Taste of Arabia Festival kicks off in the UAE and other foodie news

Plus: sign up for the set menus and masterclasses at Restaurant Week in Dubai; and attend the Taste of Australia dinner by Greg Malouf on Yas Island

Palestinian food at Azkadenya

Arabic restaurant Azkadenya is hosting a festival that celebrates various Middle Eastern cuisines across all its branches in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Running until the end of November is a Taste of Palestine menu, which features a dozen authentic, homestyle dishes. On offer are: kofta warak enab fukhara (vine leaves stuffed with kofta meat, baked with tomatoes, onions and potato slices); Palestinian maftoul (couscous and chickpeas cooked with chicken, onions and maftoul spices, and served with tomato sauce and chickpeas); warbat ashta (thin layers of pastry dough wrapped around clotted cream ashta and drizzled with sugar syrup); and traditional cheese kunafeh kazabeh. The next tasting menus will take in traditional dishes from Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.

Chicken maftoul at Azkadenya

Restaurant Week kicks off in Dubai

September 29 marks the start of the annual Restaurant Week hosted by Basta!, Bleu Blanc and Bhar – the eateries at Renaissance Downtown Hotel in Business Bay, Dubai – is ongoing until Saturday, October 5. Italian restaurant Basta! by David Myers and Middle Eastern restaurant Bhar has set menus for Dh160 per person, while French venue Bleu Blanc has a daily fine-dining menu for Dh190. The latter's chef, Murry Lane, will host a chef's table on Wednesday at 7pm, for Dh350 per person, or you can participate in a masterclass with chef Mohaned Al Shamali at Bhar (on October 2 for Dh250) and chef Silvana Inzunza at Basta! (on October 5 for Dh150). Email rhi.dxbbb.rr@renhotels.com or call 04 512 5599.

Taste of Australia on Yas Island

The seventh one-night Taste of Australia dinner will be held at the Paddock Club at Yas Marina Circuit on Thursday. Pre-dinner drinks in the Paddock Suites and a series of live appetiser stations aside, the star of the show is chef Greg Malouf and the two-course menu he has designed for the evening.

Chef Greg Malouf 

The celebrity chef was born in Melbourne to Lebanese parents and is considered the last word on contemporary Middle Eastern cuisine. "Using Australia's premium ingredients and produce, I've designed a menu that captures the very essence of the Middle East, but with a contemporary flair," says Malouf. Australian Business Group members will pay Dh580, non-members must pay Dh620. A table for 10 can be reserved for Dh5,700 here.