Dubai’s first food truck?

Ghaf food truck - DubaiNo doubt you’ve seen this lovingly restored Citroën food truck prancing around town at either Dubai Food Carnival or at private events. Well thankfully we don’t have to pay full whack to hire it out, but we can have a taste at monthly pop-up dinners now open to the public through Lime & Tonic.

The venue for the first pop-up I signed up for last week was Capital D Studios in Dubai’s so-called warehouse district of Al Quoz – a fashion-cum-production studio. But don’t get too attached, every 16th of the month will bring a new venue. It’s a little bit like L&T’s earlier secret supper clubs, except we’re privy to the venue when booking. Unlike other pop-ups and supper clubs around town (these two terms are often used interchangeably here), this one is not an invitation-only event, but open to paying diners.

Ghaf Kitchen’s charming vintage van greets us on arrival, yet whilst it’s very much a mobile kitchen, in this case dinner is prepped behind-the-scenes and in a production kitchen off-site. So it’s not strictly speaking a food truck like in the movie Chef, but it’s as close as we’re gonna get for now in Dubai. Well that’s until licensing laws start to change allowing food trucks to operate from public areas, like beaches, parks and so on. The only other recent addition to the scene, is burger van @FindSalt.

Mocktails in mason jars are served from the studio’s bar, whilst guests mingle and graze on canapés. It’s a tad steamy though with more air-con units required. Four long wooden tables are decked out for 40 or so peeps all under a glow of red lighting – and hence why most of my photos are destined for the bin. Check out fellow food blogger, Coffee Cakes and Running’s photos here. The menu is seasonal and therefore will change each month. You can view it online when booking, and dietary requests are taken into account. Dishes are served sharing style with two each of starters, mains and desserts – and they’re all generous portions.

Ghaf pop-up dinner - Lime & TonicWhat do we munch on? Luscious chunks of cured salmon. A pigeon cooked two ways – in fact one is so moreish, I nickname it Kentucky Fried Pigeon (and no I don’t eat KFC). Spiced monkfish. Sous vide lamb loin. I adore learning about new ingredients and here we have some interesting and unusual edible greens for garnishing – the pink-stemmed ice plant; Yka purple leaves from South America with its tangy flavour; and Alaskan nasturtium flowers. Desserts are typically British and rich in this case – a treacle tart and rice pudding. The latter’s texture in particular is not really my cup of tea. I’d much rather lap up the Eton Mess that Ghaf does so well. A wonderful scoop of walnut brittle ice cream is enough of a sweet ending for me. Note here, many of the team at Ghaf are ex-Caprice restaurants, i.e. Rivington Grill and The Ivy here in Dubai, so even though they cater to many cuisines as you’ll find out soon from another event, their heart lies with Brit-inspired fare.

The studio is buzzing with an intimate dinner party vibe that many restaurants here would crave. The pop-up is priced at AED360, but Lime & Tonic did offer an AED50 discount so do look out for promos. Prices are comparable to a top-end Dubai restaurant so it’s not cheap – just remember, booze is dependent on the venue ;). If you’re looking for an alternative dining experience and love meeting new folks, then add the Ghaf food truck…erm pop-up to your dining bucket list.

What different dining experiences have you tried and tasted here? Would you like to see food trucks licensed in public areas?

A bientôt.

FooDiva. x

P.S – Further info below. The October 16th venue is now confirmed as Mojo Gallery – click here for more info and to book. Use the Lime & Tonic promo code ‘POPUP050’ for an AED50 discount.


  • Different venue every month - October 16th is at Mojo Gallery
  • International, British
  • AED 360 per person
  • 16th of every month at 7.30pm
  • Posted under
    Dubai, Food Features, Food truck, Foodie Happenings, Pop-up, Supper club
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11 Responses to “Dubai’s first food truck?”

  1. Sally - My Custard Pie September 21, 2014 at 9:48 am

    You’ve reminded me to book this. Have sampled Ghaf food in the past at a private do and it’s not your average street food – love their menus. Would be great to upgrade the mocktails!

    • FooDiva September 22, 2014 at 6:49 pm

      Far from street food Sally! And maybe we did upgrade the mocktails 😉

  2. Garry W September 22, 2014 at 12:07 am

    Do you think this is a short term ‘fad’ or the beginning of a successful trend in Dubai?

    • FooDiva September 22, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      I’d like to think it’s the latter Garry. Dubai’s dining scene is maturing so hopefully the authorities will license food trucks in public areas – at a cost of course – so only the big players will really be able to afford it.

  3. IshitaUnblogged September 22, 2014 at 1:37 am

    Ghaf is definitely on my list and the only thing that I have tasted here is the *posh* fish and chips as you called it! There’s actually another food truck but it doesn’t cook up gourmet dishes as Ghaf does. It’s the Burgerfuel food truck and I believe that it’s become commercially viable after making its rounds in various college campuses here.

    • FooDiva September 22, 2014 at 6:53 pm

      Agh yes I could murder one of their fish finger baps right now Ishita. Good to know about Burger Fuel. Actually there’s also Moti Roti (more a pop-up than a truck!)

    • rachael September 29, 2015 at 10:47 am

      Where area is the truck of Burger fuel normally situated?

  4. rijal October 3, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Very good picture

    • Danielle Nay December 4, 2014 at 10:30 am

      There are a couple of new food trucks around. Salt, of course, but also Meyas, from Abu Dhabi, which serves fab Emirati food. It’s a huge truck!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

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    […] Ghaf Kitchen – the much-beloved, retro Citroen van that can be hired to cater for dinner parties or private events. Cuisine tends to be Brit-influenced seasonal fare as you can see from a FooDiva review here. […]

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