Ever fancied going skiing in the desert or scuba diving in the worlds largest mall? Well you can in Dubai.

Situated on the Persian Gulf Coast, Dubai is a city of hyperbole. It’s home to the world’s tallest building- The Burj Khalifa, the world’s largest mall- The Dubai Mall, and the world’s first 7-star hotel- The Burj Al Arab, as well as a host of other impressive accolades.

IMG_1409With a tiny number of the city’s population made up of local Emirati residents, Dubai is also one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, a factor which has influenced its growing restaurant scene.

European and American imports like Carluccio’s and Shake Shack sit alongside traditional Arabic Shisha cafes. And acclaimed chefs, including Jason Atherton, Atul Kochar and Nobu Matsuhisa have all recently opened restaurants in the Gulf.

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We visited Dubai last week and couldn’t resist checking out some of our clients who now call the city home. First on the list was a visit to Jason Atherton’s recently opened Marina Social, located within the Intercontinental in Dubai Marina.

On arrival we were greeted by this exceptionally well stocked wine rack.

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If, like us, you’re often faced with indecisiveness when a menu is placed in your hand, Marina Social has got your back. Their ‘Munchies’ option, includes 4 surprise courses handpicked by Head Chef-Tristin Farmer. In order to eliminate any potential food envy, our whole table went for the ‘Munchies’ menu and excitedly predicted what we might be eating that evening.               

Surprise 1– Our first course was Hand Chopped Beef Tartare with horseradish cream, egg yolk jam, truffle & balsamic dressing, followed by Hamachi salad with baby gem, spring onion, chili & soy dressing.

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Surprise 2- Our secondi course included Perigord black truffle risotto with crispy Parmesan and the most divine Duck leg agnolotti with white onion purée, duck crumble and cooking juices.

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Surprise 3- Our main course was Whole herb roasted Picalou chicken, charred leek, smoked wings & leek tartine and a side of epic gravy ‘boat’ envy.

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Surprise 4- Dessert consisted of a Rhubarb & custard soufflé, with hand poured custard at the table, and a Chocolate & peanut bar with cookie crumble and banana ice cream. We loved the retro Bird’s milk jug!

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After our delicious and very filling meal we headed to the Social Room, a cocktail bar adjacent to the main restaurant, where we enjoyed cocktails and Grapefruit G&T’s accompanied by a Friday Night DJ.

The next morning, after one too many cocktails at Marina Social, we headed to Dubai Mall for a Shake Shack fix.

We couldn’t wait to try the Chick’n Shack; Crispy Chicken Breast with lettuce, pickles and herb mayo. The Chick’n Shack isn’t available in the UK so it was a treat to finally try it.

Shake Shack has 6 restaurants in Dubai, most of which can be found in large malls, a perfect place to refuel if you need a shopping break!

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The next stop on our culinary client adventure was Busaba Eathai at Jumeirah Beach Residence – the first Busaba outside of the UK.

Their calamari is something of a lunch time staple here in the Sauce office, so it was only right we continued the tradition on our trip. For main course we had Pad Thai, enjoyed whilst watching the sunset over one of Dubai’s most popular beaches. A lovely way to end an indulgent foodie holiday.

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Other restaurants to check out in Dubai-

  • Mango Tree
  • Tom’s Kitchen
  • Pai Thai
  • At-Mosphere
  • Zero Gravity (for a lively Friday Brunch)
  • LIMA (coming soon)