Dubai Food Festival 2023: Discounted meals and celebrity chef masterclasses

Michelin-lauded dining with change out of Dh100, ceviche making and walking tours are just a sample of what's on offer

A dish from Jun's, which is participating in Dubai Restaurant Week. Photo: Jun's
Powered by automated translation

The Dubai Food Festival is set to return on April 21.

The festival, now in its 10th year, will showcase the city's food scene, running until May 7.

This year's celebration combines fan-favourite events, such as the Etisalat Beach Canteen and Dubai Restaurant Week, with new ones, such as the 10 Dirham Dish that, as the name suggests, offers cheap dishes from as-yet-unrevealed restaurants across the city.

There is also a food photography competition, with Dh10,000 cash prizes.

Dubai Restaurant Week

Also returning is Dubai Restaurant Week, which has 52 restaurants offering set meals at discounted rates, including venues part of the Michelin Guide and Mena's 50 Best Restaurants lists.

The initiative begins on April 28 and offers cuisines spanning the Middle East, Europe, Asia and beyond.

Two-course lunches are priced from Dh95 per person, while three-course dinners start at Dh150.

The week offers people a chance to dine in lavish — and often expensive — venues, without breaking the bank. When else could you enjoy a multiple-course meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant such as Torno Subito for Dh125?

“We're excited to offer a sneak peek of our menu and entice everyone to experience our dishes,” Amy Madi, the head of marketing Restaurant 354, which operates Dubai Opera's in-house restaurant Belcanto, tells The National. The average cost for two people dining at Belcanto is Dh650, but diners pay Dh250 during Restaurant Week.

A few restaurants have released details of their set menus, including steakhouse Carna in Business Bay, which is offering a three-course dinner for Dh250 per person. Starters include grilled lettuce salad, steak tartare and grilled red prawns in garlic and olive oil. For mains, diners can choose from three dishes: grilled Australian hanger steak with a side of mac and cheese; Carna sausage served with whipped potato; and mushroom risotto for vegetarians. There are also two options for dessert.

Stake tartare at Carna

Dubai fusion restaurant Jun's, which is part of this year's Mena's 50 Best Restaurants list, also revealed its lunch (Dh125 per person) and dinner (Dh250 per person) menus. Dishes include Wagyu smash burger, miso sea bass with summer vegetables and garlic rice and baked Alaska tiramisu mochi.

Other participating outlets include Clap, 3 Fils, Al Nafoorah, Kayto and Gordon Ramsey's Bread Street Kitchen, all with lunch menus costing Dh125.

The deals are capped at Dh350, which is the price of the dinner menu of Demon Duck by Alvin Leung on Bluewaters Island, and at City Social by Michelin-lauded chef Jason Atherton.

Atlantis The Royal's restaurants Ariana's Persian Kitchen and Jaleo by Jose Andres are also part of the promotion.

Foodie experiences

As well as restaurant offers and special menus, there are close to 40 experiences such as masterclasses, cooking demonstrations and children's workshops.

Fans of Peruvian cuisine can learn how to make ceviche at Coya Dubai's class (Dh395).

Those who want to learn more about fermented foods can attend a session from 21 Grams for Dh350. There is also a sushi-making class at Taiko, a session on all things kimchi, kimbap and more Korean delights, as well as a speciality coffee class by RAW.

Special dining experiences created for the festival include a South and North Indian fusion night at Varq, a zero-waste menu at Ginger Moon and a workshop where children decorate tanoor and chebab.

Little ones can also enjoy a milkshake masterclass at Black Tap, as well as an opportunity to make a sushi and molten cake dessert at Michelin-lauded Reif Japanese Kushiyaki.

A walking tour around International City will allow participants to sample different Chinese noodle dishes, with a focus on China's lesser-known regional cuisines from Yunan, Xinjiang and Guangzhou.

Michelin-starred restaurant 11 Woodfire, meanwhile, will take guests into its open-flame kitchen. The tour is coupled with a meal, with dishes such as a sunchoke artichoke soup and 40-day aged black Angus steak.

Dubai Food Festival runs from April 21 to May 7; more information, including how to make reservations, is available at

Updated: April 07, 2023, 6:04 PM