Now that we’ve all given up on our new year’s resolutions we feel a little less guilty writing about the most delicious desserts the UAE fine dining scene has to offer!
Ok, so we’ve written a lot about wine and different cuisines. But of course, our other (not so) secret obsession is with desserts. Chocolate, caramel, meringue, peanut butter, lemon, cupcakes, macarons, mousse, meringue and cheesecake – it really doesn’t matter. We love it all.
Historically, desserts as the last part of a meal, were served after the table had been cleared (desservir in French!). They were also the last part of the meal because once the tongue has tasted something sweet, a lot of other subtle flavours no longer register on the palate. Technically, cheese plates and other savoury endings should therefore be eaten before a sweet dessert. We would have also loved to tell you that the sweet dessert has a purpose for the digestive system, like a digestiv is supposed to have after a heavy meal. We have not been able to find any research that supports that, but we can always hope.
In our blog about trends to watch in 2017 we already referred to nostalgic desserts such as rice pudding, and the technicolour trend. We’ve also previously written about the retro-trend in desserts, bringing back flavours that have been out of fashion. The most popular desserts we’ve been spotting around town seem to be a combination of a lot of things everyone likes. Under the heading “de-constructed”, chefs combine ingredients that go well together, and make a dessert even more decadent.
We’ve listed the best sweet treats and where to find them for you, drooling and all.
Asia de Cuba’s Tres Leches de Chocolate Cake is made with three types of milk – condensed milk, evaporated milk and cream. Together with chocolate it becomes a buttery, caramel-like, rich taste sensation that will make you impatient for the next bite.
Slightly more quirky, but no less tasty, is their Manchego Tart. It’s a variation on the salty and sweet trend, with different textures that will blow your mind. Served with guava ice cream.
Benihana at Beach Rotana (also at Amwaj Rotana in Dubai) have done something so simple and yet so fabulous – they have deep fried cheesecake. The combination of sweet, tangy and salty has never been this good! The Cheesecake Gyoza are served with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream.
We’ve written about Mochi before – small rice dough treats. Well Tori No Su at Jumeirah Etihad Towers have taken it to the next level with Mochi Ice Cream. The combination of the fluffy, squishy mochi texture combined with the smooth creaminess of the ice cream is a no brainer.
There is nothing we love more than salted caramel. So Market Kitchen’s Salted Caramel Sundae hits the spot with ice cream, chocolate fudge and popcorn. We don’t need to say much more when it comes to salted caramel.
Along the nostalgia theme – the Belgian Café at Intercontinental do waffles well. European waffles that is, the dessert type and not the breakfast type, with chocolate sauce and ice cream. The warm chewy dough combined with the cold ice cream. Need we say more?
Another one you can wake us up for is sticky toffee pudding. Luckily Marco Pierre White Steakhouse and Grill do an amazing version of it, with a lovely toffee sauce and some creamy vanilla ice cream.
One of my favourite comfort foods is sticky rice, and no one does sticky rice better than the Thai – with mango. Melt in your mouth deliciousness at Dusit Thani’s Benjarong (also at Dusit Thani in Dubai).
Famous throughout the UAE – the Chocolate Extravanganza at Shangri-La unpacks gooey chocolate flavours after the warm chocolate sauce is poured over the chocolate bomb. A must try!
Catch has a similar Chocolate Sphere which melts and has a mix of chocolate, marshmallows, brownie and mousse in the middle.
Even if you’re not a big fan of banana, banoffee pie is something that is unexplainably good. The toffee and biscuits make for a great combination of flavours. Yas Rotana’s Blue Grill does an amazing version of it.
We also love pavlova’s – for the crunchiness of the meringue with the tartness of the fruit. Brasserie Flo at the Venetian Village does one with red fruit and mandarins, which makes for a lovely combination of tastes.
Back to cheesecakes, BU Trinity does a dulce de leche cheesecake alfajor, which combines salty and sweet through the cheesecake, caramel-like dulce de leche flavours, shortbread and other textures. Divine.
Catch’s Hit Me hits you in a good way. Brownie, chocolate cake, ice cream and a chocolate ice cream bar. All in one dessert.
We’ve mentioned our love for toasted marshmallows before. So nothing pleases us more than The Hide’s campfire s’mores sundae. Combining the marshmallows with peanut butter cookies and dulce de leche. We’re still starstruck.
Talking about dulce de leche cheesecake, Gaucho at DIFC also does one. As silky as it can be and it comes with some meringue.
Taste Kitchen’s Lemon Meringue Pie is one of the best versions of this classic we’ve ever had. The combination of flavours and textures was just done very, very well.
Remember Magnums? Well Laluz has concocted a Catalan Cream Mini Magnum. Honeycomb and custard are just some of the flavours you can expect.