7 of Abu Dhabi’s strangest and most delicious fusion foods
Fancy a pancake made of carrots? Or how about some milk poured into a glass-shaped cookie? Behold the capital’s kookiest hybrid dishes
For every cronut that takes the foodie scene by storm, there are a hundred tandushi disasters (remember that? It was a tandoori chicken/sushi dish served at Zari Zardozi in Al Raha) waiting to be inflicted on innocent palates. But combining foods together in unique and unexpected ways is something that won’t be going away anytime soon and there are plenty of hybrid trends you can try right here in Abu Dhabi…
1. Cake pops
Is it a cake? Or a lollipop? Do we even care? These bite-sized cake balls come in a million flavours and are available at Grandma’s Cheesecake Coffee Shop – and they’re the perfect portion for a dense, indulgent treat. Originally credited to American baker/blogger Angie Dudley (aka Bakerella) way back in 2008, these little snacks have gone so mainstream you can even buy special cake pop baking trays in Lakeland in Al Wahda Mall.
Al Marasy, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi, Sun to Thur 7am to 11.30pm, Fri and Sat 7am to midnight, Dhs10 each. Tel: (050) 6811127. Taxi: Al Marasy Apartments, Building 1, Al Bateen Marina. cheesecake.ae
2. Carrot cake pancakes
If you add vegetables to pancake batter, you’ve basically made it healthy, right? Seems Magnolia Bakery thinks so too. They serve three pancakes studded with carrots, pineapple and raisins that come topped with a dollop of cream cheese spread and warm maple syrup on the side.
The Galleria, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Wed 7am to 10.30pm, Thur 7am to 12.30pm, Fri 10am to 12.30pm, Dhs34. Tel: (02) 6749380. Taxi: The Galleria. thegalleria.ae
3. Jalebi churros
The Indian jalebi (think bright orange funnel cake-like rounds that are deep fried and then doused in a sticky sugar syrup) and Spanish churros have been named as some of the most fattening foods in the world, so it goes without question that the next logical step was to combine the two. Served with a generous lashing of cream and chocolate, this is calorie-overload available at the city’s newest Indian eatery, Punjab Grill at the Venetian Village.
Venetian Village, Khor Al Maqta’a, Abu Dhabi, daily 12.30pm to midnight, Dhs35. Tel: (02) 4499839. Taxi: Venetian Village, next to Ritz-Carlton. venetianvillage.ae
4. Pizza pocket
It should come as no surprise that Pizza Hut (the makers of the pizza burger that clocked in at 2,800 calories) have come up with another unholy mash-up of pizza and meat. Small individual-sized rounds of pizza dough get stuffed shawarma-style with mozzarella, grilled chicken, lettuce and a drizzle of cheese sauce on top.
Al Zahiyah, Abu Dhabi, daily 11am to 3am, Dhs15. Tel: (600) 569999. Taxi: Next to Electra Street. pizzahut.ae
5. Bkibbeh Shawarma
Photo: Suleman Chikhali
The menu at Bshawarma claims this fusion has never been done before, and the grab ’n’ go outlet (it also sells Canadian poutine shawarma) serves up an open-faced kibbeh cup that comes stuffed with your choice of chicken or meat shawarma stuffing.
Marina Square, Reem Island, Abu Dhabi, daily noon until midnight, Dhs15. Tel: (02) 6667227. Taxi: Marina Square, next to Geant. facebook.com/bshawarma
6. Cronut (kind of)
Perhaps the most famous food hybrid of all is the Cronut, created by French chef Dominique Ansel, a pastry that is a cross between a croissant and a doughnut and has been copied around the world (including here in Abu Dhabi). You can try a version of the drool-worthy dessert at Blossom Sweets by special order. You’ll need to book at least 24 hours in advance and order a minimum of six pieces.
Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi, Sat to Thur 10am to 9.30pm, Fri 2pm to 10pm, Dhs108 for a minimum order of six. Tel: (02) 4412999. Taxi: Near Al Mamoura Building. blossomsweets.com
7. Cookie shots
Dominique Ansel struck gold yet again in 2014 with his chocolate chip cookie shot glasses filled with milk – and once again, it set off a spew of copycat recipes and homemade pinterest fails. But logistical problems snagged the hybrid from the start. You’ve got to drink the milk first – and quickly – otherwise you’ve got a crumbly and soggy mess on your hands. You can try a version of it at the Chocopita kiosk, at the WTC Mall.
Chocopita, World Trade Center Mall, Airport Road, Abu Dhabi, daily 10am to 10pm, Dhs17. Taxi: World Trade Center Mall. instagram.com/chocopitauae