Food shopping secrets in Dubai

Well, I guess they’re not really secrets for those in the know, but I’m often asked where to get particular food items in Dubai. I’ll get a little tweet: “hey @the_hedonista – I know it’s the middle of winter, but where can I get zucchini flowers?”, or a food-obsessed mate posting up on our Fooderati Arabia facebook page “Anyone know where I can find gold leaf to ice my cupcakes?” . Well I am the knower of all things (ahem), and so here’s my list of go-to places for your gourmet gobbles. Anything else I you’re looking for, please comment below and I’ll see if I can help out.

 

Lootah’s Fine Foods

shopping-root vegLootah’s is the retail arm of Oakleaf Dubai, which is one of the premium suppliers of fruit and vegetables to restaurants in the region. They import most of their produce direct from the Rungis Market in Paris. They have started importing some select ingredients from the UK recently. You know those fancy veggies you eat at five-star restaurants? They get them here.

Where:

Galeries Lafayette Gourmet, level 2, Dubai Mall

What I buy:

finger limes, baby root vegetables, heirloom tomatoes, micro herbs, other exotic fruit and vegetables, smoked salmon, caviar, truffle oil, Brie de Meaux (sometimes)

Contact:

+971 4 2231520 ext 224    
Info@lootahpremiumfoods.ae
www.lootahpremiumfoods.ae
 
On the theme of things, I’ll be doing a live demonstration of my cherry tomato tart and some salmon tartare at Galeries Lafayette on Saturday at 12 noon – come past and watch me embarass myself, and if I don’t burn everything, then partake in some free food. “Meet the Blogger” demos will be going on each day between 12 noon and 5pm, from September 18 to 21, so you can also catch some other amateurs like me trying to be pro chefs.

 

Galeries Lafayette Gourmet

GL-saucisson roundsAlthough there is a good selection of pretty french gourmet groceries, Lafayette import from all over. The grocery selection is smaller than it once was, but there’s still plenty of reason to drop in. (previous post here)

Where: Galeries Lafayette, level 2, Dubai Mall

What I buy: cheese, wagyu beef, veal, jamon iberico, saucisson, oysters, chocolate, tea, spices in pretty french jars, condiments and vinegars, amaretti biscuits, crazy pasta, salt in every colour, the incredible balqees yemeni honey.

Contact:

+9714 339 9933 ext 2342 or ext 2383  
Lafayettegourmet.chef@medsdubai.com
www.galerieslafayette-dubai.com

 

Chez Charles

shopping-chez charles flowersCharles had a career change, left the office and opened a business selling all the food it was almost impossible to get here in Dubai, at a retail level anyway. It’s not cheap, but some of the produce is absolutely inspiring.

Where:

order online for home delivery

What I buy:

duck, french corn fed chicken, burrata, violet potatoes, edible flowers, zucchini flowers, multicoloured carrots, oil and vinegar, shelfish stock, smoked paprika, pear juice, gold leaf

Contact:

+971 55 76 33 999  
contact@chezcharles.co
chezcharles.ae

 

Organic Foods and Cafe

pork-bellyA Dubai institution. Apart from organic foods, a good source of gluten free products, and items for many other specific diets. Now there are several stores.

Where:

Sheikh Zayed Rd Al Quoz, Village Mall Jumeirah 1, The Greens and home delivery

What I buy:

Gluten free bread, pasta and flours, virgin coconut oil, dairy free milks and creams, eggs, organic pork belly and sausages, fresh salmon, frozen chicken

Contact:

+971 4 338 2911   
customerservice@organicfoodsandcafe.com
www.organicfoodsandcafe.com
 

Carrefour

market-fishYes, I know what you’re thinking, but it’s so much more than a hypermarket. I go there first, and everywhere else later.

Where:

All over, but Mall of the Emirates is by far the best

What I buy:

gluten free flour and pasta, french yoghurt, butter, cream and cheese, french pre-rolled pastry, salted caramel icecream, frozen dumplings, fish and seafood, sashimi grade tuna, organic Australian beef, sushi made in front of you, arabic sweets, obscure indian and Sri Lankan vegetables, french radishes and giroles, dried mushrooms, spices from the sack, salmontini salmon, salmon caviar, foie gras if I’m feeling depraved.

Contact:

800 7 32 32
www.carrefouruae.com
 

Prime Gourmet

shopping-prime gourmet steakJust a little shop, but specialising in my favourite source of meat, Australia. Now also offering home delievery

Where:

Gold and Diamond Park, Building # 4,  Sheik Zayed Road, Dubai, UAE, and home delivery.

What I buy:

the best sausages in Dubai, Australian lamb – especially the frenched cutlets, osso bucco, wagyu beef, rose veal

Contact:

+971 4 341 5445    
info@primegourmet.ae
www.primegourmet.ae
 

Market and Platters

shopping-market and platter sushiGourmet grocer selling imported fresh produce in Dubai Marina. Better known for their take-home platters of sushi and seafood.

Where:

Dubai Marina, Pinnacle Tower

What I buy:

Fresh crab, salmon, oysters, caviar, greek yoghurt, zucchini flowers, cress, pre-made salads, fougasse bread,

Contact:

+971 4 450 4466
marketandplatters.com

 

And if you can’t find what you need there, try the following:

  • Asian Groceries I love, but Ginger and Scotch has the scoop here on her blog
  • Ripe has (in my opinion) a better selection of organic fruit and veg than the Organic Cafe. Biggest benefit is an emphasis on local produce (great tomatoes!) Al Manara Store, markets or home delivery
  • Gluten Free Supermarket is a home delivery service – lovely people with a comprehensive range of options for coeliacs.
  • Food Avant Garde offers home delivery of some super spanish canned and jarred goods, and spectacular Joselito pork products
  • Milk and Honey on the palm – for some reason, open 24 hours, and also does home delivery. Deli, bakery and patisserie best.
  • Maybury in Dubai Marina (newly opened) – untested as yet
  • 800 Meat in JLT and for home delivery of excellent Australian and Brazilian beef
  • Barracuda beach resort in Umm al Quwain holds two beauties (apart from the tax-free booze). Firstly is Rootstock, which you will find inside the Barracuda wine store, which has a range of small-scale producers, particularly European and some quality high level wine you won’t find elsewhere. Finer things is just outside, and has a nice range of gourmet groceries, a spectacular chocolate wall and some lovely stinky cheese.
in some cases, photographs are taken from store’s own website

 

 

13 Comments

  1. Great post! Very helpful 🙂

  2. Great round up. Spinneys Market Day is also good for some Asian and sub-continental fresh greens. And laughed so much about what you have written about ‘Meet the Blogger’ event – ‘come past and watch me embarass myself, and if I don’t burn everything, then partake in some free food’!!!

  3. You forgot one thing. Dean Fujiya Supermarket close to Lamcy Plaza. They have everything Japanese – starting from amazing tea [authentic Genmaicha or Hojicha] to different sauces [not only soya], over to frozen but still amazing fish, shellfish, original Calpis, and so on, and so forth!
    If you make anything Japanese at home, you have to come here…

  4. Great round-up Sarah 🙂 Can I please add a few more: 1) Lulu supermarket for its fresh, local and sustainable fish (cheap too!) plus an incredibly good selection of traditional British condiments including my guilty pleasure Patum Peperium anchovy spread, and a smoked salmon/ lemon zest one too. 2) Yael Mejia’s farmers markets when the harvesting season recommences (not sure if it’s at Emirates Towers again) as well as her Baker & Spice delis for the clementine and cranberry marmalade, spiced nuts and freshly baked breads. 3) Vivel and Ronnefeldt for leaf tea – they both have hard-to-find lapsang souchong and white silver needles teas 4) Bateel for its date balsamic vinegar. I also tried Geant’s home delivery service the other day – pretty efficient but you can’t order fresh meat and fish as of now. That’s enough I think! x

  5. Cool tips, Sarah – thanks for sharing!

    Chez Charles sounds like a place I’d love to check out next time I’m in Dubai!

  6. Pingback: Dining Predictions for 2014 – Dubai and the UAE

  7. Hi! Please i want to know where i can buy oysters in a jar? I just need it for christmas! Thank you! please help

  8. Well I know very good online grocery store http://www.egrocer.ae in Al Nahda2 area, is there any other players who are in this area with competitive pricing.

  9. Can u plz suggest where can I buy bread flour in Dubai
    Its become pretty difficult for me to find here

    • My local Choithrams (Umm Suqeim) has bread flour, but I guess it depends what standard you are looking for. If you are looking for more original, stoneground flour, then Organic foods and café is a good stop. Otherwise, Secrets fine food. Good luck!

Some other suggestions or opinion to add? Please comment