Dubai: Gate Avenue at DIFC has recently launched a new dining destination called South Market, a casual food hall in the heart of Dubai. Unlike food courts that are made up of fast-food chains, food halls typically mix local artisan restaurants, butcher shops and other food-oriented boutiques under one roof. South Market is home to a combination of 15 gourmet kitchens and rotating artisan food kiosks offering cuisines from countries across the world. One of the concepts at South Market, and is brand new to the UAE, gives foodies a very good reason to visit, and that’s the chance to try the epic Canadian dish Poutine. JAX Burger and Poutine Shop, who have opened their first outlet at the new hotspot, are offering the unique Canadian dish along with a menu of burgers.
The new concept was created by absolute Poutine lovers, who grew up in Canada and the United States, so you can bet the Poutine as pretty authentic. As one of Canada’s most significant dishes, it is one of the top culinary gems to come out of the French part of the country. Poutine is made with meat-based gravy and cheese curds, drizzled into a box of fries. The idea for this dish originated in Quebec and emerged in the late 1950s in the Centre-du-Quebec area. JAX makes theirs using Idaho potatoes, and authentic Canadian methods. If you are new to poutine, start with the classic then maybe move on to the most Middle Eastern-influenced version, the ‘Shawarma Poutine’, which is made with chicken and garlic aioli.
As a burger lover, I opted for the classic JAX Burger with cheese, although they had many different kinds of burgers like “The Canadian”, made with beef bacon, or “El Jefe”, which has a Mexican vibe to it. They even cater to the vegetarians, with their veggie burger, cheekily named “The Outsider”. Prices at JAX are really reasonable, considering this is more of a gourmet burger and the fries are sourced from some of the best potatoes in the world. They aren’t food court prices, but the next step up. Food Hall prices. Food halls have been a recent trend in Dubai and South Market is one of four in the country. The others which are located in Malls, make it slightly less accessible for lunch hour seekers.
This one, in the heart of DIFC, sees a high volume of people during the week, especially during lunch or right after work. Weekends are a bit calmer.
Other eateries in the food hall include Bangkok eatery BKK Bistro, Modern Asian Desserts, who make a killer sweet milk bubble tea. There’s also Takoyaki, which makes Japanese street-food fare, or breaks the mould entirely and have a bowl of cereal for lunch at Cereal Killer Café. Other eateries include Earth Kitchen, Burritos Beyond Borders, Katsu & Co and Spheerz Restaurant. There’s also an Egyptian fresh seafood spot called Bahiya, as well as Crab Market Restaurant.
The venue is designed in a really urban way with exposed ceilings, steel beams, raw timber and concrete features, neon signage and street art murals. This modern-day marketplace is definitely worth checking out.
Location: DIFC Gate Avenue
Cost: Items ranging from Dh15 to Dh50
When: Open daily