As most of you will know, last week was the inaugural Jumeirah Restaurant Week, Dubai’s version of New York’s Restaurant Week. For those of you that don’t know, Jumeirah are currently offering three course meals, for either 120 or 180 AED, at all of their owned restaurants, excluding those in the Burj Al Arab. Obviously.
The concept was has been running for 20 years in New York, offering the public the opportunity to dine at some of the city’s finest restaurants at a snippet of the usual price. Here are some of the eateries offering lunch for $24 and dinner for $35. Restaurant Week in New York was such a hit, that many other cities such as London, Bangalore and Hong Kong, all adapted the idea. It was, of course, only a matter of time before it came to Dubai. And who better to bring it here than Jumeirah?
As a girl who enjoys a hearty meal, and can’t bear to pick at a salad whilst watching my dining partner tuck into a juicy slab of meat, I was excited to hear about Jumeirah’s Restaurant Week. It was only a few days before that I was moaning to friends that I’d not been out for dinner in almost a year, and now I was presented with an entire week’s worth of fabulous dining options.
During the first week, I took a friend to Jambase at the Madinat. At first, I was a little worried that the service might be terrible, the portions might be tiny or there would be hidden charges. Well, there was nothing to be concerned about. We were treated as full paying diners, the menu was excellent and the staff couldn’t have been friendlier. In fact, it was so good, we returned to take advantage of the same deal a few days later.
There are several reasons why Jumeirah should be commended for bringing Restaurant Week to the UAE. Firstly, they’ve managed to spin some excitement into an anticlimactic time of year. Secondly, this is an excellent marketing campaign for them, as not only does it encourage us to spend five nights a week at their outlets, but it also reminds us how diverse their restaurant portfolio is. Lastly, it’s a great opportunity to sample some of the fantastic culinary delights available in Dubai.
Ordinarily, I’m a backstreet curry kind of girl, occasionally stretching to Bob’s Fish and Chips on a Thursday night, but it’s been a real treat to dine out in fancy restaurants with friends. I’d encourage everyone to get involved with Jumeirah Restaurant Week and try cuisines that you perhaps wouldn’t at full price. So far, aside from two trips to Jambase, I have also visited The Ivy and the Rivington Bar & Grill, both of which I recommend. Tonight sees a trip to The Wharf and later in the week, I plan to head to La Parrilla, Vu’s and Carnevale.
Restaurant Week must have proven to be a success for Jumeirah, as the promotion has been extended for a further week. One detail we did notice about Restaurant Week is how quick the turnaround of diners can be. A three-course meal can often take almost two hours to finish, however with the speed staff bring out the food for Restaurant Week, you can be in and out in little over an hour, which, I suppose, is how Jumeirah will make its money.
All in all, it’s a great concept and I hope other hotel chains, such as Le Meridien and Rotana, will follow in Jumeirah’s footsteps.