I had planned to write about Golden Monkeys in Rwanda today but I’m too hungry to think about anything other than food. So food it is.
When I lived in Toronto there was nothing better than a lazy Saturday morning spent wandering around the St. Lawrence Market while devouring a world famous peameal bacon sandwich (a Canadian specialty) from Carousel Bakery. Just a few blocks away from our downtown condo, the market has opened every Saturday since the early 1800’s and is a little piece of foodie heaven. Friendly faces selling seasonal vegetables, gourmet meats, fresh seafood and all sorts of quirky little things. I never left without a new discovery, something yummy for dinner and a whole bag of chewy, chocolatey florentine cookies from Future Bakery.
Then in the afternoon, we would stop by the eclectic Kensington Market neighbourhood with just two items left on our shopping list, cheese and Montreal Style bagels. You haven’t truly experienced cheese until you’ve gone shopping at Global Cheese where the cheese counter is taller than me. And if you haven’t tasted a Montreal style bagel, you haven’t truly lived. They say good things come in small packages and a Montreal style bagel is no exception. Small, dense, and a little bit sweet, these delicious bagels are boiled in honey water then baked in a wood-fired oven for the perfect combination of toasty and chewy. Any other bagel is a huge disappointment. (If anyone in Dubai knows where to get some Montreal style bagels please share.)
Sadly, I have yet to find the same kind of market experience in Dubai. RIPE, with its fresh locally grown produce, friendly merchants and quaint location in Al Quoz comes close in atmosphere but lacks diversity. On the other hand, the chefs, butchers and bakers at Lafayette Gourmet offer a diverse selection of gourmet food but it is in a department store in the mall. That doesn’t count.
Recently, I was thrilled to come across the Market & Platters store at the Pinnacle Tower in Dubai Marina, the first place to make me feel a little bit closer to home.
This bright and airy shop has a high quality selection of a little bit of everything (except red meat) at a decent price. Whether you are cooking a gourmet meal, planning a casual afternoon with friends or have company showing up in 30 minutes, I am sure you will find what you need here.
At the heart of the shop is an impressive seafood counter filled with fresh whole fish, Canadian lobster, boxes of oysters, marinated fish kebabs and platters of sushi. The pleasant staff at the store are a key part of the market atmosphere and on this day, Danny was happy to help us choose something for dinner.
Fresh baked bread, organic fruit and vegetables, vintage olive oils and a well stocked cheese counter are all available to complement whatever decision you make.
It’s not quite the St. Lawrence Market…
…but so far I have always left Market & Platters with more than I planned.