Souk Madinat Jumeriah to transform into eco-conscious foodie haven
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Souk Madinat Jumeirah, the authentic Arabian bazaar by Dubai Retail which recreates the traditional Middle Eastern marketplace through distinctive architecture, commercial exchange and cultural entertainment, will showcase a world of eco-friendly culinary possibilities during a week-long Homegrown@Souk food festival from February 28 to March 7.
The extensive Homegrown@Souk bill includes two exclusive VeggiTech Markets on Friday February 28 and March 6, a week-long schedule of food and beverage masterclasses and the Souk Restaurant Week, an activation which provides diners with the chance to experience a wide range of venues through specially curated menus.
Nicola Walsh, Marketing Director at Dubai Retail and Sarood Hospitality, said: “The Homegrown@Souk event has been conceived to showcase Souk Madinat Jumeirah’s credentials as a market-leading food and beverage destination with a conscience, and to build on its standing as one of Dubai’s most iconic leisure and entertainment-led retail destinations.
“Dubai Retail is committed to far-reaching sustainability initiatives for the good of tomorrow, and activations such as Homegrown@Souk are a great opportunity to raise awareness and get us there one small step at a time.”
The free-to-attend VeggiTech Markets, held in collaboration with the UAE agri technology start-up, will start at 9.30am and run until all produce is snapped up, with visitors encouraged to ‘act local and think global’ by shopping for healthy and locally sourced produce which comes packaging-free or with easily compostable, plant-based packaging.
Catering for up to 1,000 visitors per week, the VeggiTech Markets will enable sustainability-minded shoppers to pick up free ingredients for one of three special recipe cards in an environment designed for foodies to engage with homegrown producers and learn more about produce options grown within a 50-mile radius of Souk Madinat Jumeirah.
All shoppers will be provided with a complimentary tote bag, to eliminate plastic and further reinforce the eco-conscious message.
The week-long schedule of masterclasses will provide a range of educational, fun and informative sessions at some of Souk Madinat Jumeirah’s most-popular locations, places can be secured through social media competitions running on the @SoukMadinatJumeirah Instagram page.
The sessions get underway on Friday February 28 with a tomato and bruschetta “Grow Well” class for families from 11am at Trattoria Toscana, and a herb and mocktail class for adults from 11.30am at Americano. On Saturday February 29, Perry & Blackwelder’s will be in full Leap Year celebration mode from 6pm and Indian restaurant Ushna will host a curry pairing masterclass from 7pm. McGettigan’s Irish Pub will host an ‘origins stories’ beverage session on Sunday March 1 from 7pm and Trader Vic’s will lay on a cocktail masterclass on Monday March 2 from 7pm.
The Meat Co. will host a masterclass in fizz on Wednesday March 4 from 7pm, with Maria Bonita’s welcoming children and families on Friday March 6 from 11am for a guacamole making class and Belgian Beer Café hosting a craft beverage workshop on Saturday March 7 from 7pm.
A special ‘Dine Around’ food tour and tasting class in the company of FooDiva will take place on Tuesday March 3 from 6:30, taking in Taverna, Trattoria Toscana, The Meat Co. and Folly, while a similar beverage tour on Thursday March 5 from 7pm, will include stops at Folly, Publique, Times Of Arabia, The Meat Co., Americano and Segreto. The schedule of activities also includes ‘Sip, sway, sunset’ at Folly, featuring homegrown music artists on Saturdays from 4.00pm alongside a happy hour range of cocktails featuring VeggiTech herbs and produce.
The inaugural Souk Restaurant Week will offer diners the chance to experience a range of Souk Madinat Jumeirah venues via specially curated menus. Three set menu options priced at AED 99, AED 149 or AED 199 per sitting will feature select dishes and drinks incorporating locally sourced ingredients.
Participating venues serving up the AED 199 options include Folly by Nick and Scott, the award-winning restaurant renowned for its strong focus on flavour and high-quality produce; and Americano, the trendy hangout offering the very best in American cuisine and beverages.
Other brands offering the AED 199 set menu include Ushna, the Indian restaurant reputed for its quality food and service, Anar Dubai, the Persian restaurant which combines 2,500-year old recipes and modern cooking techniques, and Trader Vic’s, the fusion restaurant concept offering simmering plates of island-style cuisine.
Restaurants offering the AED 149 set menu include Publique, the Alpine-themed French restaurant; award-winning Italian restaurants Segreto and Trattoria Toscana; Belgian Beer Café, the authentic experience of a vintage bistro from early 1920s Belgium; McGettigan’s Irish Pub; and Maria Bonita, the recently opened authentic Mexican experience.
Set menus in the AED 99 price bracket include The Noodle House, the tasty, fun and informal Asian restaurant; Perry & Blackwelder’s, the popular smokehouse restaurant; and Al Makan, the traditional Arabic restaurant where heritage meets the needs of modern life.
Souk Madinat Jumeirah features more than 25 restaurants and cafes in a sophisticated range of F&B choices, various entertainment activities and nightlife options, and a selection of boutiques and shopping experiences. The Souk’s holistic retail and experience portfolio offers visitors a modern take on the past by pairing Arabic culture with modern facilities and features.