12 cheese and wine nights in Dubai

Cheese and wine in Dubai - Dubai restaurants

All things cheese explained by France’s ‘Best Cheesemonger’ Francois Robin at a FooDiva and European Cheese dine around.

Correct me if I am wrong, but in most cases, one either loves or loathes cheese – there’s no middle ground. A little bit like our relationship with olives and celery. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, so I always veer towards a cheese ending at restaurants that do offer it on their menu…irrespective of whether we prefer cheese before, or after dessert. In most countries, the cheese course is the link between the main course and dessert, although in Britain cheese is served at the end of the meal. Or if you’re a cheeseaholic like me, then just eat cheese all night for every course…paired with wine. And thankfully, Dubai offers a prolific choice of cheese and wine nights in all sorts of (cheesy) disguises. Here’s a FooDiva round-up of 12 deals, in alphabetical order. Marked with an asterisk * are the soirées I have personally tried and tasted.

  1. Bistro des Arts at Dubai Marina * – raclette night tops my idea of cheese heaven (along with a fondue, my go-to dish for entertaining chez moi). An intimate buffet offers unlimited raclette cheese where you scrape the melted cow’s milk cheese yourself, charcuterie (pork included should you wish), a sublime tartiflette, new potatoes and salad. A choice of red or white wine, and a generous slice of blueberry pie is served at the table. Wednesday 8 – 10pm. AED 245.
  2. Café M at Media One * – aside from a help-yourself cheese and wine spread, individual portions of fondue, fried cheese and cheese soufflés are served at the table. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 6.30 – 10pm. AED 199 or for a sparkling wine option AED 215.
  3. Cave at Conrad * – this dedicated wine bar offers an open buffet of cheese, charcuterie and wines. Tuesday 7 – 11pm. AED 245.
  4. Delphine at the H Hotel * – the location lacks atmosphere, but the European cheese and charcuterie buffet, fondue included, is extensive and excellent. Two different wine packages make for more variety. Tuesday 7 – 10pm. AED 185 including four glasses of vino, or AED 245 with unlimited wine.
  5. Epicure at Desert Palm Per Aquum – it may be out in the sticks, but the deal’s bloody good. An international cheeseboard paired with free-flowing red and white wine or Prosecco. Thursday 7.30 – 10.30pm. AED 150.
  6. Feast at Sheraton Grand Dubai – unlimited cheese and vino in the hotel’s all day dining restaurant. Tuesday 6 – 11pm. AED 129.
  7. La Farine at JW Marriott Marquis – the theme in another all-day dining venue is French cheese paired with a choice of red and white wines. Thursday 6 – 9pm. AED 160 per person, or AED 300 per couple.
  8. Solo Vino Bar in Raffles – Genius Loci, Latin for the ‘Perfect Match’ features five cheeses paired with five terroir wines recommended by sommelier Marina Diaz. Tuesday 6pm onwards. AED 120.
  9. Stage2 at Vida Downtown * – this soiree may be located in the hotel’s lobby lounge, but it is still an intimate affair with a cheesaholic’s dream buffet of international cheeses. Three glasses of wine included. Wednesday 6 – 9pm. AED 150.
  10. The Agency at Madinat Jumeirah – a European cheese platter with 12 varieties (you can even ask for seconds) and a bottle of house red or white wine. Friday 5 – 8pm. AED 195.
  11. The Beach House at Anantara Palm –  a buffet with over twenty French and Italian cheeses, plus a Stilton thrown in for good measure. Only one choice each of white and red wine. Sit al fresco whilst you can, to soak up the Palm and Marina skyline. Monday 6 – 9pm. AED 195 for unlimited wine.
  12. Vintage at Wafi * – double whammy at this Dubai wine bar institution with two cheesy deals here. First up is a fondue night with free-flowing vino. Sunday and Monday 7 – 10pm. AED 145. If you’re after pork, opt for the ham and cheese buffet with, once again, unlimited wine. Wednesday 7 – 10pm. AED 185.

On another cheesy note, Jones The Grocer has opened its first licensed location in Dubai at the Dusit Thani hotel – cheese platters available which can be paired with your own choice of wine.

Francois Robin who holds the award of France’s Best Cheesemonger shares some interesting and funny cheese facts here from a recent cheese-inspired #DineAroundDubai event. And for a comprehensive guide on all things cheese (including wine pairing) check out this interview with a renowned British cheesemonger – a little old, yet her tips remain super useful.

Do you love or loathe cheese? How do you prefer it served – pre or post dessert? Any other cheese and wine nights worth checking out?

A bientôt.

FooDiva. x

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5 Responses to “12 cheese and wine nights in Dubai”

  1. Garry W February 18, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Wow! this list looks pretty comprehensive!
    The cheese facts with expert Francois Robin are very interesting – I had always thought that Emmenthal had to be made in Switzerland (just like Gruyere) – also rereading your interview with Patricia Michelson reminded that I must eliminate some bad habits when handling cheese
    Thanks a lot.

    • FooDiva February 18, 2016 at 5:28 pm

      It’s a bit confusing with all these cheeses as not all are PDO protected Garry.

  2. JayEim February 18, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    Luv cheese.

    Only one tiny winy question:

    Why but why do they insist in serving cheese COLD?

    But what really gets me is that none of the above bother to pair the flippin BREAD or Biscuits to go with each individual CHEESE.

    F&B Mngrs and Exec Chefs……wannabees. Get me a plumber anytime!
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    Arghhhhhhh!

    • FooDiva February 18, 2016 at 5:32 pm

      It should be taken out of the fridge 45 minutes to an hour before…and in my experience these cheese buffets are set up an hour before. In fact I was at Vida Downtown last night when they were setting up the cheese buffet around 5pm for a 6pm start. As for your last point, I reckon it’s too expensive to have so many breads and crackers on display.

  3. Shafe February 20, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    Think in the indian culture, cheese isn’t really big. Now that i think about it, i didnt know that cheeses other than the cheese spreads in the supermarket, existed till i went to university in london. It is an acquired taste. And appreciating it is a life long education.

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