So yes, I eventually did make it to Dubai. Thank you to the Lufthansa agent who didn’t charge me the ridiculous amount of money he wanted to charge me to send me directly to Dubai instead of my original destination of Tel Aviv.
Now for those of you who are like my parents–maybe you get all your news from Fox News and are convinced that in the Middle East, everyone still rides camels and wears burqas and that one should “be careful”–here’s a quick video I made for my dad last time I was in town to prove that they do indeed have roads and cars in the United Arab Emirates and it’s all quite normal. My friend Chris is doing most of the narration because he has this insanely deep voice.
Back to the topic at hand…where to eat…This was my second visit to Dubai and being a bit longer than my first visit, I was able to have a bit more fun and get out and about a bit more…
Zuma, DIFC. For a place like this, their set lunch was an insanely good value at 120 AED per head, or $33 USD. After a very generous portion of miso soup, I loved the fresh and light salmon salad wrapped with rice paper. The seafood tempura was a bit overcooked, but still generally enjoyable. Best was the beef tenderloin with sesame and red chili. For 28 AED extra ($7.75), I helped myself to a slice of green tea cake. Nice ladies’ rooms and a great vibe overall.
Anar, Souk Madinat Jumeirah. I was traveling with a French-Iranian, a Spanish-Dutchman, and another American. When the French-Iranian (his parents returned back to Tehran many years after his grandfather was expelled during the revolution) offers to take you out for Persian food, you say yes. Now firstly, I have to admit that I love the Madinat Jumeirah big time. It’s like Epcot, only classier. So I was bound to love this place. And I loved that my co-worker Reza did all the ordering in Persian. The food, on the other hand, was only okay. I loved the mezze starters, but the mains (basically kebobs and rice) were uninspiring. I still think the Madinat Jumeirah is a great place to hang out though.
Al Nafoorah, Emirates Towers. Thanks to @duguzzler for sending us here. A lovely Lebanese looking out on the DIFC. Attentive service, great mezze. Fantastic set menu. And a 20% discount for using my American Express card. Not so touristy, which was nice after the Madinat Jumeirah. Is it a “must visit”? Probably not. But a great place for a business dinner and/or upscale Lebanese, for sure.
Caramel, DIFC. Fun atmosphere and could see this being a great after-work hang-out with the investment banking set. I really enjoyed my Asian chicken salad, but others complained the table was too small.
Certo, Media City. Really really lovely service. Excellent guidance on the wine list. Loved our starters of stuffed calamari. Thought our pasta mains were only okay. But because they were just so darn nice, I’d give this another shot. Is that odd?
I will admit that I also ate at Wagamama in Dubai Marina. It was fantastic. I’m sorry but once you’ve been without yaki soba for six months, maybe you’ll understand.