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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Team What’s On pick their favorites now in the UAE


Hotels, TV shows, local brands and more, these are our current favorite things in the UAE…

Dine at What’s On Abu Dhabi’s Restaurant of the Year… Talea by Antonio Guida

This week, we returned to the beautiful setting of W Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, for the annual Abu Dhabi Annual Awards Ceremony. Across 36 public vote categories and four Editors’ Choice awards, we’re the capital city’s entertainment, leisure and dining scene. There were so many winners that night and I can’t wait to visit again, but I’m especially looking forward to revisiting Talea, Abu Dhabi’s Restaurant of the Year 2023. The daily man behind the menu is Chef Luigi Stinga, who not only serves up a menu of upscale Italian classics, but also perfects the more refined and experimental dishes on the menu. Check out the full list of winners here. – Alice Holtham, Group Editor

Travel to Paris without leaving Dubai thanks to… Josette

A new restaurant in Dubai doesn’t have to be a novelty for the team what is on, but one of the city’s newest openings has me pretty excited. Josette is a charming new restaurant in DIFC, inspired by 20’s Paris, and probably my new favorite restaurant in Dubai. For those familiar with the London restaurant scene, there’s a Sketch-meets-Bob Bob Ricard vibe here, with endless palettes of bubblegum pink, champagne buttons to press and a stage for regular energetic cabaret performances. The food is also great, snails, Entrecôte CDP, crepe Josette are my three must-try dishes. – Alice Holtham, Group Editor


My favorite breakfast at Bulgari Resort

@whatsondubai Ask for Milan, thank us later #whatsondubai #breakfast #bestbreakfast #trade #Dubai #diningindubai #Dubai Restaurant #dubaifyp #mydubai ♬ Original Sound – What’s in Dubai

I really enjoyed the breakfast at Il Café at the Bulgari Resort Dubai. It really is a hidden gem as the outdoor patio overlooks the marina which is amazing in this weather. The service is unbelievable and for AED 165 you can get a set menu with enough delicious dishes for two. – Elise Kerr, Associate Editor

@Bulgari Hotel

Try a new aperitif experience at Dubai’s Drift Beach

Drift is already well known and loved at sunset for its chic poolside bar, but I was excited to try out new offers. L’aperitif offers picnic baskets filled with bread, olives and other snacks, and you can choose a three-course meal from a curated menu. You will also receive a bottle of wine or mocktail. The non-alcoholic set menu is AED 320 and the alcoholic one is AED 450. – Elise Kerr, Associate Editor

@driftbeach Dubai

Find out what’s behind the green door… Jumak

There’s something naughty about a speakeasy. That feeling that you know the secret. The sparkling new Jumak on Eastern Mangrove Promenade is a perfect, spicy example of the genre. This is a Korean-Japanese speakeasy, accessed through a hidden green door at sister restaurant BA.TE. There is a more direct route from the promenade – but where’s the fun in that. The menu is full of clever concoctions, but we recommend the Green Door (coconut and matcha on a classic maggot) because when I’m in Seoul… – Miles Buckeridge, Senior Online Reporter


Skip Ted Chiang’s Broken Fractal World

About 10 years ago, I read a collection of short stories by a man named Ted Chiang called Stories of your life and those of others (Fun Facts – Movies arrive actually based on a story in the book), a close and (in the book) trusted friend recommended it to me. I’ve never experienced short-story telling like this, neither before nor since, where sci-fi stories are built on dizzyingly deep thought experiments that keep you thinking about ideas and dilemmas long after you’ve put the book down. After more than ten years, Exhale: the story, is the long-awaited but definitely worth follow-up series – after finishing it this week, I was lucky enough to lend it to a friend who first caught my interest. The loop is closed. it is time to go to bed. – Miles Buckeridge, Senior Online Reporter


Hop on to QE2 to… Candlelight: The Four Seasons of Vivaldi

Candlelight Dubai

I like classical. Whenever I need to reconcile the world and get some work done or calm my anxiety, I head to YouTube and listen to all four seasons of Vivaldi on repeat. So when I heard there was a live candlelight concert at QE2, I immediately knew I had to go. Listening to good music by candlelight was just what I needed after stressful weeks. – Aarti Saundalkar, online journalist

@qe2 Dubai

In tears… Louvre Abu Dhabi

Louvre Abu Dhabi

It cannot be denied that I love art. With the arts season in Dubai just starting, you’d think I’d be spending time at Art Dubai or Sikka, but no, I’m currently in the capital after a fantastic night at the Abu Dhabi Awards. So of course, I finally went to the Louvre Abu Dhabi to see Da Vinci’s Saint John the Baptist. Standing in front of such a masterpiece is enough to bring tears to my eyes (or any fan of Renaissance art). If you’re planning a visit, make sure you also check out Bollywood Greatest: Short Stories of Indian Cinema. – Aarti Saundalkar, online journalist


Discover new culinary gems at Lila Taqueria

it’s here what is on, we love supporting local businesses. There is nothing more inspiring than hearing people tell how they got started and how the country of the UAE has helped them realize their lifelong dreams. Last week, I met Chef Shaw, an American expat, at his new authentic Mexican restaurant at the Lila Taqueria in Jumeirah. This is the first wood-fired Mexican fast food restaurant in the area. what to try We won’t give away too much (our full review will be posted soon), but we recommend the citrus-marinated chicken tacos made with homemade tortillas and spit-roasted lamb tacos. – Tamara Wright, online reporter


Read all about it…a colorful Louis Vuitton pop-up

Louis Vuitton recently launched a city guide to Dubai, the first city in the Middle East to be included in its luxury travel series. To celebrate, the brand opened a colorful pink pop-up store on Gate Avenue DIFC, inspired by the colors of a Dubai sunset. The kiosk looks like an old-fashioned newsstand, and you can get a Dubai city guide for Dh170, as well as guides to other cities like London, Tokyo, Milan and Paris. – Tamara Wright, online reporter


Thanks to… Vapiano, I’m just full of Italian food

While they’re not a slick, fancy restaurant, the food at Vapiano is really good. When I was craving a creamy Alfredo this week, I went to Vapiano and it didn’t disappoint. From choosing the shape of the pasta to deciding on the sauce and ordering yourself at the counter, it’s a very immersive experience. My Order? The crema di funghi added chicken and opted for a pasta I had never tried before, campanelle. Thanks to the little fresh basil jars on the table, it’s safe to say I’m more than satisfied. – Shelby Gee, junior reporter


Looking forward to exploring more of the UAE

My assignment this week was to research the exciting things going on in Sharjah and Hatta, and while I’ve been to both places in the past, I’m honestly overwhelmed by all the incredible developments and all the exciting new things happening in Hatta Adventure sucks and I can’t wait to plan. The country we live in varies so much between each emirate and I think it’s important that we try to explore as much of the rich history and culture as possible while also trying some really cool activities like zip lining and kayaking in Hatta Or walk through the Butterfly Pavilion in Sharjah. – Shelby Gee, junior reporter

@visit.hatta, @shj.travel

Learn to Make Kimchi… Tabchili

One of my favorite things in the world is kimchi – its sour taste kindles a fire inside me and I can always find a way to add it to most of my meals. Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of attending a workshop at Tabchilli, run by its owner, Maher, who is passionate about all things spicy and fermented. He walked us through the fermentation process, and then we got down to business, making our own kimchi and chili sauce to take home. If you are an avid spice lover or just craving fermented foods, then you need to head to Tabchili. – Romy Hunt, junior reporter


Food and wine in Isola

Isola Restaurant

My childhood best friend was in Dubai last week and we decided to have a special girls’ night to celebrate. The venue of choice was Isola, which hosted a four-handed dinner with the talented chef Giuseppe D’Aquino, taking us through the flavors of southern and northern Italy. From the delicate yellowfin tuna amous bouche, to the healthy pasta mista and deconstructed cannolo to complete the meal, our dinner was really good. Isola is the perfect cozy yet elegant place to have a glass of wine with my girlfriends. – Romy Hunt, junior reporter



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