UAE food news: Spanish institution Asador de Aranda opens its doors in Dubai

Plus, enjoy three-course meals at Yas Island for only Dh99 and sample Korean bulgogi in burger form

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From new openings and special dishes to updated menus, here's what’s new on the UAE's food scene this week.

Italian restaurant Sole opens in Abu Dhabi

Sole, which launched at Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers on Tuesday, November 10, aims to transport guests to Italy with its authentic ingredients. The restaurant’s fun-loving nature, meanwhile, comes through in its whimsically named dishes. We’ve Twisted a Classic, for instance, is a double-dough ravioli with spinach, homemade ricotta, butter-poached prawns and artichoke crisps. What a Catch is a combination of poached sea bass, herbs, roasted garlic, fresh tomato broth and charred lemon.

For dessert, try Trust Me, I'm from Napoli, a dish of Italian cream and berries. The restaurant is headed by Italian chef, Simone De Vivo from Naples, and features outdoor seating, pops of greenery and statement chandeliers.

Spanish restaurant Asador de Aranda opens in Dubai 

Asador de Aranda specialises in meat cooked in wood-fired ovens

Asador de Aranda, a veritable Spanish institution, has opened its doors at The Address Downtown Hotel. The restaurant, founded in Castilla y Leon, has hosted everyone from royalty to celebrities, and specialises in dishes prepared in a manual wood-fired oven that gives them a distinctive taste and texture. Its most famous dish is el cuarto de asado, roasted suckling lamb leg. Other meat-based dishes to savour include spare ribs, grilled entrecote steak, lamb chops and kidneys, while vegetarians can enjoy gazpacho and roasted red peppers.

The interior is marked with rustic white oak flooring, wood-panelled tables, plush green sofas and chandeliers, while diners who want to enjoy the cooler weather can head to the terrace and take in the lights of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard with their meal.

Enjoy three-course meals for Dh99 at Yas Flavours Festival 

More than 45 restaurants at Yas Island have come together for the inaugural Yas Flavours Festival, which is running as part of Abu Dhabi Culinary Season. Diners in the capital will get a chance to enjoy three-course set menus across three price points until Saturday, November 28.

The Taste Makers package (Dh99) is valid at casual dining outlets such as Mr Miyagi's at Yas Marina, Black Tap at The Fountains and L'eto, Le Brioche and La Taqueria at Yas Mall. Those looking for something slightly more upscale can try the Food Vibes package (Dh129) at Belgian Cafe at Radisson Blu, Stars & Bars at Yas Marina and Rainforest Cafe at The Fountains. Finally, the Gourmet Goals package (Dh149) includes a meal from outlets such as Filini Garden at Yas Plaza Hotels, Aquarium at Yas Marina and Pachaylen at Anantara Eastern Mangroves. For the full list of deals and packages available, visit

Thai restaurant Benjarong reopens in Dubai

Benjarong in Dusit Thani Dubai has been given a colourful makeover

Benjarong, Dusit Thani’s signature Thai restaurant, has locations in Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Cebu, Davao, Doha, Guam, Hua Hin, the Maldives and Manila – and on November 8, its branch in Dusit Thani Dubai reopened to the public. The interiors have been transformed to include vibrant colours, European motifs, plush velvet sofas and hand-woven lanterns. The menu features all the classic curries from Thai chef de cuisine Wichit Panyo, plus a grilled chicken burger topped with mushroom, basil sauce, a Thai fried egg and steamed rice.

Hakkasan Abu Dhabi brings back night 'brunch'

Hakkasan Abu Dhabi will serve its night brunch at the terrace

The Cantonese restaurant in Emirates Palace Hotel will serve its popular night brunch every Friday, between 8pm and 11pm, offering guests a chance to try its signature dishes for Dh388. The evening will begin with the supreme Peking duck with caviar served with pancakes, baby cucumber and spring onion, plus a selection of dim sum. The starters are followed by salt and pepper squid, vegetable and pine nut lettuce wrap, chicken satay skewer, wasabi prawns with salmon roe and jasmine-tea-smoked Wagyu beef ribs. For views of the city skyline, book a table on the restaurant’s labyrinthine outdoor terrace.

Attend a Japanese-Italian pizza party at d3

Akiba Dori is hosting a pop-up garden party during Dubai Design Week

To celebrate the ongoing Dubai Design Week, Japanese street-food restaurant Akiba Dori in Dubai Design District is hosting a pop-up garden party, complete with neon lights, until Saturday, November 14. Guests can kick back and enjoy the cool weather while listening to hip-hop and RnB tunes, and tuck into the Tokyo-Neapolitan pizzas such as five-formaggi, marinara or chef Luigi-San’s special, made with datterini tomatoes, smoked provola, pecorino romano, basil leaves and olive oil.

Sample Korean bulgogi in burger form at Ugly Burger 

 Bulgogi is a a popular Korean street food dish. Courtesy Ugly Burger

Bulgogi, meaning fire meat, is made by cooking thin marinated slices of beef on a barbecue or stove-top griddle. And now, UAE residents can get a taste of the much-loved Korean dish in burger form, with home-grown burger joint Ugly Burger's latest launch. Priced at Dh38, the Bulgogi burger features griddled, marinated sliced beef, mixed grilled mushrooms and onions, toasted sesame seeds, and cracked black pepper bulgogi mayo on a bed of lettuce. Perfect with a side of kimchi fries.