As companies get back to some form of normality and many employees return to the office, at least part time, the region’s popular business lunch is back on the menu. Crucial to the business day, lunches are where deals are sealed, new contacts made, cultures shared and relationships developed. While movement around some cities remains restricted and some restaurants are closed, many venues have reopened their doors and are playing a key role in bringing the regional business community back together. From the Gulf to the Levante, Business Traveller Middle East has rounded up a selection of restaurants where you can enjoy a satisfying, if socially distanced, business lunch.
Zuma, Dubai International Financial Centre
Japanese restaurant Zuma has made its name as the king of the crowd when it comes to Dubai’s restaurant scene. Its lunches and brunches are so popular, it’s tricky to book, even more so now that social distancing measures are in place. It’s hard to believe there is a financial crisis when you arrive to the hustle and bustle of ‘business as usual’ at Zuma. It’s also easy to forget there is a pandemic. The place is buzzing, one of the benefits of the current climate when fewer people are travelling.
The trendy space, located in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the city’s Central Business District (CBD), not only serves up a vibe you might expect from hubs like London’s Canary Wharf, but exceptional food and service, plus the ebisu business lunch is excellent value.
First up is a traditional miso soup to whet the appetite, followed by a choice of two starters and one main, all for AED 137 (US$37). You can also opt for the express option of miso soup and a main for AED 76 ($20). The prawn and black cod gyoza or spinach salad are perennial favourites to start and the grilled Australian wagyu ribeye with truffle sauce a must for mains. Other tantalising treats include seared salmon with lime shiso soy to start and the melt-in-the-mouth black cod for main.
WHEN? Sunday to Thursday 12 noon – 2.00pm
HOW MUCH? AED 137 per person
WHERE? Gate Village 06, Podium Level – Al Mustaqbal St – Dubai
CALL +971 (0)4 425 5660
VISIT zumarestaurant.com/ locations/dubai
La Cantine Du Faubourg
La Cantine du Faubourg promises a slice of Paris in the heart of Dubai. The original La Cantine, which opened in the French capital more than a decade ago on its fashion avenue, Rue du Faubourg Saint- Honoré, quickly gained notoriety as one of the City of Lights’ most coveted addresses for a hip lunch, after-work drinks, dining and entertainment. As you’d expect, the Dubai venue, located in Emirates Towers, has followed suit, and is considered one of ‘the’ places to business lunch, with dishes celebrating La Cantine du Faubourg’s heritage and more than a soupçon of international flavour.
Business lunch favourites include Charentais melon gazpacho to start, roasted grouper with eggplant confit and sweet and sour salsa for main and chocolate caramel mousse with raspberries and vanilla ice cream for dessert, but get in quick to sample these because the menu changes every two weeks.
Each dish is the work of renowned chef Gilles Bosquet, whose business lunch menu reimagines Parisian cuisine in an inimitable style. A starter and main are priced AED 110 ($29.30) and you can add a dessert for just AED 20 ($5.36) plus a glass of ‘grape of the week’ for AED 40 ($10.72).
La Cantine du Faubourg is also a great venue for a corporate event, with packages available that can be customised to suit high-profile meetings, conferences, dinners and receptions and that include tailormade menus and special touches including lighting, entertainment and live music.
WHEN? 12 noon onwards
HOW MUCH? From AED 110 ($29.50)
WHERE? 105 Emirates Towers Hotel, 1st floor, Sheikh Zayed Road
CALL +971 (0)4 3527 105
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