There are too many amazing family-friendly (and date-friendly) restos here in Dubai to go to the same place more than a handful of times! Recently, we’ve noticed something of a gastronomic explosion with new restos on every corner, and we had to stick all the foodie happenings that caught our eye in a handy dandy little list just to keep a track of it all. So here’s our brekkie, lunch, brunch and dinner bucket list mamas… see if you can tick all of them off!
- New Family Friendly Brunches
- New Brunches (leave the kids!)
- New for Date Night (or lunches)
- New Family Friendly Breakfasts or Lunches
- New Afternoon Tea
- Sweet Treats
- What’s New in BOXPARK
New Family Friendly Brunches
Paella Saturdays at El Sur
Who said big fat lazy meals were only for Fridays? If brunching on a Saturday is what you want – and if you’re partial to a little (or a lot) of paella not to mention other Spanish yummies, then Paella Saturdays at El Sur are just for you. From fragrant olive oils to the sassiest sangria – this is a little slice of Spain complete with a laid back Hispanic vibe right here in Dubai. Kids get their own menu plus cute little activities too.
Every Saturday 12.30pm – 3.30pm
Price: AED 195 for soft beverage package and AED 295 for free-flowing sangria, beer and wine.
El Sur, The Westin Dubai, Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina
(+971) (0)4 511 7136, www.westinminaseyahi.com/en/el-sur-spanish-restaurant
The Street Food Festival Brunch, Sofitel Downtown
Another outdoor fave, this family friendly affair is spread around the Sofitel’s gorgeous infinity pool with views of the Burj Khalifa and an amazing array of cuisines served from food trucks (a big hit with our little boys). From Thai to Mexican, Italian to Indian – plus mountains of cheese, cold-cuts, salads and a fired up BBQ (plus the usually decadent desserts), there’s something for everyone to enjoy on picnic benches under umbrellas – and a pool to splash about in for free for the under 8’s. Laurent Perrier, a great view and happy splashy kids? Yes please.
Every Friday 12.30pm – 4pm
Price: AED 220 with soft drinks, AED 300 with house drinks or AED 450 with champagne.
Sofitel Dubai Downtown, Sheikh Zayed Road, Downtown Dubai
There’s nothing we like better than lunching al fresco out of a basket – especially as a family with young kids for whom sitting at a table for longer than a few minutes can be challenging. The recent addition of Pik-Nik at The Westin every Saturday is the perfect solution for a family feast. Spread out on shaded picnic rugs and tuck into a hamper of goodies including cheeses, charcuterie and salads or grab a freshly grilled burger from the barbie while the littles race around on the lawn or enjoy an amazing array of activities from tight-rope walking to face painting, magic tricks to a good old fashioned game of footie. One of the most relaxing family food experiences we’ve had in a long time!
Every Saturday (excluding summer months of June – Sept) 11.30am – 4.00pm
Price: AED 390 per basket for a family of two adults and two children (excluding beverages)
Pik Nik, The Westin Dubai, Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina
(+971) (0)4 511 7136, www.westinminaseyahi.com/en/pik-nik
New Brunches – leave the kids
The Frioul Archipelago is a group of islands off the Mediterranean coast of France – balmy, chic and a food lovers heaven – just like Frioul in Dubai. We relaxed waterside at the new ‘Le Plaisir’ brunch on the restaurant’s terrace (the inside space is equally gorgeous and instantly transports you to a French bistro with stunning parquet flooring, crisp white tablecloths, buzzing open kitchen and live jazz) and enjoyed delicious French-Mediterranean bites served at the table – from frogs legs to grilled prawns and the most incredible Chouquettes with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream – the only hard part is deciding what to choose from the elegant menu. A must for a date brunch or a classy little group affair.
Every Friday 12pm – 4pm
Price: AED295 with soft drinks & juices, AED395 with select house drinks and AED495 for the premium package
Frioul Bistro De Luxe, Souk Madinat Jumeirah
Rib Room Friday Brunch at Jumeirah Zabeel Sarray
Unleash your craving for a seriously good steak and a cosy brunch at The Rib Room with its sumptuous leather booths and intimate atmosphere (plus roof deck for drinks with a city view). We recommend you start with aperitifs and oysters before going for the Rib Room Platter – a mix of grills and ribs served with sauces and sides – and finishing with a Valhrona Chocolate Fondue. But that’s just us. The menu is full of equally delicious dishes for carnivores of fish lovers alike – and mamas the cheese selection is definitely worth leaving space for.
Every Friday 12pm – 4pm
Price: AED 250 with soft drinks, AED 350 with house beverages, AED 390 with Prosecco or AED 550 with Champagne.
The Rib Room, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, The Palm Jumeirah, Crescent Road (West), 27722 Dubai
New For Date Nights (or lunches)
Now Thailand’s a little way away from Dubai, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get amazing Thai noms here in Dubai. Busaba Eathai has recently opened on The Beach and we’re gunning to go to this one, especially given that this London chain has been voted one of London’s favourite places to chow down. With a community feel and sprawling two floor location, the menu definitely has us hungry – the usual nutty Pad Thai, chargrilled salmon fillet on a bed of coconut rice and more…
Busaba Eathai, The Beach, JBR, Dubai
Cove Beach at Jumeirah Beach Hotel
We’ve been ready to pounce on this little gem of a spot since hearing of its opening a while back. Set on the beach front at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, this Sassy Mama favourite has a bar, restaurant, private beach, sea-lounge and….wait for it… a Rosé Bar (yup, imagine watching the sun fall into the sea over a glass of something chilled and pink). Sleek, cool, sophisticated – the perfect place for a date night or to bring visiting friends and relatives for a sundowner with some wow factor (the view of the Burj Al Arab, moored boats and sparkly sea is pretty special). Visit the restaurant for more formal French fare or lounge outdoors with a more relaxed menu. La vie en rose mamas!
Cove Beach, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai
(+971) (0)56 116 1263, www.covebeach.com
The A-lister hangout destination in Hollywood has arrived in Dubai and we love it (full review coming this week mamas!) With art-deco inspired, effortlessly cool interiors combining velvet furnishings, parquet floors and modern chandeliers, perfectly pitched lounge music and literally the best bread basket we’ve ever had (focaccia, rye, corn – you name it – carb dodging mamas beware!), sit back and relax before tucking into an Arabic/Californian fusion feast and make sure you save room for dessert – and Goats Milk Pannacotta with a Sugared Vanilla Donut specifically. A fab place – and not eye-wateringly expensive!
Delphine, The H Hotel, 1 Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai
(+971) (0)4 501 8623, www.innovativedining.com/restaurants/delphine
Say bye bye to Marrakech and say hello to Junoon! This Michelin starred NYC-import is now one of the crown jewels of the Shangri-La Dubai and we know where we’re getting our next curry! Boasting five traditional Indian techniques ranging from the more familiar clay oven tandoor to the intriguing fire pit sigri, we’re definitely scheduling our next Sunday lunch here.
Junoon, Shangri-La Dubai
(+971) (0)4 405 2716, www.junoonrestaurants.com
So we’re surprised this phenomenon hadn’t hit Dubai yet, but here it finally is: Dubai’s very first smokehouse! This casual American resto is a real taste of the old south with nearly everything on the menu smoked tirelessly over a barbecue, along with kiddo friendly platters like a hearty mac and cheese. Located in Souk Madinat Jumeirah, you won’t want to miss out on the prime beef short ribs…yum!
Perry and Black Welder, Souk Madinat Jumeirah
(+971) (0)4 366 6197, www.perryandblackwelder.com
So you may remember our Sassy Mama Katy headed over here last week to try out this impressive new eatery in Le Royal Meridien. For those of you who haven’t read her review, here’s a spoiler: she loved it. With a gorgeous terrace, innovative drinks and a creative Latin American/Asian menu, the rest of us in the office are itching to head over for our next date night.
See our full review here.
Zengo, Le Royal Meredien Beach Resort & Spa, Al Sufouh road, P O Box 118500, Dubai
(+971) (0)4 316 5550, www.zengo-dubai.com
A Very Cool Food Experience
Love food, adventuring and rediscovering this amazing city? And sick of the flashy 5 Star offerings? Well then give one of food blogger Arva Ahmed’s (and her sister Farida) food tours through old Dubai – visiting authentic eateries, interacting with local vendors and chefs, and tasting cherry-picked dishes from regional Arabic dishes including Afghani bread at one stop or spatch-cocked carp cooked traditionally on an open flame in another. With a huge dollop of cultural and historical knowledge and even fun games along the way, these tours are a must for any mama who wants to see Dubai through new eyes while tasting some uniquely delicious food.
Frying Pan Advenures
New Family Friendly Breakfasts Or Lunches
This super easy and value for money French chain has opened in Souk Madinat Jumeirah! Loved by families all over Europe, you can expect classic no-fuss dishes that’ll keep the whole family happy without yanking on those purse strings. And oh, why not treat yourself to a glass of vino on a weekend afternoon – you deserve it!
Café Rouge, Level 1, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai
Carluccio’s on The Beach
Mmhmm, what’s better than a fresh, toasting hot pastry? Chart a course for the family-friendly Italian resto Carluccio’s in JBR if you’re an early riser, they open at 8am and you’ll be able to beat the crazy breakfast rush. We’re big fans of this Italian chain – super kid friendly with tasty honest food – and the new JBR location is perfect for a spot of scooting pre or post getting stuck into a big bowl of pasta.
Carluccio’s, The Beach, Opposite JBR, Dubai Marina
(+971) (0)4 552 0802, www.carluccios.com
We’re up all night till the sun… we’re up all night to get some… we’re up all night for good fun… we’re up all night for Maison Mathis’ Belgian eats! Open 24/7 (perfect for mamas who just can’t catch a break), this European brasserie is finally opening at Dusit Thani following the success of their branches in Arabian Ranches and Emirates Towers. With gorgeous sandwiches, freshly baked breads and quiches alongside mains like rotisserie chicken, fish and chips, we’re sure the kiddos won’t be hard pressed to find something to fall in love with. And did we mention their awesome open kitchen? Too cool.
Maison Mathis, Dusit Thani, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, (+971) (0)4 359 8190
Retro Feasts at The Beach
The amazing British Chef Luke Thomas is taking it back to basics with this awesome casual restaurant located at The Beach. With crowd-pleasers like reinventions on a classic cheese toastie, spaghetti bolognaise and a prawn cocktail, it’s just ambitious enough for the adults and familiar for the fussy eaters in your family. And to be honest, we’re really eager to see if Chef Luke Thomas lives up to the hype as Britain’s youngest celebrity chef…
Retro Feasts, The Beach, Opposite JBR, Dubai Marina
(+971) (0)50 987 4567, www.facebook.com/pages/Retro-Feasts-Dubai
So, you know how we’re a little obsessed with great breakfast? We’re definitely heading over to Ultra Brasserie in Marina Plaza. With a gorgeous terrace (complete with umbrellas of course), we’re looking forward to a hot pot of Raw coffee and a decadent brekkie – specifically, the poached eggs with smashed avocados rounded out with a bit of ricotta and lime salsa. Oh man, why can’t it be breakfast all the time?
Ultra Brasserie, Building #4, Marina Plaza, Dubai Marina, Dubai
(+971) (0)4 277 544, www.ultra.ae
New Afternoon Tea
If there’s one thing the Brits do well it’s tea – and specifically the high version. Gary Rhodes’ quintessentially British restaurant is the perfect place to refuel with a dainty spread of finger sandwiches, freshly made scones and warm homemade crumpets – in true Downton Abbey Style. With the resto’s whimsical decor and fine china you’ll feel as though you’re in the finest of English gardens.
Afternoon tea is served from Wednesday to Saturday, 14.30 – 17.00
Price: Classic Afternoon Tea AED 195 including soft and hot drinks, or the Laurent Perrier Afternoon Tea AED 340 which includes a glass of bubbles.
See our full review of Rhodes W1 here!
Rhodes W1, Grosvenor House, Al Sufouh Road, 118500 Dubai
(+971) (0)4 317 6000, www.rw1-dubai.com
Vincent Van Gogh High Tea at Fairmont The Palm
Love fine art and Mediterranean flavours? Then book a Van Gogh inspired afternoon tea at Fairmont The Palm, surrounded by 9 of the artist’s iconic works (part of the Relievo collection of fine-art reproductions). The team here have swapped the usual High-Tea fare for flavours of the Med to pay homage to the area where the artist worked and lived – think Provencal shrimp, lavender-infused duck with plum chutney and delicious freshly baked bread. Very sophisticated and very Thomas Crown Affair.
Available until March 31, 12pm – 6pm
Price AED 125 per person
Mashrabiya Lounge, Fairmont The Palm, The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai
(+971) (0)4 457 3388, www.fairmont.com/palm
Yes, the European patisseries will always have a special place in our hearts, but we’re looking a little closer to home with the Egyptian patisserie Salé Sucré. With a popular following in its home country, this is the first time that it’s branching outside its borders and boy, are we excited. With both Middle Eastern and French desserts available, you’ll even be able to get a custom cake made just for the kiddos.
Salé Sucré, Bay Avenue Mall, Dubai
(+971) (0)56 964 4661, www.facebook.com/salesucreuae
An online bakery that delivers the most delicious and unique versions of all the classic faves. We dare you to visit their website and not want to eat it all! Perfect for fun birthday cakes or special desserts with a twist.
(+971) (0)4 277 8264, sugarmoo.com/en
Here’s where to eat at BOXPARK, Dubai’s newest development
BOXPARK is evolving on a daily basis (we’re so excited) – but here’s the lowdown on some of the eateries that are already open for business…..
Bianca Mozarella: One of the best and cosiest places to eat good honest Italian food – oh and they make their own mozzarella and burrata cheese daily in-store – we’re finding it hard to keep away.
Big Smoke Burger: Yeah yeah – just another burger joint? Well actually this Canadian version offers handcrafted burgers and the very best ingredients – their signature patty is to die for – as are the skin-on fries and the poutine. Yum.
Grom Gelato: Authentic Italian gelateria Grom is known for its exquisite, 100% natural icecream – over 20 mouth-watering flavours and delicious sorbets made using mangos from India and lemons from Sicily (which must count as part of your 5-a-day?).
Just Salad: Exactly as it says on the tin – only a little more exciting – Just Salad is all the rage in New York where cool young things mix-their-own with a choice of over 75 yummy ingredients and toppings. We love.
Logma Cafe: A chilled out modern Emirati cafe that includes superfood faves such as Kale on the menu.
Operation Falafel: Mmmmm, sometimes nothing but a fresh falafel will do!
Studio Masr: Casual Egyptian cuisine – the chargrilled kebabs and traditional mezze are A-MA-ZING!
Yamaha Cafe: Yummy bites surrounded by motorcycle paraphernalia – definitely one for the petrol heads and for the Sassy dads to take their little boys (and girls to) for weekend breakfasts!
Yogurtland: For when you’re craving something sweet but also watching that waistline (or maybe looking for a post Big Smoke Burger dessert that won’t tip scales) – Yogurtland’s real yogurt in all sorts of delish flavours can be topped with fruit or spruced up with nuts. Nice – not naughty.
Phew, we’re hungry now! Happy eating mamas……
Featured image sourced via Pinterest