April 11, 2012

Dubai is synonymous with world class festivals and a ‘Taste of Dubai,’ Dubai’s premier food festival, kicked off its 5th year at the Dubai Media City from March 15-17. The festival allowed food-junkies to indulge their palates at affordable prices from a high-end line-up of 26 restaurants from across the city.

Famous restaurants included London’s  favorite The Ivy, a local Lebanese chain the Times of Arabia, Giorgio Armani’s Armani Peck which offers Milan’s finest cuisine, the American Chinese giant P.F. Chang’s and another British favorite, Rivington Grill. While a festive atmosphere prevailed throughout the three-day, packed event, the warm weather also contributed to attracting greater crowds at night. Children and adults, both, relished scrumptious food and drinks; some sprawled in the grass while others swayed to popular music belted by local bands on stage. The European food appliance company Miele, in collaboration with top celebrity chefs from all over the globe, conducted live classes for the food academic. Notable chefs included Francesco Dimonte from Armani Peck and Food Network’s television personality, Aarti Sequeira.

The Palm Jumeirah, home to one of the most expensive restaurants in the world, the famed Nobu, offered the public an opportunity to sample its signature dishes such as Nobu’s Sashimi Salad in small portions at a fraction of the price. My personal favorite though was the divine almond granita, an almond slush at its simplest with a unique, balanced blend, detectable and satisfying.

Though branded by some as a relatively elitist event, with a charge of almost Dhs 70 per day (approximately USD 23), not covering food or drinks, it is still an excellent way to experience the best of what Dubai has to offer in way of diverse fine cuisine.

The writer is freelance journalist.