It seems fair that if I had a Top 5 desserts in Dubai, so it goes, I should put together a list for the rest of the meal as well (even if I’m going in a somewhat random order). Anyway, whoever committed to the idea of enjoying smaller plates before the main course was a particular style of genius. I mean, what’s not to love? More food! Everyone wins! While longtime readers will know that I can more or less live on Burrata and tartare of any form (my top ordered starters), I realize others might not share my passion. Thus, I thought I would share some of the best of the little bites to share or enjoy on your own.
- Smoked Chicken Croquettes from Toro + Ko. As I mention in the full review of the restaurant, you need to find a place in your life for these smoky, cheesy, chicken-y bites. I promise you won’t be let down. Whether on their own or as part of a more substantial meal, it’s my top choice in a menu that full of great options.
2. Wagyu Nigiri from The Experience by Reif Othman. While I can’t promise this will be on the menu every time (Reif changes things up on a nightly basis), I can say that this is what I think of when I picture ‘Dubai on a plate.’ High-end protein? Yes! Gold leaf? Yup. I also love the idea of transforming a traditional into something unexpected.
3. Grilled Avocado from Asado. Gotta have something for my vegetarian friends! This deceptively simple dish makes the list not only because of its grilled creaminess but also the addition of a delicious salsa. What could be a boring dish is elevated by a sweet and spicy chutney relish. Plus, Also, I mean, I love avocados in all forms.
4. Beef Tartare from Bistro Bagatelle. As mentioned above, my general starters tend to include either/or tartare of some form or another. The serving at Bagatelle is among my favorite — not only because of the stunning presentation and generous portion size, but also because the taste is exactly what I think of when I think of tartare.
5. Edamame Hummus from Katsuya by Stark. Another excellent vegetarian option. While hummus is fairly ubiquitous in this city, I love this version. The edamame flavor is subtle, but unique. Add in some freshly made pita, and it’s a winner. The location is also fantastic.
What are your favorite appetizers in Dubai? Anything I should go and check out?