1. PERRY & BLACKWELDER'S ORIGINAL SMOKEHOUSE
The décor pays a playful homage to the US, tempting aromas from the in-house smoker fill the air and the food is seriously tasty – what’s not to love about this place? Inspired by the barbecue traditions of the Deep South, this all-American smokehouse delivers an unabashed meat feast with lashings of flavour. An order of chicken wings – tossed in your choice of seasoning – will kick off the meal messily, but also rather nicely. We recommend following that with smoked beef in some form, be it slow-cooked brisket, prime
or short ribs. Add a side order of macaroni cheese and some smokehouse corn and you’ll leave happy but certainly not hungry.
Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 04 366 5866, jumeirah.com
Until relatively recently, fans of the food being served from Salt’s distinctive shiny silver truck had to rely on social media to confirm its whereabouts. While this treasure hunt element was certainly lots of fun, when you fancy a burger pronto, a fixed location is always more welcome – hence our enjoyment of Salt’s now permanent spot at Kite Beach, complete with air-conditioned indoor terrace (The Beach House) and outdoor seating area. Established favourites on what is a concise menu include sliders – both grass-fed wagyu beef and Cheetos chicken (yes, that’s a deep-fried chicken, melted cheese and Cheetos combination) – as well as spicy ‘fire’ fries. We find that a salted caramel (Lotus) shake or softie will more than satisfy cravings for a sweet ending to what is a fun, low-key meal.
Kite Beach, Dubai, Instagram: findsalt
3. CRAB TAVERN
If P&B Smokehouse is a haven for meat lovers, then Crab Tavern is the seafood fiends’ alternative. With exposed ceilings, pared-back lights, tonal shades of brown and panelled wooden walls and bar, the restaurant has a pleasingly muted yet modern feel to it. As you’d expect, seafood rules supreme here with the menu offering a really good mix of classics – Singapore chilli crab and creamy clam chowder, as well as some excellent riffs on established favourites. The dressed crab Caesar salad is well executed, with a soft-poached egg and crispy anchovies, while a sharing starter platter celebrates the crustacean in all its glory – crab on toast and sweet, tender king crab are standout elements in a very pleasant selection. We’re also rather taken by the shrimp mac ‘n’ cheese toastie and soft shell crab burger (above), but it’s the oyster po’ boy that steals our hearts every time.
Media One Hotel, Dubai, 04 420 7489, crabtavern.ae