With so much of excitement that is being hyped up, I was curios to know what all is happening around Dubai for the Dubai Food Festival. Something that was differently marketed was the #EtisalatBeachCanteen #DubaiChefsTable #DubaiRestaurantWeek #BoxPark and so on.
The pictures on their facebook page and all the details that kept poping up on the facebook notifications, made me make my choice for visiting this part of the Food Festival. This takes place at Kite Beach right next to The Salt.
Well, we spent a good 90 to 100 mins at this free-to-attend event, parking was easy to find. Although we parked like a 10 min walk away thinking that we’d not get parking, but parking wasnt that bad at all. The GPS location that was mapped on their FB page wasn’t accurate. And I noticed a lot of people posting questions on their page asking for details on the location. They weren’t all that prompt while replying back to queries on the page. They have plenty of stuff going on on different days like:
1. Open Mic Night
2. Story Telling By The Sea
3. Food and Film
4. Fitness Classes
5. Celeb Chef in Action
6. Market Week
We were 3 of us that visited around the place at around 7pm on 26th February 2016. The participating vendors at Etisalat Beach Canteen were: Jambo’s Grill, Ting Irie, Pinza, Shawarma Station, Karak House, Moshi, Classic Burger Joint, Mantoushe, Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, WOFL, The Shebi, The Hot Dog Stand, Barsalata, Khameer & Dough, Mokha 1450, Haagen Dazs, and Sugarmoo.
We took a round through all the outlets which took us like 10-15 mins. With the variety that they had to offer, we settled down to order from Ting Irie, Moshi, Karak House, Classic Burger Joint, Khameer and Dough.
We Stepped into Moshi and the guys just told us that they have to clear up the previous orders so we have to wait for about 30 – 45 mins, we were hungry and thought that we’d pass this and head to another vendor. We then head to Khameer and Dough, they had a lovely filled bun freshly baked i guess and we opted for 3 of them namely filled with Pizza, Potato and Cream Cheese with Oman Chips. Each of them were priced at Dhs 8 each. The Pizza and Oman Chips stood out from these 3. Further to indulge into our cravings, we hopped onto to Classic Burger Joint. Surprisingly, they had just 2 burgers to choose from – Chicken Classic Grilled Burger or Beef Burger. I just went for the Chicken as Cleona could also share and have a go at it. They kept us on wait for 10 mins, it was priced at 45 dhs and a can of 7up costed us 8 Dhs. I definitely found this expensive and overpriced. While we were waiting for this Burger, we were exploring few more options and Nikhil decided to go for the Crab Stick Sushi from Moshi although they had a 30 minute wait, he went on to order it. As all our food had not reached us yet, we decided to look around the entertainment zone and Live Station where there were some brands selling hotdogs.
We then seen this lady walking around with ‘trust me the most delicious looking chicken on her plate’. We went on peeping into her plate to understand where did she order it from and we guessed that it was from Ting Irie, We went in to have a look at their menu and we found that dish right there. It was Called Jerk Chicken, we had a quarter portion that costed us Dhs 40 and a Fresh Coconut Water was for about Dhs 25.
By this time all our respective foods were ready and getting a table wasn’t all that difficult. The venue was clean and house keeping were seen always active. To Finish off our meals, we got 3 Karak Teas from Karak House that was priced at Dhs 8 each.
The Chicken Classic Burger was the best for me and Cleona, Nikhil liked the 2 pcs of Crab Stick Sushi that came along with its dips and sauces. The Jerk Chicken wasn’t piping hot and probably that what just made us not like it that much. It came long with a pc of Watermelon, a lovely Pineapple salad and coleslaw. The tea tasted great there after. We were stuffed with the meals we ordered and went for a walk along the beach to settle of full tummies.
On the whole, the experience was Just alright. Its the kind of food that anyone would have found in a Mall here in Dubai. It had the same concept – order your food, wait for it to get ready, collect it and then find a table to sit down.
When we were around, there must have probably been about 250 to 300 people across this entire Canteen area, this area had just one washroom with a total of 4 doors (2 for men and 2 for women) Although we men finish our job pretty fast normally, the ladies washroom had a very very long waiting line. The washroom was not part of this BEach Canteen, it was the public beach washroom. They should have arranged for something exclusive for the visitors of the #EtisalatBeachCanteen
We were expecting more of local street food set up and cuisines, more like a canteen setup, more like street food, more like salsa, more like masala, more like live stations, more like food trucks and so on…
Atleast when we were around, the only entertainment visible was a Movie that was being played in an open theater format and there were couple of families that were watching the movie. Some sponsor led games seen some guys winning some prizes. All Details can be found on https://www.facebook.com/events/1692480381028322/
It was a good experience, but on the whole, its good for a one time visit only.
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