Food news and a recipe for whole corn-fed chicken marinated with barley miso and shichimi pepper

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In the food world at least, the summer slow down is yet to hit; restaurants continue to open up, menus are still being tweaked and Ramadan specials are coming to the fore.

A round-up of even more food news below, followed by a recipe from Reif Othman, the executive head chef at Zuma, Dubai.

I'm definitely a fan of Zafran, the reasonably priced modern Indian restaurants found in both Mirdif City Centre and Dubai Marina Mall (see review here). They've recently introduced a few new items to the menu in their signature style (traditional dishes with a modern twist). Amongst them, kozhi masala from Alleppey in Kerala (Dh45 and pictured above) looks rather pretty served in a berni (glass jar) and chingri malai curry (Dh55), a shrimp, fermented mustard paste and coconut milk curry from eastern India sounds delicious.

If you visit Sakura, Oscar's, Western Steak House, Harvesters Pub, Al Fresco, Cappuccino's, Al Dana and wagamama at the Crown Plaza Dubai over the next two months and eat between 12 noon and 8pm, then you'll earn a voucher which will cut your bill in half the next time you visit. For more information or to make a reservation call 800-276963 (CROWNE) or visit the Crowne Plaza Dubai's website

The Palace-The Old Town is holding the second of its baking classes on July 15th. The two hour long classes cost Dh150 per person and focus on improving participants patisserie skills; you'll be taught how to make three different types of cake before settling down to afternoon tea in the Al Bayt lounge. For more information call 04 428 7805 or email

With the recent opening of Asia Republic, Atlantis, The Palm has a new contemporary Asian restaurant. The spot is a relatively small one - seating just 39- and the menu takes its inspiration from South East Asia, Korea and China, with dishes such as prawn lettuce cups, wok fried red bean pancakes and Singaporean curry laska. The prices are pretty reasonable (ranging from Dh30 to Dh65), making the restaurant that bit more affordable than the likes of Nobu and Ronda Locatelli (also located in the hotel).

Kitsch Cupcakes are soon to introduce a few new additions to their range for Ramadan, try Pistachio Praline, Turkish Delight and Sticky Date (a date cupcake topped with butterscotch icing). Carluccio's meanwhile are also serving up a series of Ramadan sweets such as Italian figs stuffed with lemon peel and almonds and covered in chocolate and capricci (dark chocolate covered fruit).

And lastly, a quick and relatively simple (providing you can find the ingredients) recipe from Reif Othman, the executive head chef at Zuma, Dubai.

Whole corn fed chicken marinated with barley miso and shichimi pepper

Ingredients: One whole chicken

500g  Den miso 100g  Kochujang chili paste 10g    Chopped garlic 50g    Ginger juice 5g      Salt 2g      Pepper 25g    Shichimi pepper

Method: Mix all ingredients well and place in a dish with the chicken.  Leave to marinate overnight and then spit roast or grill until cooked through.