A foodie festival has just begun! Last weekend, Dubai Food Carnival kicked off the 23-day Dubai Food Festival 2014 with a bang! The newest food, beverage and entertainment extravaganza was on the list of events I shouldn't miss this month, so I was over the moon when I received a media invitation. My blog's official photographer (aka my husband) and I were given passes that we could use any time during the 2-day event. Our initial plan was to spend three hours of our weekend at the carnival, but with so many things to do, so much more to see and so many food to try, Ed and I decided to stay a little longer... until our 3-hour carnival plan turned into an 8-hour foodie getaway!
On a sunny weekend of "gastro-tainment", it was just right that we arrived as early birds with empty tummies! The Dubai Food Carnival is a venue where all the flavors of the world come together! Dubai Festival City's open arena was lined with over 100 food and drink stalls; some are my favorites, some are restaurants which I have yet to try. We wandered, checked out every stall and happily nibbled free food samples. I had a freshly prepared gourmet meal at Pullman Hotel's stall for lunch and a delicious "posh fish finger sandwich" from Ghaf Kitchen's 1962 vintage Citroen catering van for dinner. We were in food haven!
|"What shall we have for lunch?" was a difficult question at Dubai Food Carnival.|
|Carnival Rowe: a pop-up restaurant of Chef Silvena Rowe, one of UK's top female chefs|
|The Geisha welcomed us at Miyabi Sushi and Bento's stall|
|A new cafe to try: Mellow Yellow in Uptown Mirdif (look how mouthwatering their wraps are)|
|sampling out Gourmet Burger Kitchen's fries and dips... yum!|
|bite-size goodness at Rumi Cafe's stall|
|Ghaf Kitchen's charming vintage catering van serves delicious British food around town!|
|fresh and hot mini pancakes at Holland House|
|Shabu Shabu hot pot drew a lot of attention|
|Hotel restaurants have stalls at the carnival too!|
|Here's my lunch: lovely and super delish Mushroom Risotto from Pullman Hotels and Resorts' stall|
|Wok It served authentic Asian street food at the carnival. Gotta visit their main resto soon!|
Dubai Food Carnival was an event for all ages! While the adults were busy trying out different cuisine, little tots went wild at the giant inflatable slide and carnival rides. The atmosphere was very festive. We bumped into some jugglers and mascots, got wacky snaps at Mentos' photo booth and tried our luck at Pullman Hotels' mini game in which I won a cute little teddy! :)
|Dubai Food Carnival was a fun-filled family affair!|
|A carnival isn't complete without games and prizes! I won a cuddly bear at Pullman's mini-game!|
|Jugglers and performers entertained the visitors at the seating area. There was never a dull moment!|
|Nawaf of Mandilicious was always ready for photo ops!|
|our funky Dubai Food Carnival souvenir from Mentos|
Dubai Food Carnival offered non-stop world-class entertainment. In between the food tasting and fun games, we comfortably lounged on the bean bags to watch the live shows at the main stage. We were able to catch the very interesting Bloggers' Forum at the 360 stage and Chef Sanjeev Kapoor's cooking demo at the Chef Dome. Like the food selection, the entertainment was very diverse as well. I got to witness a Sumo wrestling match, a Capoeira Mob performance and various cooking showdowns all in one day! Visitors who longed for a cool relaxing vibe went to the Bubbly Lounge to listen to the live acoustic band, while those who wanted a good laugh gathered around the main stage to watch the hilarious stand-up comedians, followed by the upbeat cacophony using kitchen items.
|Chef Sanjeev Kapoor: "The Face of Indian Cuisine" at the Chef Dome|
|famous food bloggers, editors, chefs and F&B directors at the Bloggers' Forum|
|a father-daughter team at "My Dad Can Cook" competition|
|One... Two... Three... Sumo!|
|Fire up the grill! Country vs Country BBQ cook-off at The Great Yalla BBQ|
|live acoustic band at the Bubbly Lounge|
|amazing Capoeira performance at the main stage|
|A grand 15-minute fireworks display ended our fun-filled day at the carnival. Truly a weekend well-spent!|
Fret not if you've missed all the fun. There are more Foodie Events in the coming weeks! You can have a Taste of Peru at Madinat Jumeirah from February 26 to March 1, 2014. There's the celebration of meat and music at The Big Grill in Emirates Golf Club on February 28, 2014. The grand food festival, Taste of Dubai in Dubai Media City Amphitheater, returns on March 13 to March 15, 2014. For complete event listing, visit Dubai Food Festival's website here.