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A Saturday evening, tantalising aroma of freshly cooked food, foot-tapping live music booming across the open ground; families, couples and groups of friends relishing the exotic variety of refreshments in the mild weather, entertained by bartenders displaying their bottle juggling skills and the act of fire dancers blazing against the dark sky. This winning scenery was what I witnessed as I entered Taste of Dubai, 2013.
Taste of Dubai is the biggest culinary festival in the Middle East, celebrated by bringing together reputed restaurants and hotels, culinary brands and distributors, and renowned chefs who display their culinary skills. This year, Taste of Dubai was bigger than ever, not only in terms of visitors, but also exhibitors. Other than exotic delicacies prepared by renowned chefs from all over the world, it also exhibited art, crafts and accessories from various small boutiques. Held at the same venue as last year, at the Media City Amphitheatre from 11 am till 11 pm, it was an event worth attending whether you are a food blogger, a housewife, or a general foodie.
I attended the event with my family over the weekend to unwind and dig into some new delicacies. It was a delight to see some great restaurants such as Amal at Armani providing authentic and fusion Indian cuisine. I tried the rice with shrimps and tangy gravy, vegetable tikki (cutlets), with Aam Ka Mitha (Mango mousse) as dessert. The dishes were priced at surprisingly low prices and were freshly prepared by their in-house chefs; the end result being delicious, satisfactory and beautiful in appearance. Hotels such as JW Marriot Marquis and The Ritz-Carlton DIFC had set up attractive lounges for the visitors, providing them with great service at the tables, a unique atmosphere and music, standing apart from the rest of the tents and kiosks. Among other stalls were Choithram's, The Noodle House, Da Shi Dai, Gaucho, Carluccio's, Mango Tree and The Rivington Grill. Among celebrity chefs that attended the event to display their skills are Ariana Bundy, Khulood Atiq, Osama El-Sayed, Giorgio Locatelli, Gary Rhodes, Atul Kochhar and Vineet Bhatia.
Apart from the food, the festival boasted some great music, both played by the DJ and live music. In my opinion, the best part of the music was the fact that it was not entirely in-house, dubstep-like monotonous tracks. The music consisted of a variety of genres, from 90's rock tracks, to live funky jazz music which was not only pleasing to the ears, but also made the culinary experience all the more enjoyable.
Although we only arrived at the event in the evening after sundown, the venue was still lively. Taste of Dubai 2013 was an enjoyable culinary event for visitors of all ages. It provided authentic and exotic variety of cuisines from all over the world, brought together renowned chefs and culinary brands combined with tasteful live music that made the overall experience memorable, establishing a loyal attitude towards the event.