Dubai is a true haven for multiculturalism, and nothing amplifies that as well as the city’s truly eclectic food scene.
In keeping with this, a food platform, which launched in the emirate on Wednesday, is all about culinary diversity. Kitch-In brings together four virtual restaurant brands – Jimoto; Seoul Sister; Gigi and Ap’ola – under one roof, from which customers can order for delivery.
Developed by chef Izu Ani and his culinary team in partnership with hotel brand Accor, the aim of the new virtual concept is to "portray the essence of the cultures that they take inspiration from, serving the traditions of cuisine through a modern, technological platform."
Jimoto, for example, is inspired by trends, and the fast-paced culture of urban Japan. On the menu are a number of Japanese street food items as well as contemporary takes on traditional dishes. Dubai residents will be able to order okonomiyaki – seafood pancakes – beef katsu sando, the ebi (shrimp) katsu sando, shoyu ramen and onigiri – triangles of rice filled with miso salmon, bonito flakes and kept or marinated roe. The fluffy Japanese cheesecake is also worth checking out.
If a Mediterranean diet is more your style, Ap'ola which translates to "everything" in Greek, may be up your alley. The brand has a signature Ap'ola sandwich with wagyu beef in pita with tzatziki and spicy mayo that's designed to be shared or try the variety of souvlakis (there's a cauliflower, zucchini, chicken and beef version). For those with a sweet tooth, there's Nutella koulouri or Greek kataifi.
Those with pizzas and pastas on their mind have Gigi, the restaurant's Italian concept serves cuisine steeped in tradition. The pizzas are made with 72-hour fermented dough so you might want to check out the pizza bresaola, four cheese pizza or ricotta and turkey calzone. Pasta dishes worth trying include casereccia al ragu Napolitano with slow cooked brisket.
Seoul Sister, meanwhile, pays tribute to the food culture of Korea with a menu featuring bibimbap, spicy cod bao, kimchicken sando, the bulgogi burger and Korean fried chicken.
Those who can't make up their mind can order from the Kitch-In Food Hall, which allows guests to pick dishes across the four brands. Perfect if you simply cannot decide on any one cuisine for the evening.
According to Ani, the dishes have been designed to be balanced and healthy. “Everything we eat contributes to who we are and how we feel. We want people to enjoy their meals, smile, and be able to trust in what they are putting into their bodies,” he says.
The launch marks a new delivery model, says Adrian Azodi, chief executive of Kitch-In. "The delivery space has grown exponentially in recent years, it is an evolving industry of international focus. With Kitch-In, we are utilising the existing kitchens located in properties within the Accor network, with a digital solution. The technology works in parallel with our knowledge and the experience of our founding team, spanning all angles of the industry."
Mark Willis, chief executive of Accor India, Middle East, Africa and Turkey says that there are already expansion plans in the works. "Our aim is to elevate in-room dining and raise it to a new level, starting with the launch of Kitch-In in Dubai, followed by a gradual expansion across all Accor properties worldwide. We wanted to bring experts, celebrity chefs and talent together to add a special touch and create exquisite experiences for our guests."
To order, Dubai residents can search for individual brands or for Kitch-In under Deliveroo.