Dubai’s 3Fils is named No.1 at MENA’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards

Recognised for its no-frills, quality-driven approach, 3Fils in Dubai has been crowned the best restaurant in the Middle East & North Africa region by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Homegrown, Dubai-born concept 3Fils has been named the best restaurant in the Middle East & North Africa region at the inaugural MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards. Recognised for its no-frills, quality-driven approach, 3Fils is a humble, small-in-size but big-in-heart restaurant tucked away in Jumeirah Fishing Harbour, overlooking waters of the Gulf. With a no-reservations policy, and a casual, laid-back spirit, 3Fils proudly breaks the mould of what is stereotypically perceived as a quality restaurant – shattering the notion that a restaurant must offer a fine dining element to achieve such an accolade. Serving approachable, premium Asian fare heavily influenced by Japanese cuisine that showcases selectively-sourced ingredients directly imported from Japan each week, the kitchen at 3Fils is led by newly-appointed Executive Chef Shun Shiroma and Sous Chef Freddy Mutombo Kazadi. Ahmed Saleh, CEO of The Lab Holding, which operates 3Fils accepted the award at the MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants ceremony held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on February 7 alongside members of 3Fils’ team with him on stage. Commenting on the achievement, Ahmed said: “It’s truly a privilege to be named MENA’s best restaurant, and we as a team at 3Fils are extremely humbled by this honourable title. We thank all those who have supported us on our journey so far and those who recognised our uniqueness. We endeavor to be at the forefront of continually raising the bar for culinary standards in this region and the world.” He added: “3Fils is not just a restaurant, it’s home to so many; it’s a place where the door is always open with a friendly face waiting with a delicious plate of food to enjoy. 3Fils is about the people, the simplicity of fresh, quality ingredients, and the responsibility of creating authentic, memorable experiences for those who visit us, while staying true to our roots and building relationships to last a lifetime.” 3Fils is located at Shop 02, Jumeirah Fishing Harbour, Al Urouba St, Dubai and is open daily for lunch and dinner. For further information, please call +9714333 4003 / +971562730030, e-mail [email protected], visit or follow @3.fils on social media.

Folly has launched a new masterclass program for budding chefs

Launching June 29, Folly by Nick & Scott at Madinat Jumeirah will launch a series of cooking classes for budding chefs and home cooks. For those looking to spruce up on their cooking skills or learn some new techniques in the kitchen, Folly by Nick & Scott at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, will debut its new series of culinary masterclasses this month. On June 29, Folly’s ‘pasta from scratch’ class will kick-start the program with a two-hour session that includes time with the chef learning the tricks of the trade, and a sit down meal to enjoy the finished product. Free-flow wine will be served throughout the class to boost creative flair and ensure a relaxed experience. Other classes in the schedule include ‘all things poultry’ on July 6, ‘for the love of steak’ on July 13, ‘fresh from the sea’ on July 20, and ‘signature beef wellington’ on July 27. Classes must be pre-booked, are limited to eight guests and are priced at AED 495 per person, per class or AED 2,200 for all five. For more information or to book a class, call +971 (0)4 430 8535 or e-mail [email protected]

Insight: Restauranteurs show increased interest in new openings, reports Restaurant Secrets Inc.

Restaurant Secrets Inc. - The Restaurant Co. Stories - Restaurants

Leading restaurant consultants, Restaurant Secrets Inc. reveal that business remains flush for F&B concept development in the UAE, despite the pandemic, as they deliver 15 projects since 2021 start Restauranteurs in the Middle East are showing no signs of slowing down, Dubai-based F&B firm Restaurant Secrets Inc. (RSI) has reported. Since the start of this year, RSI has worked with 15 individual restaurants on full turnkey solutions, menu development, auditing, and brand management, in addition to a further four brand new venues that are set to open this month and next. “Despite being in the midst of a pandemic, business in the restaurant development world has remained steadfast. People still want to open restaurants and we are observing this firsthand with our current clients and incoming daily enquires,” said Gabrielle F. Mather, CEO & Founder, Restaurant Secrets Inc. “We’re also witnessing a rise in restauranteurs using our services to fine tune their offering, whether that be through key menu enhancement, new layouts & interior design, talent requisition, franchise development or other, as business owners become ever more resilient to strengthen their business models. It’s refreshing to see a return to detail, and I think the pandemic is a driving force behind this,” she added. Of the projects successfully delivered so far this year, RSI has worked with venues including Greek pita street food eatery Pita Greek and artisanal pizzeria, Pizzart in Dubai on a full turnkey solution, as well as Montauk Boutique Café, Tapas, Medi Terra, Fresh & Light, Cut Pizza, Urban Wok and That Café in Abu Dhabi, Skeet, Utopia Bakery and Gulf Bakery in Ras al Khaimah, Street Carbs in Oman, and Else in Saudi Arabia on menu development, brand management and auditing. Current projects that are soon-to-open include a two-storey modern café and lounge in Abu Dhabi called M1, a contemporary shisha lounge serving grilled meats and small plates in Dubai called Sage, as well as Amazigh, a North African Restaurant with focus on Moroccan cuisine, and Vanilla Rose in Sharjah, a pastry-focused café that has a flower shop within the restaurant. “Since the pandemic began, many clients have come to RSI for headhunting, auditing and operational support, as well as SOPs and personal management services. Restauranteurs are paying closer attention to the details than they were before, which is a very encouraging. We’re also receiving many enquires for assistance with feasibility studies in-line with the increasing interest in new openings. It’s positive to see that things are not slowing down,” Gabrielle concluded. For more information about Restaurant Secrets Inc., call +971 56 216 1511, e-mail [email protected], visit or follow @restaurantsecretsinc on social media.

A new Afternoon Tea menu has launched at Beluga Restaurant & Lounge

Afternoon Tea at Beluga Restaurant & Lounge in Mandarin Oriental Jumeirah - The Restaurant Co. Stories - Restaurants

The luxe restaurant & lounge at Mandarin Oriental Jumeirah has introduced an Afternoon Tea menu that includes a two-course feast of delicacies  Beluga Restaurant & Lounge has launched a new afternoon tea experience. The globally inspired menu includes sweet and savoury treats, and Beluga signature caviar for those looking for an added indulgence.   The elegant lounge in the Mandarin Oriental Jumeirah, decorated in white and gold marble interiors, will be serving afternoon tea daily from 2-6pm, priced at AED 220.   With a choice of four savoury and four sweet snacks, including mouth-watering crab tart and freshly baked blueberry muffins, there is something for every taste.   “We have chosen some of our favourite dishes for this new menu offering and had fun creating it,” said Beluga’s Chef Saad.   “Afternoon tea is an institution in Dubai and we wanted to ensure we did not disappoint. We have included some of the most decadent dishes we offer and of course, everything tastes better with a scoop of Beluga’s famous caviar on top.”   Other treats on the menu include Salmon Blinis, Salmon Rillette and Vol Au Vent Mushrooms for the vegetarians. For sweets, Financiers, Chocolate Tart and Macarons will be sure to please.  

Recipe: wild mushroom & black winter truffle risotto by Enrico Paiola

Wild mushroom & black winter truffle risotto - The Restaurant Co. Stories - Recipes

Try this indulgent dish by The Hidden Hog’s executive chef Enrico Paiola at home. Serves 1 INGREDIENTS 70g arborio rice 80g while mushroom mix 35g butter 25g Grana Padano 10ml white wine 1 no carrot, chopped 1 no white onion, chopped 1 no celery stick, chopped 1 no garlic clove, chopped 10g shallot, chopped 5g black winter truffle 5ml truffle oil 10ml extra virgin olive oil 5g parsley Salt & black pepper, to taste METHOD Prepare vegetable stock with 1 litre of water, carrots, onion, celery, cut into big pieces. Clean mushrooms and cut into small pieces. Heat the pan with extra virgin olive oil, garlic and shallots and sauté for couple of minutes. Add mushrooms and cook 3 minutes. Remove it and keep It aside. In another pan put some extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle the rice. Leave It for 1 minute until It looks transparent. Add vegetable stock in small quantities to the rice over medium to high heat, till it is ready. After 13 to 14 minutes the rice will be ready. Remove from heat. Add Grana Padano cheese, butter, salt, pepper, parsley and truffle oil. Mix gently for 1 minute. Plate in your favourite dish and shave the black truffle on the top. Buon Appetito!

Recipe: chicken cafreal by chef Himanshu Saini

Chicken cafreal recipe by Chef Himanshu Saini - The Restaurant Co. Stories - Recipes

Chef Himanshu Saini is the creative mastermind behind Dubai’s leading modern Indian restaurant, Tresind and Tresind Studio. Here, he shares one of his latest creations INGREDIENTS 700g coriander 30 coriander seeds 7g black pepper whole 3g green cardamom whole 5g star anise 5g fennel seeds 10g cumin seeds whole 3g cloves 3g cinnamon stick 10g ginger 20g garlic cloves, peeled 1 onion whole, small 500ml white vinegar 10g white sugar refined 30ml refined oil 15g tomato ketchup 15g cream 250g ghee For the cafreal 160g chicken juliennes, raw 80g onion juliennes 80g green capsicum juliennes 20g fresh coriander leaves 10 shisho leaves 80g tempura flour 60-80ml (depending on thickness of batter required) water 20g corn flour 40g smoky aioli METHOD Soak all ingredients for the base in vinegar for over an hour. Once soaked, grind it to a fine paste. Retain the remaining vinegar Take the chicken juliennes and deep fry them till it is cooked from the outside, drain the oil and keep aside. Add spoonful of oil and sauté onion juliennes as well as the capsicum juliennes till soft. Drain the oil and keep aside. In a medium pan, add oil and allow to heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cafreal base and allow to cook. Once cooked, finish it off with the tomato ketchup, cream and fresh coriander leaves. Add the fried chicken juliennes, onion juliennes as well as the green capsicum juliennes and toss. Allow the chicken to cook throughout, approximately 2-3 minutes, check seasoning. For the shiso leaf, make a batter using the tempura flour and water. Whisk it well and pass through a fine strainer to get rid of all the lumps. Take 4 leaves and dust them with corn flour, shake off the excess corn flour. Dip the leaves into a batter and deep fry in ghee till crispy. From the remaining shiso leaf, take a ring cutter and cut roundels from the leaves and put into ice cold water to retain its freshness. For plating of the dish, take a plate and place a crisp tempura fried shiso leaf on it. Take a spoon and spoon out some of the cooked chicken mixture in to the leaf. Make a spiral of the smoky aioli on top of the mixture and place 3 shiso roundels on top of the smoky aioli. Garnish with edible flowers.

The Hidden Hog in DIFC launches new pork-led tasting menu

The Hidden Hog in DIFC launches new pork-led tasting menu - The Restaurant Co. Stories - Recipes

Offering diners a gourmet evening without the hefty price tag, The Hidden Hog’s new four-course tasting menu is priced at AED 117 and is now available daily from 7pm – 11.30pm. For an indulgent dining experience that goes easy on the purse strings, The Hidden Hog – DIFC’s only pork licensed restaurant – has launched a new tasting menu. Priced at AED 117 per person for four-courses the menu is now available every day from 7pm – 11.30pm at the modern European bistro & bar. Showcasing delicious Italian-inspired dishes prepared by The Hidden Hog’s chef Enrico Paiola, the set dinner menu begins with a classic charcuterie board featuring mixed pork cold cuts, vegetables and carasau bread, followed by a choice of pulled pork ravioli with buttery sage, or pappardelle campidanese with pork sausage, saffron & shaven pecorino. Slow-cooked braised pork cheek is served for the main event, accompanied by creamy mashed potatoes, sauerkraut and lashings of onion gravy. Traditional warm apple crumble with vanilla clotted cream brings the experience to a sweet end. Not just for the pork lovers, The Hidden Hog caters to all tastes and preferences with a vegetarian tasting menu also available for AED 117. On the meat-free menu, guests can expect to enjoy a decadent asparagus flan with aged parmesan fondue, roasted broccoli and almonds. Spinach & ricotta ravioli with cherry tomatoes & basil is served next, followed by pumpkin Milanese with mixed-leaf salad, and apple crumble for dessert. Tucked away in the heart of DIFC, The Hidden Hog is a concealed gem serving elevated traditional European cuisine. Presenting an inviting, laid-back atmosphere paired with unmistakable European hospitality and charm by its predominantly Italian native team, The Hidden Hog is a licensed venue serving great food and drinks – offering many Dubai expats a taste of traditional home comforts. The Hidden Hog is located on Floor 3 of Building 3 in DIFC’s Gate Village 3, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and is open daily from 10am – 3am. For more information or reservations, call +971 (0) 4364 0126, e-mail [email protected], visit, or follow @thehiddenhog on Instagram.

Meet the Sommelier: Luca Gagliardi

Meet the Sommelier: Luca Gagliardi - The Restaurant Co. Stories - Food & Beverage

Director of F&B at Capital Club Dubai, Luca Gagliardi has held the role of Sommelier throughout most of his career. Specialising in beverage and working with wines on a daily basis, Luca shares with us his observations on the industry. Nestled in Dubai’s booking financial district, Capital Club Dubai is a business members only club that focuses on bringing professionals together under one roof. Home to varied F&B concepts, the venue is multi-story and prides itself on offering only the finest dining experiences throughout the day, as well as hosting business and social events for its members. At Capital Club, guests will find a large selection of wines, mostly Aperitif-style wines that are very well suited for after work drinks. The outlet’s finest collection is undoubtedly French, with many of its varieties being from the Bordeaux and Champagne regions. In a one-to-one with Luca, we sat down to learn more about the professional and listen to his views of the current wine industry and its trends. Here’s what he shared with us. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at Capital Club…   I came to Dubai over 18 years ago with the Gordon Ramsay team at Verre by Gordon Ramsay as Assistant Manager & Head sommelier. All my life I’ve worked mostly in Michelin starred restaurants. I moved on to work for Santi Santamaria, a 3-star Michelin chef from Barcelona in 2009, who overlooked the team at the Atlantis for the Ossiano restaurant. During my last 10 years in Dubai, I’ve worked at and helped to create new concepts in the city including the lounge of Roberto’s, the speakeasy bar R Trader, Bistronomia Solo at Raffles, Roof Top Bar at Iris, and the sustainable concept at Pierchic. In December 2020, I joined the Capital Club team in DIFC to revitalise all F&B concepts across four floors of the club. Tell us about your guests: who are they, where they are predominantly from, and are they mostly lovers of wine? Our guests are mostly international business people, from young entrepreneurs to self-made gentleman. Their nationalities are mixed, mostly European but also large groups of Asians and Arabic. These are people who have spend their life surrounded by great food, so they tend to have a fine palate for food and beverage, so it is a pleasure to work for them as they are always in search of new discoveries when it comes to dining.  Most of them are wine lovers, who appreciate a glass together with cigars, fine cognac and whiskeys. What types of wine are most popular with your guests and why? Our guests prefer lots of fresh, crisp wines such as sauvignon blanc, rieslings and Champagne, as most of them visit us for aperitifs from 6pm till 8pm. Usually our members are businessman whose days begin early in the morning, so fresh wines post-work are the best options here. On average, how many bottles do you sell at Capital Club on a monthly basis? As business member club during the day we don’t sell many wines, but during the social events our consumption drastically goes up, mostly during activities like our wine society or spirits master classes. As a beverage professional, can you describe any current trends in wine consumption that you’re noticing at the restaurant? Surely the biggest trend with double digit increase is the natural wine movement, together with the organic wines and the biodynamic wines. Dubai unfortunately is miles away from this trend due to the price structure of our taxes, but there are bunch of Dubai-based sommeliers, like me, devoted to trying to change that and ready to list these types of wines. What do you predict as the next biggest trends in wine for this year and beyond? I think in Dubai – and much like the rest of the world, the beverage industry is down because of the pandemic. In light of this, demand for entry level to medium range wines and spirits has spiked and become more popular because they’re most cost-effective for customers. Prosecco, sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio wines are still selling very well, and I don’t think there will be something new coming in the market this year. For more information about EuroCave in the GCC, visit, and for more information about Capital Club, visit

Dining experience: Akira Back, W Dubai – The Palm

Dining experience: Akira Back, W Dubai – The Palm - The Restaurant Co. Stories - Restaurants

Led by celebrity chef Akira Back, this impressive restaurant serves up skillfully prepared Japanese cuisine on Palm Jumeirah, Dubai. Housed within the W Dubai hotel, this impressive restaurant is led by celebrity chef Akira Back, who is known for his playful Japanese fare infused with Korean essence. Chef Back trained under some of the world’s most celebrated Japanese chefs, including Nobu Matsuhisa and Masaharu Morimoto (both of whom have opened Dubai-based restaurants – Nobu at Atlantis The Palm, and the now closed Morimoto restaurant). Located on the hotel’s fifth floor, Akira Back makes an impression from the get-go with its striking, brightly lit vortex entrance, which leads into the bar & lounge area – a great spot for pre- or post-dinner drinks, much like the sweeping outdoor terrace that offers glittering city skyline views. The venue boasts a very dramatic feel with dark, metal interiors, upbeat music that’s played at just the right volume, abstract lighting and modern, plush seating – all of which is topped off by gorgeous views over the Palm through floor-to-ceiling windows. Images of clouds are also projected on to steel plates on the ceiling to create an illusion of sky-high dining. The open-plan dining room is neighboured by a counter-top robata grill area, see-in kitchen and sushi bar. On the menu The menu at Akira Back is plentiful and best tackled sharing-style. To begin, the famed Akira Back raw tuna pizza lives up to the hype and packs a tasty punch. The tender grilled octopus with chipotle miso and salsa verde is also a winning option with a bit of a spicy kick. There’s wide-ranging maki, sushi and sashimi on offer to order individually, but we’d recommend opting for one of the combo platters if you’re visiting as a group – or if you’re hungry! From the robata grill, we shared two pieces of beautifully prepared lamb chops, marinated in smoked jalapeno, plus charred baby corn with black garlic butter and a heavy sprinkling of smoked Parmesan, which were cooked with a nice crunch left to them and oozing buttery flavours. We shared two dishes for mains, which weren’t overly big in size, so you may need an extra dish or a side if you’re feeling peckish by this point. The wagyu rib cap don was bursting with flavour from the truffle jus, topped with foie gras and the rice was cooked just right –definitely a hearty dish offering strong, well-rounded flavours. For a lighter option, the Josper grilled salmon was moist and served with perfectly crisp skin, accompanied by garlic spinach and nori rice cracker for texture. For dessert, if you’re a chocolate lover the chocolate in a cup is a must – it’s an incredibly comforting option offering no-frills, but heaps of deliciousness created with melted Nutella chocolate, banana foam and vanilla bean ice cream. The details The team at Akira Back is attentive and well versed on the menu. During our visit, they were always on hand to ensure our table was catered to. Akira Back is an up-beat spot serving skillfully prepared, fresh and delicious food. Ideal for visiting for dinner and drinks with as small group of friends. For more information, call +971 4 245 5555 or e-mail [email protected].

Dining experience: Ninive Dubai, Jumeirah Emirates Towers

Dining experience: Ninive Dubai, Jumeirah Emirates Towers - The Restaurant Co. Stories - Restaurants

Make the most of outdoor dining at Ninive, a licensed, open-aired majlis under the stars in the heart of Dubai’s Downtown. Perched between Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Ninive is a picturesque urban, open-aired majlis – it’s a relaxed, low-lit venue that creates an intimate setting amidst the hustle and bustle of Dubai. Offering skyline views of Burj Khalifa, Ninive reminds me of being in a traditional Bedouin tent – only it’s luxurious and lush with hanging gardens of greenery. The venue is abundant with character and heritage that honours the Middle Eastern region. Seating here is low and cosy, with communal areas set out for sharing plates of Arabic-inspired eats with friends over shisha and refreshing beverages. The atmosphere is relaxing yet upbeat on a Friday evening as a live DJ plays trendy house-style music with an Arabic twist. On the menu Take a journey to the orient at Ninive, with a menu that pays homage to the Arab kitchen. Serving up Middle Eastern specialities from all over the region, plus Northern African countries like Turkey and Morocco, Ninive’s offering is very sharing-style friendly with a range of hot and cold starters, dips, soups and salads, grills, mains, skewers, couscous, sides and desserts to choose from. Everything we tried, we enjoyed, but there were of course highlights. To start, the tamarind chicken is a must-try. Served with yogurt dipping sauce and a sprinkling of pomegranate and parsley, the chicken is tender, moist and bursting with vibrant flavours. It makes for a great start to the meal paired with Ninive’s fresh fattoush salad with cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce, pomegranate, apples and radishes. Considering the simplicity of the dish, a dressing can really make or break a fattoush salad, but the chefs at Ninive have the acidity balanced out perfectly here. For mains, we opted to share a portion of lamb chops from the grill, which were cooked wonderfully and marinated in oregano and cumin, with a pot of zaatar pesto dipping sauce on the side. Next came the wagyu grade 9 tenderloin skewers, which were one of my favourite dishes of the evening – the beef was of high quality and cooked tenderly, while the marinade of honey, chili and lemon was superb, packing a lot of flavour without becoming over-powering. If meat isn’t your thing, there are plenty of fish and seafood options on the menu, as well as vegetarian. I have to be honest in saying that Arabic desserts don’t always do it for me, but Ninive’s pastry team excels. We shared an incredibly moorish serving of warm umm Ali with cooling vanilla ice cream in the middle, plus heated almond kunafeh, which came with orange and almond sorbet on the side, making for a refreshing palate cleanser among the creamy, rich flavours. The details The team at Ninive is hospitable and welcoming. We were unsure with what to order and our server took the lead and recommended a selection of fantastic dishes from the menu based on our likes and dislikes, which made the experience so much more relaxing. Ninive is an al fresco oasis in an urban jungle. With its charming Arabesque décor, warm and inviting atmosphere, and high-quality food and beverage offering, it makes for a great spot to take visiting family to experience locally-inspired flavours, or for romantic date night with your other half. Ninive has live music every Tuesday from 9pm onwards, plus live entertainment on Thursdays and Fridays from 9pm onwards. For more information, call +971 43 266 105, e-mail [email protected] or visit