Not all heroes wear capes, some wear aprons…

Prior to living in Dubai, the idea of a supper club didn’t really appeal to me. It was an image problem. The very idea of it just conjured stale vignettes of long, starched-linen dining tables populated by guffawing Old Etonians chugging port and holding court on cravat portfolios and the golden age of the transistor radio. But tuning into the Dubai scene has completely dismantled all of those assumptions.

These supper clubs represent a community of chefs who are putting their money where your mouth is. Without a restaurant group or hedge fund behind them to bankroll a new competitive eatery, these industrious souls tarmac their own road to market, often as a side hustle to another full-time job. The artful start-ups are an outlet of creativity, incubators of passion, which can and do eventually lead to permanent bricks and mortar stores. As was the case for the brilliant Fusion Ceviche, Hawkerboi, and Kinoya, to name just a few.

That’s the Dubai dream in a flamboyantly presented, tuille-rendered-nutshell though, right? The road to success is accessible – built on hard work, talent and, sure, a bit of luck.

The benefit to you as supper club supporter is the possibility of discovering a future phenomenon at grassroots level. The chance of sampling genuine gastronomic genius, at reasonable prices, before the rest of the world finds out about it. And so we went undercover and on record to bring you the very best of Dubai’s super secret supper clubs.

Haus of Vo

 

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Hosted by the deliciously mysterious and extravagantly gifted Madam Vo, this DIFCbased supper club rotates its nights around certain themes. There are evenings where Vietnamese influences lead the menu; others where the bubbling pots of Hong Kong’s Lan Kwai Fong district take the wheel; and then there are those warm Bavarian nights, which orbit around the underappreciated Munchen majesty of German cuisine. Haus of Vo also periodically operates singles nights, and offers diners the opportunity to diversify their own skill portfolio with hands-on masterclasses in such chef tinkering as dumpling making.

What’s On verdict: Haus of Vo has mastered both ends of the supper club golden ratio with inventive, inspiring menus and expertly curated social communion.

@hausofvo

K’iin

K’iin is an underground dining experience spiritually linked to the flavour heartlands of Mexico, led by star chef Jonathan Colin. It’s an intimate, candlelit supper where fine dining fuego is reframed with a more sociable edge. The seven-course tasting menu pays homage to Jon’s Mexican heritage as well as his experiences across top French and Japanese restaurants, and true to the supper club code – there’s a story behind every dish. On the menu, guests can expect authentic Mexican dishes seen through a modern lens including scallop aguachile, beef tartare and buñuelo de viento, and grilled octopus ‘al pastor’.

What’s On verdict: K’iin Supper Club really is a passion project. Aside from a happy and full belly, you’ll leave with meaningful new connections and a dining experience you won’t forget.

@kiin_supperclub

Girl and the Goose

Bringing a taste of Latin America to Dubai, Girl and the Goose is a guestlist-only dining concept from self-taught culinary colonel Gabriela Chamorro. Serving elevated Nicaraguan gastronomy with a healthy twist, chef Gabriela’s passion lies in showing guests that “healthy food doesn’t have to be boring”. This unique supper club experience combines elevated family recipes with chef Gabriela’s inspirations and tales from her travels around the world.

What’s On verdict: A feast for the eyes, a feast for the palate, and a feast for the soul. You’ll not only walk away with a happy and full belly, but a newfound knowledge for different cultures, friendships, and love for Nicaraguan cuisine. 

@girl.and.the.goose

Gerbou

This is a bit of a special one, a supper club that is – as we write this – making the leap from guarded guestlists and secret rendezvous to a dedicated IRL, walls ‘n’ all, restaurant. Given life through the phenomenal kitchen craft of chef Ionel Catau, the new forever home of Gerbou comes to us in collaboration with art collective, Tashkeel and the titan-tier New York culinary group import, Atelier House Hospitality. Gerbou is taken from the Arabic for ‘welcome to our humble abode’ and, as the name suggests, majors in delivering experiences that pay homage to Middle Eastern cuisines past, present and future. It’s also likely to be another strong contributor to showing off the finer points of Emirati food culture to the rest of the world. And it’s due to open very soon.

@gerbou

Savour to Taste

 

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Chef Scott Henry, hosts his theatre of foodie themes in a converted residential space in JVT. “I hope you’re hungry” he said when we visited “I’ve been in the kitchen for days”. It’s no exaggeration either, the preparation required for that evening is staggering. Chef Scott’s career as a private chef to the rich, famous and upwardly yacht-mobile has taken him across the globe, acquiring secret culinary skills and experimenting in the molecular gastronomy realm. There were 600 individual ingredients in that evening’s five-course menu, I’d struggle to even think of half that number of edible items. And there’s next to zero waste, everything, as much as possible at least, gets put to good use.

Verdict: A secret dining experience that feels destined for the stars. There are few places you can go in Dubai, that offer such proximity to originality, passion and culinary wonder.

@savourtotaste

Moreish by K

 

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Head chef and creator of Moreish by K, Kunwal Safdar has become a well-known name in the Dubai food scene. From humble beginnings as a pandemic passion project, her zero-waste supper club has become one of the city’s most talked-about. The cuisine embodies her rich cultural background, fusing together flavours from the Emirates, Punjab and Persia. One of her signature items is her samosas, filled with beef, goat cheese, and acacia honey. These girl boss creations are something you cannot miss out on.

What’s On Verdict: Inventive yet nostalgic, sophisticated yet wholesome, Moreish by K will never cease to amaze with her delicate harmony of flavours. 

@moreish.by.k

The CBF Express

This private soiree is hosted by the charismatic and talented chef Roseanne Orim, and provides a platform for what is undoubtedly one of the most underrepresented culinary superpowers in Dubai – that of West Africa. The CBF Express (full name ChopBelleFull Express) takes place at a secret location in Business Bay, with (as is the way with these supper clubs), precise coordinates only given upon a confirmed booking. Chef Roseanne began the supper club back in December 2022 with a mission to celebrate and share the diverse mix of cuisine from across the West African region. With a new menu every quarter, selected guests can look forward to such palate pleasers as seared mahi-mahi with yassa au poulet sauce, braised pepper soup beef short rib, and plantain olive oil bread.

@thecbfexpress

Kuv’s Secret Supper Club

One of the city’s oldest supper clubs is helmed by architect-turned-chef, Kuv. Born in Bahrain, raised in London, and now in Dubai, Kuv is one of the supper club culture’s founding fathers in the UAE and his core foodie focus is doing wonderful things with the flavours of North Africa and the Middle East. He frequently switches up his menus, which remain a closely guarded secret until the night (it’s worth noting that dietary requirements can be catered to though), to the extent that his Splidu page (where you make reservations) is currently taking bookings for iteration 201 (Dhs375).

@kuvsecretsuppers

Khalid Eats

After following his passion for cooking, Khalid Eats hosts an intimate Palestinian supper club that takes place at Mishkah, Al Quoz. Serving authentic Middle Eastern food in a contemporary setting, Khalid Eats supper club is easily one of the most exciting gastronomic projects on the circuit today. A fact demonstrated, not least, by his collaborations with chefs and Dubai dining institutions.

@khalideats

Eye Heart Rabbit

Eye Heart Rabbit is a neighbourhood pop-up and modern Middle Eastern supper club by chef Jesse Blake. With a personal, cosy setting, Eye Heart Rabbit serves impeccable restaurant-quality food, from smoked hummus to fattoush, maintaining an exceptionally high standard dish after dish.

@eyeheartrabbit

The Italian Supper

It’s tough to beat an evening out at a supper club, but having a team of pizza magicians to come and cook at your place might just be one way of topping it. Another example of a Dubai success story, chef Fabio and Flavio left their day jobs to pursue their passion and start their own supper club, The Italian Supper. Guests can expect homemade pasta, creamy risotto, authentic pizzas, and their unmissable pistachio tiramisu. That’s amore.

@theitaliansupper

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