Insider Diner

Food guru Samantha Wood of serves up the latest on the UAE's dining scene
BySamantha WoodMonday , 02 March 2015
Insider Diner
© benknight2010

Omnia by Silvena Descends on Downtown
Chef Silvena Rowe has opened her much-anticipated flagship restaurant in Downtown Dubai, Omnia by Silvena. A two-storey glass-walled kitchen; calligraphiti adorning one wall; and a suspended diamond prism for the chef’s table makes up the striking interior. Her cuisine is modern Middle Eastern, with a nod to Emirati flavours, and many dishes feature locally sourced produce. My favourites? A foie gras date creme brûlée with toasted brioche; a slow-cooked, pulled Emirati spiced lamb; and her velvety raspberry cheesecake. 

INFO: Daily 6pm-11pm, Clarens Tower 1, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, 050 550 1641,

Catch me at Asia de Cuba
The St Regis Abu Dhabi’s restaurant offering has taken on a new, delicious level with the opening of two independent restaurants at its beach club on the Corniche. Catch is a homegrown seafood concept developed by the folks behind Royal Catering and Café d’Alsace (not to be confused with its namesake, a restaurant import opening at Fairmont Dubai). Next door sits London Latino concept, Asia de Cuba. Both offer spectacular sea views, with the latter also opening in Dubai this year. 

INFO: Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi. 02 694 4444, 

Dubai’s First Chef for Hire Community
Meet ChefXChange, a website that showcases chefs who can cook for you at home taking care of the menu development, grocery shopping, and of course cooking and even washing up! These are not just private chefs for hire, but restaurant chefs are on their books too – covering many different cuisines,from special dinner party to an informal soiree, or even weekly meals. Dubai aside, ChefXChange’s reach extends to London, Geneva and Washington DC. 


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