Dining in Dubai with: Manu Feildel

From scallops to spice, Manu Feildel channels his inner Arabian "knight" while dining and cooking in Dubai.

What attracted you to be a guest Australian chef at the Dubai Food Festival? 

I have always stopped over in Dubai but never left the airport. I love Middle Eastern flavours, so when the Dubai Food Festival asked me to participate, it was a perfect opportunity.


What dish, delicacy or foodie experience did you most look forward to in Dubai – and how was it? 

Visiting the desert for an authentic experience and going to Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa was an amazing adventure. We were welcomed with a local dinner in the middle of the dunes.


What influence has Emirati spices and cuisine had on your own style of cooking? 

I’ve always loved and used Middle Eastern spices and this trip was a great reminder to use them in more and different ways in my own recipes and daily cooking.


What produce did you choose to highlight in your masterclass recipes and why? 

I did a session with scallops, in particular a favourite recipe of mine, and also my students’ favourite once they have cooked it – Scallop Boudin, it never seems to fail to please.


What was the best meal you ate in Dubai and where was it served? 

We ate with a group at a traditional Arabic restaurant near the Dubai Mall, called Em Sherif at Address Downtown.It was a 32-dish set-menu and just an amazing spread. Also, Catch at The Fairmont Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road was another enjoyable meal with a great atmosphere.


Name your favourite place to enjoy a refreshing beverage in Dubai. 

Sitting by the pool at The Palace Downtown, in one of their cabanas at night, with the water show in the background and good company.


What is a must-do foodie experience for visitors to the city? 

Shawarma (Arabian meats grilled on a spit) – they are delicious, a quick and easy feed.


What will be on your must-do-list for your next visit to Dubai? 

Less work, more eating!


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Weather to go

The emirate has a sub-tropical desert climate, which means blue skies and beach weather in winter (Dec-Jan) and hot and humid summers (Jun-Aug). The best time to visit is from October to April when temperatures are in the mid-20°Cs to low-30°Cs. July and August are the hottest months as the mercury rarely dips below 40°C, still the city accommodates this with indoor attractions and air-conditioned facilities everywhere.


Best places to stay

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