We visit Parker's, the secret Dubai food spot you need a key to get into
We talk you through how to get a key to this social media phenomenon, and what to eat once you’re there…
If you’re on Instagram or Snapchat you’re sure to have seen people around Dubai harping on about ‘getting the key’.
What for, you ask? They’re talking about unlocking access to a food pop up called Parker’s, which is from the clever founders of the success that is Salt on Kite Beach, and which you need a key to get into. The pop-up restaurant is on Al Safa Street opposite CityWalk in Al Khazzan Park.
Some of you may find the whole treasure hunt process irritating, others will see it as a fun challenge. If you fall into the latter camp, here’s how you get a much-coveted key.
HOW TO GET A KEY FOR PARKER’S
– Follow Parker’s on Snapchat or on Instagram, where they post clues as to where the new batch of keys are hiding every day, and then go out and hunt for the golden admittance.
– Keys have been found everywhere from DIFC to AUD, and from Kite Beach to Bastakiya.
– Also, if you have a friend who has a key, you can go with them, as one key can cater to as big a group as you like.
– Once you’re in you’re in, as the key can be used for infinite visits.
– When we were there, there were people searching around the Safa Street oasis the restaurant is nestled in, because the staff had kindly hidden keys in the park itself for those who were truly desperate to get in.
The team at Parker’s are still being secretive about the exact details, but we’ve been told the food pop up will be open “until the end of winter”, and that their aim is to set up a permanent spot somewhere soon. We’ll definitely keep you posted.
THE SIX THINGS TO ORDER AT PARKER’S
We ate everything on the menu. Literally. Here are our top picks.
1. Fried mac and cheese, Dhs18
It’s no wonder these fried golden nuggets are one of the most popular dishes on the menu. The crisp coatings mask a gooey cheesy centre that works perfectly with the rich tomato dipping sauce. The pasta is perfectly-cooked, and the cheese sauce is just tangy enough. Eat them first, while they’re hot.
2. Wagyu beef slider with coffee, cheddar, beetroot and chocoxcoffee sauce, Dhs25
You won’t taste chocolate or feel like you’re eating a cappuccino, but this cocoa and coffee crusted burger combines some unlikely ingredients. The unlikely suspects create a delicious crust on the hamburger patty when caramelised by the hot grill. Adding the white cheddar and beetroot really brings out the flavours of the sweet rub, and the buttery brioche-like buns practically melt in your mouth. The patty’s quite thin, but we didn’t actually mind that in the context of a slider.
3. Crispy fried chicken slider with potato strips, red cabbage & spicy mango sauce, Dhs18
Forget the Royale, this is the king of the chicken burgers. Good quality chicken (we think it was thigh, which is always superior to breast) is deep fried in a crispy batter and covered with purple cabbage and a spicy mango sauce. The tangy sauce creates a tasty sweet and sour kick, and the additional crunchy potato chips elevate this puppy to sensational status. Let’s be honest, deep fried potato is welcome in all contexts.
4. Charcoal smoked shawarma chicken slider with white cheddar, fried onions & bbq sauce
Who knew BBQ sauce and shawarma chicken could be such good friends? The What’s On team were split down the middle on this one, with some loving how the almost gouda-like white cheddar and tangy BBQ sauce revolutionised the ‘shawarma’ experience. For others, this burger just made them miss the tangy, almost-spicy garlic paste that elevates late-night shawarmas.
5. Quinoa beetroot salad with rocca leaves and mustard/balsamic dressing
When we looked at the menu in all its deep fried and burgery glory, we didn’t expect that a quinoa salad would be one of our top dishes. But, thanks to a vinegary and tangy dressing and the fact some crisped beetroot and sweet potato added a touch of the unhealthy, this was the most universally loved dish. It’s not often salads linger in our memory, but this one has.
6. Street fries with a chilli lime sauce
Skin-on, good quality fries with a spicy and tangy mayo and a touch of herb, do we really need to explain why we loved this dish?
Al Safa Street, 3pm to 10pm daily.