Chef calls for Dubai to embrace Asian cuisine
Dubai’s restaurant scene is crying out for more decent Asian cuisine, according to one F&B industry professional.
David Bedinghaus, executive chef across the four upcoming Seven Tides-owned Mövenpick properties in Dubai — Mövenpick Hotel Deira; Oceana Hotel and Spa; The Royal Amwaj Resort and Spa; and Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel and Spa — commented: “Asian food in general is in demand.
“In Dubai I only see a smattering of Asian cuisine offerings, but I still think there’s a lot of opportunity to provide a different experience and a better quality.
“Sensitivity to the palette of the local consumer is of course important,” he noted. “For example, people will often assume Thai food is terribly spicy.
“But there are ways around that; you can offer, you can educate, you can talk to your customers about what they’d like and you can custom-build accordingly.”
Bedinghaus added that Asian food was soaring in popularity all over the globe.
“Sushi and sashimi is probably one of the hottest items around the world right now,” he said, adding that the historical Ibn Battuta-themed all-day dining restaurant at the Ibn Battuta Gate property — set to open in Q2 of 2010 — would feature such items.
“It is an all-day dining restaurant, so there’s a broad scope, and a variety of foods to be offered,” he explained.
“This [property] is a replication of history, so we need to bring the historical factor into this presentation.
“For example, putting shiny chaffing dishes into a historical food venue, I don’t see. It should instead be something that replicates the historical value of the statement of Ibn Battuta’s travels.
In fact, there weren’t any chaffing dishes when Ibn Battuta was travelling; it was all raw, rustic — bronze, copper, ceramics, glass, iron, stone, granite, marble,” he continued.
“These are all materials that are very indicative of trying to recreate that experience — and that’s the common thread I’m talking about.
“We want to fulfil the expectations of the architectural design, the interior design, the owner’s dreams.
“But at the same time, we still want to provide what the market is demanding, in terms of food items themselves.
“And after all, part of Ibn Battuta’s food was Asian,” pointed out Bedinghaus.
“Not necessarily Japanese, but that’s the food that is in demand, so we want to give people what they want, but then it also has to happen within the historical realm.
“So you’re trying to satisfy several areas all at one time, in order to create the experience that we want to provide.”