Regular visitors and Taste of Dubai ambassadors Jenny Morris and Sanjeev Kapoor know the city’s food better than some residents, Gulf News tabloid! found out ahead of the annual foodathon this weekend.
As someone who visits Dubai a lot, are you often asked about it?
Jenny: Yes, people are always asking about the lifestyle, the food and what experiences they should be involved in. Each time I visit I have something new to add to the list.
Sanjeev: Yes. All the time! I can very easily say that Dubai has been my second home for a very simple reason that Khazana, my first restaurant, came up here back in 1998. Since then, I have had this special bonding with Dubai, which also made me open more of my restaurants here.
I love to visit Special Ostadi in Bur Dubai where the local people eat out and socialise.”
- JENNY MORRIS | Chef
How do you describe Dubai’s food scene to people abroad?
Jenny: I always describe it with passion, you can get any cuisine you like be it Japanese, Lebanese, Argentinian, Thai, Korean, name it and you will find it in Dubai along with ingredients from all over the world. Not many places in the world can boast of diversity in their food landscape, this is heaven for a chef.
Sanjeev: Dubai is a melting pot of cultures from across the world and that reflects in its cuisine. The people here are absolute foodies and more than willing to experiment, which is very encouraging and exciting for a food connoisseur and foodie like me! It is way ahead in these terms than a lot of other places globally. So, if you want to have a great food experience — go to Dubai!
What have you learned about food from your regular visits to Dubai?
Sanjeev: The familiarity with the place and the people has convinced me that I can’t go wrong in Dubai. Khazana’s success and acceptability prompted me to open other outlets here under Sanjeev Kapoor Restaurants. These were also well-accepted and appreciated. I have tried to upgrade the offerings. The people of Dubai have always lapped up my efforts and I shall be ever grateful to them for this.
Jenny: I have learned that you are never too old to learn, I love that the nationals are always willing to share their recipes and cooking tips and secrets with you. And I have never stopped making labneh since I learnt how to make it in Dubai.
Dubai has restaurants serving virtually every kind of cuisine and there are so many I’d like to visit...”
- SANJEEV KAPOOR | Chef
Which restaurant do you always want to go to when you’re here?
Jenny: I love to visit Special Ostadi in Bur Dubai where the local people eat out and socialise. The food is delicious and consistently good, the atmosphere is vibrant and lively, and the owners are very hospitable and entertaining.
Sanjeev: Dubai has restaurants serving virtually every kind of cuisine and there are so many I’d like to visit, including some specialising in Arabic delights. Each restaurant is not simply somewhere to eat, but a destination for stunning decor, amazing views and unforgettable culinary experiences.
What one dish would you say is representative of Dubai? Why?
Jenny: I’ve eaten lots of Indian food in Dubai, I’ve tried camel meat and camel milk, but biryani and shawarma say local to me, not forgetting the delicious umm ali!
Sanjeev: In Dubai, it is more about the experience of eating food — and there are many good ones. It will be unfair to just name one dish.
Don’t miss it
Jenny Morris, her partner-in-crime Reza Mohammad, and Sanjeev Kapoor return to Taste of Dubai this weekend. From March 8 to 10, they’ll be demonstrating recipes, judging contests and snapping selfies with fans. Tickets from Dh80, hit up tasteofdubaifestival.com.