Dubai's sweet treats: the desert's best desserts
What’s On lists the best desserts in Dubai from some of the best restaurants in Dubai, as part of a series into the best meals in Dubai.
Lemon meringue pie
This had all of the elements of a classic meringue: sweet, crumbly pastry, tart lemon custard, and a creamy topping. But most telling was the speed at which it vanished. The pretty-as-a-picture pie disappeared in double quick time.
Mercato Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, daily 8am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 3444161. Taxi: Mercato Mall. facebook.com/tastekitchendubai
Overcooked apples are mushy and turn to powder in the mouth; undercooked apples are too hard and sour. Cook them correctly, as they do at Porterhouse, and you’re halfway to a darn good apple crumble. Drizzled with caramel sauce, the topping was brilliantly crunchy to offset the gooey apple below.
Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa, The Palm, Dubai, 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 4409300. Taxi: The Palm, east crescent. sofitel.com
Green tea tiramisu
At first glance on the menu, green tea tiramisu sounded – let’s be frank – strange. But it worked beautifully – no surprise as it comes from Kanpai’s hugely experienced chef Masa. It had the richness and creaminess of traditional tiramisu, but none of that swampy flavour that green tea can sometimes lend to dishes. It was a fascinating fusion of Japan and Italy.
Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, daily noon to 2am. Tel: (04) 4419262. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall. facebook.com/kanpaidubai
Berries, bread and vanilla ice cream came together to form the most gorgeous little dumpling of dessert at Gary Rhodes’ new restaurant in the Marina. The stodge of the bread, the sharpness of the berries and the silkiness of the ice cream was a wonderful trio.
Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina, Dubai, Mon to Sat 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 3176000. Taxi: Grosvenor House. rw1-dubai.com
Social By Heinz Beck
It may sound like a new software package but Raspberry 1.1 is a million miles away from the cold, clinical world of computer code. Three Michelin-starred chef Heinz Beck’s trademark dessert contains 11 different textures of raspberry such as sponge, jelly, mousse, sorbet, and meringue. Texture is nothing without flavour and this dish has both in abundance.
Waldorf Astoria Palm, The Palm, Dubai, daily 7pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 8182222. Taxi: The Palm, east crescent. waldorfastoria3.hilton.com
Passion fruit éclair
The choux pastry needed to make an éclair is notoriously difficult to master. Renowned French chef Pierre Gagnaire clearly has the method nailed down, because the éclair he serves at his café is right on the money. Coupled with the sharpness of the passion fruit filling, this was an afternoon tea treat.
InterContinental, Dubai Festival City, Dubai, daily 6am to 11pm. Tel: (050) 9193990. Taxi: InterContinental, Festival City. diningdfc.com
Reform Social & Grill
No matter how much gastropub grub we stuff ourselves with during any visit to Reform Social & Grill, we can never say no to the Chocolate Pot. In fact, the cool, rich chocolate mousse, layered with oozy, gooey salted caramel and garnished with a spoonful of cream, is enough to make us skip the main course altogether and go straight to dessert.
The Lakes, Dubai, daily 8am to midnight. Tel: (04) 4542638. Taxi: The Lakes Club. reformsocialgrill.ae
This place has two types of churro – long, ridged ones served with hot chocolate sauce, or curly versions drizzled with honey. Authenticity is guaranteed thanks to the Mexican staff in the kitchen. Crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and dusted with cinnamon sugar, we couldn’t get enough of these deep-fried delights.
Gate Building 5, DIFC, Dubai, Sun to Thur 7am to 7pm, Fri and Sat 9am to 6pm. Tel: (04) 3515210. Metro: Financial Centre. taqado.com
Vivaldi By Alfredo Russo
The signature dessert here bordered on a chemistry lesson. Mashed up raspberries lined the bottom of a glass tumbler, topped with vanilla ice cream that was so light, it was almost a mousse. The final layer was a crème brûlée foam that had that lovely caramelised flavour, but without the crunch. A strange sensation in the mouth – but definitely a good one.
Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel, Dubai Creek, Dubai, daily 10.30am to 1am. Tel: (04) 2071717. Metro: Union. sheratondubaicreek.com
Circle Café has cleverly taken America’s favourite cookie and used it to turn its chocolate dessert into something special. The rich, creamy dark chocolate mousse was offset perfectly by the crunch of Oreo biscuits crumbled on the top.
Sheikh Zayed Road, World Trade Centre, Dubai, daily 7.30am to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 3588088. Metro: World Trade Centre. circle-café.com
Clinton Street Baking Company
True to the American diner inspiration, the pancakes with maple butter at the always-busy Clinton Street Baking Company in Downtown Dubai are its signature dish and come with wild Maine blueberries. With a Dhs58 price tag they are certainly on the dearer side, but they were so wonderfully fluffy and crunchy on the edges that they’ll leave you hungry for more.
Burj Views, Downtown, Dubai, daily 8am to 4pm, 7pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 4281331. Taxi: Burj Views. clintonstreetbaking.ae
Sapori Di Bice
You know how most cinnamon pastries have about four raisins inside if you’re lucky? The one at Sapori di BiCE is crammed with them. The juicy fruit got along famously with the warmth of the cinnamon and the buttery pastry. Put a cappuccino on the side and we were in heaven.
City Walk, Jumeirah, Dubai, daily 8am to 11pm. Tel: (04) 3442550. Taxi: City Walk. saporidibice.com
If you want to try these doughnut/croissant hybrids from Chikalicious, here’s a tip: get there early. They’re so popular that a batch fresh from the oven in the morning will have vanished by lunch. After sampling the golden crust, honey-glazed coating and vanilla cream filling, we knew why.
Village Mall, Jumeirah 1, Dubai, Sat to Wed 10am to 11pm, Thur and Fri 10am to midnight. Tel: (04) 3444700. Taxi: Village Mall. facebook.com/chikaliciousme
Any dessert that involves the chef arriving at your table and using it as a canvas has to be on our list. The constructed pavlova, an Australian dish, was quite literally thrown together in front of awestruck diners, who were then treated to a running commentary on the ingredients, such as lemon myrtle cream and Davidson plum. Strewth, it was good, mate.
Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa, The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, daily 6.30pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 5678304. Taxi: The Palm, East Crescent. dubai-palm.anantara.com
In the lush surroundings of Al Barari, far from Dubai’s glitz, it seems fitting that the goodness of the gluten-free brownie stood out from the organic food at The Farm. Crumbly, and oozing with salted caramel sauce – with a hint of coffee – polishing off the stack of three was inevitable.
Al Barari, Dubai, Sun to Thur 7.30am to 3.45pm, 6pm to 11pm, Fri and Sat 8.30am to 3.45pm, 6pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 3925660. Taxi: Opposite Falcon City. thefarmdubai.com
Peanut butter pudding
Like a stripped-down peanut butter Kit Kat, this slab of sweetness at the Chinese restaurant in Atlantis, was partnered with a chocolate-wrapped raspberry jus and topped with iced berries. Where the Chinese influence was, we weren’t sure. We’d finished it off before we had chance to ask.
Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, Sat to Wed 7pm to 11.30pm, Thur and Fri 7pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 4262626. Taxi: The Avenues, Atlantis The Palm. atlantisthepalm.com