Why simply sit and eat at Armani/Ristorante when you can cook the meal too? The hotel’s signature Italian restaurant last week started monthly cooking classes with chef Alessandro Salvatico, exploring a different ingredient each time, and July’s session is now open for booking. On the chopping block is the artichoke, that delicious but intimidating vegetable. The lessons are serious master classes — four hours of in-depth tuition finishing with a three-course lunch (the menu: artichoke salad, tagliatelle with artichokes, fresh baby spinach and smoked ricotta, and fillet of wild sea bass with braised artichokes, potatoes and olives). July 13, 10am-2pm, Dh700 per person (Dh1,000 per couple) with lunch and beverages. Call 04-8883888.
I really thought whoopie pies would be the next cupcakes (I still think they have a major role to play in the UAE’s dessert scene) but I have to admit that the coffee bun might take the lead in the sweet wars. There are already countless outlets serving the fluffy South-East Asian treat, and from today, you can add Roti Mum (no connection to the already opened Papa Roti chain) at Dubai Mall to the list. The sweet-salty buns are accompanied by karak tea, the strong, foamy, sweet tea at the new shop, next to At The Top.
French chocolate maker Debauve & Gallais wants to show you the right way to enjoy afternoon tea. The chocolatier, which has a history of making sweets for the kings of France, will be having a tea seminar at which etiquette experts from Bonnétiquette will give tips on how not to embarrass yourself should the Queen invite you over for a cuppa. Scones, savouries and a whopping nine kinds of tea will be served. It’s at the Debauve & Gallais shop, DIFC Gate Precinct, on Saturday June 23, 4-6pm. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a seat.
Happy birthday, Hakkasan Abu Dhabi
The capital outpost of the fine dining Chinese restaurant (there’s one at Emirates Towers in Dubai too) today celebrates two years of serving up its high-end take on Cantonese. Alongside the foie gras dumplings and truffled chicken, there will be cake and bubbly for all guests this week, as well as some new developments. There’s a new small eats menu, a new bar and even a new weekend menu. The restaurant is at Emirates Palace; call 02-6907999
The Chinese restaurant at Le Meridien Dubai is closing for renovation on Wednesday June 13. The hotel says it will open with a new look on August 15. We can’t wait to see what they do.