The EmiRANT Pt. 5 – Dry Ice.

I’m probably going to receive some backlash for being an absolute “fun-sponge”, but oh my word Dubai, can we cut the crap with the dry ice on everything already?!

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QUICK EVERYONE, GET YOUR PHONES OUT – INSTAGRAM IS GOING TO DIG THIS S**T!

Heston Blumenthal was arguably the man that brought this into the public’s eye about 10 years ago – in his case, genuinely bringing a multi-sensory experience to a dish by dispersing the aromas of oak moss to a famous Quail Jelly dish.

It seems that Dubai has woken up to this now, or some excellent sales person for a dry ice company has been doing the rounds, because it appears you can’t get a dish in Dubai any more without it being on a bed of bloody dry ice.

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I was at a famous Dubai restaurant the other day, about to tuck into a salad when for no reason whatsoever, an excited gentleman, brimming with joy at thinking he’s able to transform this ok restaurant to Michelin-starred proportions, simply poured water underneath my salad bowl to emanate an odourless, dry-ice fog. The crowd gasped, heads turned, boundaries were smashed, they’d transformed this humble crab salad into something Heston would shed a tear of joy over!

And I died a little inside.

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My reaction.

A week later, I’m sat with a group in a popular cocktail place and a fresh faced server comes running over – about to demonstrate an immense feat of engineering, chemistry, witchcraft and showmanship rolled into one……POURING A COCKTAIL INTO MY GLASS THAT IS FILLED WITH DRY ICE CUBES……Guys, I don’t want to drink a cocktail packed with this shite. It’s chemically and weird and I don’t want to have to wait a minute for the craziness to die down before I can drink it (yes, yes, I know it’s safe – but still……).

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My first viewing of the cocktail.

Another place I go, again, every bloody dish seemed to be either unnecessarily cooked in a bizarre way or flourished with a cloud of bloody dry ice.

It’s not that I don’t like dry ice – but I know it can be used practically, not just to add a false-sense of wonder and magic to a dish. Heston captured aromas in his dry ice to enhance a dish; when I recently went to Toro + Ko, they froze something at the table using dry ice – this is how you use it!

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One more dry ice kerfuffle, and I will lay my vengeance upon thee…..

So restaurants of Dubai, next time you get that KG of dry ice cubes, think how you an use it in a clever, unique way, rather than just turning every dish into a 4th grade science experiment.

‘Til next time!

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