on the first level, the new signage confirms that the supper club chef will lead the charge here.
On the menu are Hawkerboi favourites including Peking duck, Asian barbecue and yum cha, plus other charcoal-focused and wok-fired dishes, as well as pizza.
According to the EatX website, the ground level will serve freshly baked goodies and speciality coffee, while the top level will double as a rooftop bar. The licensed restaurant directly overlooks the lush JLT park around the loop from Cluster W, and has a modern and minimalist grey facade with plenty of glass.
Although both Arnel and Hawkerboi’s Instagram pages don’t reference the new restaurant (yet), design studio GCC Interiors (the company behind IHG Staybridge Suites in Dubai and Oasis Mall in Sharjah) reveals that it is behind the fitting out of The Park, which will house two other restaurants — Splendour Fields and Frankie’s — in addition to Hawkerboi.
A description on GCC Interiors’s website reads: “Each of these F&B spaces showcase signature decor elements that sets the mood and ambiance of the different themed dining experiences. Apart from these dining spaces, The Park also features an amazing playground zone, a providore area with a fish monger, deli and butcher.
“Hawkerboi has terrace dining, internal dining as well as a terrace bar. Bold reds, teal, earthy browns dominate the interiors colour palette here. Both quirky and interesting pieces of signage and artworks are used across this dining space.”