I love food. Growing up in Asia I was lucky to be surrounded by a melting pot of culinary delights from ramen to maki, laksa to samosas. But I am in no way a food snob. In fact, I don’t particularly like ‘fancy food’ and I truthfully despise any restaurant where the waiters introduce themselves with the words, ‘here at xx we are all about the sharing concept’, and I get terribly stressed at the sight of white table cloths.
That’s why Time Out Market Dubai is hands down one of my favourite places to eat. With over 300 dishes from 18 award-winning, homegrown concepts, there is something for every age and palate. It reminds me of a posher Singapore Hawker Market or a trendy London food hall. The best part of Time Out Market Dubai is there is no pretention, and the cleverly curated selection of food vendors is the perfect mix of global cuisines created by the region’s top chefs, all under one roof; where else can you travel from the Balkans to Japan with a pitstop in Latin America and Portugal, all with a glass of grape in your hand!
On my latest visit I noticed that it was busier than usual with the bench style seating close to full in the non-smoking section, a sign that its popularity is still growing (as it should). The music was the perfect noise level (I can’t stand loud music when I’m eating) and the crowd was a good mix of families and friends meeting after work. In the winter it’s also the perfect spot for watching the fountain show, but the terrace is now enclosed so the view is a little obstructed and it’s hard to hear the music, losing a bit of the fountain magic.
There have also been a couple of new additions to the Market since my last visit with one of my all-time favourite restaurants, 21 Grams, now setting up shop in the main area. Their classic Spinach Filo pie is quite frankly the most deliciously homely dishes I have ever tried, but be warned, if you eat a whole pie to yourself, you won’t have room for anything else!
I made the rookie error of letting my excitement for 21 grams get the better of me and devoured two slices before realising there was a lot more I needed to try! Visiting Reif, Dubai’s top Japanese eatery for some crispy salmon Maki, which was maybe the best Maki I have had in Dubai, I noticed they had a lovely kids menu of simple noodles dishes with fresh veg, perfect for little tummies. Next up was Masti for some Indian street food inspired dishes which although tasty, couldn’t quite hold up to the previous two dishes.
While taking a breather I sat and watched the Time Out Market animated cities project light up the screens in front of me and smiled at the Project Chaiwala cart that was roaming the aisles. Seeing people sharing food, chatting, and laughing in such a buzzing atmosphere made me truly happy and it reminded me of the power food has to make us all come together and relax.
Next up, at the husband’s request, we made our way to Matter to try the Brisket Sandwich. I have of course heard so much about Matter Farm, but this was my first taste, and my oh my is the meat good! The brioche bun encasing the perfectly smoky barbequed beef was light and fluffy and side dish of coleslaw so the perfect accompaniment.
Full to brim and convincing myself and my husband that I was unable to eat another morsel, I spied Lana Lusa, a Portuguese offering with Portuguese tarts, staring at me! Have you ever tried a Portuguese tart? Sweet but savoury, light but rich, Lana Lusa’s tarts were extraordinary and the perfect end to a wonderful evening.
If you’re looking to celebrate Eid Al Adha with family and friends I highly recommend heading over to Time Out Market this weekend. They have entertainment planned throughout the long weekend, and there are food and drink options for everyone! I spotted quite a few child friendly menu additions across the outlets, and the long atrium bar never disappoints, but most of all it is one of the most deliciously global food experiences Dubai has to offer!
Time Out Market Dubai is open from 12pm to 12am Monday to Thursday, 12pm to 1am on Friday, 10am to 1am on Saturday and 10am to 12am on Sunday.