Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 26 November 2020

Eat it to win it: Abu Dhabi foodies can now take part in a city-wide scavenger hunt

Dine at some of the capital’s hidden gem establishments and stand to win prizes too

Kebabs from Kabul Afghanistan. Courtesy of Abu Dhabi Culinary Season
Kebabs from Kabul Afghanistan. Courtesy of Abu Dhabi Culinary Season

The capital has been buzzing with activity ever since the launch of the Abu Dhabi Culinary Festival – and its most recent activity offers a delicious way to explore the city’s food scene.

The Hidden Gems Scavenger Hunt is a digital interactive game that will take place until Tuesday, December 15. Created in partnership with Best Bites Abu Dhabi, the aim is to introduce hungry adventurers to some of the city’s most authentic restaurants.

How it works

Participants have to download the GooseChase App on Android or iOS, and search for Hidden Gems – Best Bites. They can then sign up as a team (of up to four people) or as an individual. Once in the game, they have to visit the city’s secret hot spots and order three recommended dishes. There are “missions” like taking pictures of the three dishes, answering a trivia question about the restaurant, capturing video or selfies, tagging the group on social media and posting a GPS check-in. Taking part in these challenges puts them into the draw for weekly prizes.

The scavengers can also keep an eye out for email blasts from Best Bites that will provide opportunities to earn extra points.

In the end, the five teams with the most points will go into a draw to win a grand prize. Some of the prizes include fine dining experiences, mall vouchers, products and staycations.

A call to support local businesses

There are 22 hidden gems listed in the scavenger hunt. Some examples are Al Dharfra, the seafood restaurant in Al Mina; Kabul Afghanistan, the popular Afghani restaurant and West to West Kitchen which serves Caribbean food. According to Rachael Partington, managing director at Best Bites Abu Dhabi, the restaurants have been chosen with care, being ones that serve interesting, well-executed food and having an engaging staff.

Kebabs from Bosnian Hut, one of the recommended dishes from the hidden gems scavenger hunt. Courtesy of Abu Dhabi Culinary Season
Kebabs from Bosnian Hut, one of the recommended dishes from the hidden gems scavenger hunt. Courtesy of Abu Dhabi Culinary Season

“The Hidden Gems list was formulated out of a huge list of restaurants that we know offer great food and will create a buzz for true foodies. These restaurants are the beating heart of Abu Dhabi’s culinary scene and deserve to be showcased. We also believe that sometimes people aren’t sure what to order when they get to these places, which is why we decided to choose three dishes we believe offer a variety for everyone to enjoy and to tell the story of the restaurant.”

These restaurants are the beating heart of Abu Dhabi’s culinary scene and deserve to be showcased

Rachael Partington, managing director at Best Bites Abu Dhabi

Examples of the dishes waiting to be explored are the chicken agashe, a lightly marinated chicken barbecue dish from Sudanese eatery Al Mufraka, Bosnian kebabs from Bosnian Hut, and the Spanish tortilla at Ole! Espana.

There is also the added benefit of supporting local establishments which Partington says is “more important than ever”.

“Small restaurants like this have very little (if any) marketing budget and are struggling in this market like all the restaurants in town. We hope that being part of the Hidden Gems campaign will open people’s minds to trying these little places again in future,” she says

“We also wanted to recognise the truly excellent skills of chefs and staff in these places: some of what they serve every day is just glorious and we’re so happy to give them a shout-out. Even if you don’t want to join (the hunt), do go and see what makes these places so special.”

Updated: November 20, 2020 11:26 AM

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