The festive season in Dubai invariably presents a challenge for the more discerning diner. The choice between the traditional and the atypical, the refined and the relaxed, can often lead to an experience that sits squarely between all of them – and a 12-month wait to reignite the joys of the season.
Get it right, though, and you’re in the process of establishing a whole new tradition. That’s why the seasonal debut of Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, ought to catch the eye. The gleaming new venue located on a pristine strip of Jumeirah Beach has already made a significant mark on the luxury landscape since its February reveal, and its offerings throughout December and into January should have it firmly in your top tier mix.
Take Netsu by Ross Shonhan, for example. This Japanese steakhouse showcases the culinary art of Warayaki, a technique of cooking over rice straw fire that, according to Chef Ross, imbues an earthy, woody flavour to the food. But save room for the classic sushi and sashimi platters. Our advice? Make this your regular go-to and work through the menu.
The celebrations will be major when it comes to New Year’s Eve, when the venue will mark Omisoka, the Japanese name for the last day of the year. Expect great music and a very special, NYE-only, five-course menu for what will likely be one of the more distinctive feasts in living memory.
Tradition will play a strong role at Tasca, the resort’s Portuguese restaurant from Michelin winner José Avillez. On both December 24 and 25, the venue will be enjoy a Christmas market feel and a sharing-style menu of codfish, roast turkey and other seasonal favourites. There’s even music from Chef José’s home country, for added authenticity. For New Year, the venue’s stunning views over the Dubai skyline will be complimented by a celebratory menu.
Best thing about it? You don’t have to wait too long to sample all this. The festive programme begins on December 5, with seasonal high teas at the Noor Lounge and the unveiling of the incredible canopy of frost-white lights in the foyer all helping to serve up the most stylish celebrations in the city. Go experience it all for yourself, but to our mind, Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai, might just be the home of your newest, tastiest festive tradition.