The words "barbecue" and "donut" aren't two words you'd usually associate, which is why when I was told I'd be trying out Dubai's most novel way of dining, the BBQ Donut, I wasn't sure what I was in for.
While I do have somewhat of an active imagination I can usually stop, take hold, apply a smidgen of common sense and come up with the answers. Not the case here. I had visions of red-hot ember-filled BBQs, jam-filled sugary treats and the occasional giant rubber ring often tagged a floating doughnut.
Luckily for me Captain Julian was on hand to allay all my fears and requested I simply relax, pick up a light sweater and head for the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club — or more precisely The Boardwalk.
I'll do my best to describe it. Picture one of those petrol-fuelled, circular bumper boats which spin around on the water at theme parks. Make it a bit bigger (and a lot more stable). Put comfy seating all the way around the inside, a table in the middle and a BBQ neatly placed in the middle of the table with hot coals already in place. A giant parasol covers the craft, complete with fitted lights, a music system and the motor and steering system.
No regular barbecue
In my excitement I almost forgot the food and that's one thing you really don't want to be doing. Believe me. This isn't your regular burger and bap BBQ, oh no. Fresh hammour, marinated chicken breast, rib-eye steak, spicy shrimp and skewer after skewer of veggies, corn on the cob, jacket potatoes in foil. That's even before we realised the starters of crudites and dips, nachos, crisps. There's a giant tray of fattening desserts (including jam-filled doughnuts, of course), an even bigger tray of fresh fruit and plenty of bread and soft drinks. You really do want for nothing. It's actually a shame the doughnut really only caters for six comfortably because there's enough food to feed the proverbial 5,000.
The doughnut sets sail on the Dubai Creek — either with or without a captain as the boats can be driven by one of your guests and don't take too much sailing — and it truly is one of the most unique things I've ever experienced in this city. It's adventurous enough to push the boundaries a little but not enough to end up stressed.
Just a couple of tips, though. Don't forget a light jumper, as it can get chilly when the sun sets. Best time to sail is 5-7pm as you get an hour in the day, the sunset over the city, and an hour at night (the donuts are hired for two hours as part of a package). Ask for Captain Julian, the best boat-driving teacher ever.