Most of us have a sweet tooth; a little voice which tells us that one small sugary goody will make us feel good. After a meal or as a snack, a little sugar certainly does go a long way. What’s more is that desserts can be lovely statements of the food culture of a given country or region. Here in Dubai we are blessed with all sorts of goodies from around the world, but given that we are in the Middle East, some of the best sweets as well as the most sugary ones, are those which are Arabic. Here you have it, the Haute 5 desserts in Dubai.
This rich sweet pastry made with layers of phyllo dough and filled with chopped nuts and honey is one of the most popular Middle Eastern sweets. Originally a Turkish dessert, Baklava can now be found in most major Arabic restaurants but the one at Al Reef Lebanese Bakery is one of the best in town.
Al Reef Bakery, Karama 04 396 1980, Al Wasel Road 04 394 5200
Traditionally eaten during Ramadan in Middle Eastern countries and very popular in Saudi Arabia, Kunafa has a delicious cream cheese filling in the center of a moist pastry with a drizzle of rose water syrup. Kunafa is, simply put, one of the best authentic desserts you can find in the desert.
Wafi Gourmet, Wafi Mall 04 324 4433
Another Arabic specialty is Umm Ali which comes filled with sultanas, pistachios, and almond crumbles and coconut. You might want to think of it as an Egyptian version of Bread Pudding but it’s lighter and creamer as well as crunchier with the addition of nuts. Go to the Khan Murjan Restaurant in Wafi’s Underground Souk to try this yummy sweet.
Khan Murjan Restaurant, Wafi Mall 04 324 4555
Most Dubians know that Dubai seems to be ever increasing on the number of gelaterias. Due to city’s hot climate, a nice cool ice cream is one of the best desserts to be had in town. For a real treat, go to Morelli’s Gelato for an Affogato which means “drowned” in Italian and literally captures the essence of the dessert: Scoops of vanilla ice cream topped with a shot of espresso.
Morelli’s Gelato, Dubai Mall 04 339 9053
Depending on the menu for the day you may not get a millefeuille at the Edge. But if you do, you will be very pleased you did. But if the chef is serving then go ahead and ask him for the millefeuille and he might just serve you this delightful French pastry made of layers of cream, chocolate and jelly.
The Edge, DIFC 04 363 7770