Let’s be perfectly clear from the outset – autumn in Dubai is more a state of mind than anything else. While other parts of the world may see this as an opportunity to hike in forests, rake orange leaves and layer up with hats, scarves and chunky sweaters the closest we get is a light cardigan and, perhaps, a few days without A/C. Slightly cooler days and hours of guaranteed sunshine mean that our autumns happen in kitchens. Check out this cosy cooking this month.
Beef stew at Belgian Café
It might feel incongruous appropriating culinary seasons from overseas, but you may as well go all in with a steaming bowl of Belgian beef stew. It comes with a side salad, but we’re all about mopping up juices with handfuls of salty European fries.
Dhs82. Open daily noon-2am. Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City (04 701 1127).
The Big Apple at Bull & Bear
The name refers to New York, but also the fact this deconstructed crumble is served in a really big, well, apple. You’ll get more fruity notes from the muscovado, caramelised, sorbeted and foamed apple inside this very attractive pudding.
Dhs55. Open daily noon-midnight. Waldorf Astoria, DIFC, waldorfastoria.com (04 515 9888).
Baked potato at The Hampton’s café
Named after the exclusive village resorts of New York State there is an inherently autumnal feel about this stylish café. You will see plentiful offerings of pecan, risotto, soup and wild mushroom dishes. Try the substantial baked potato loaded up with Cheddar cheese and crème fraiche.
Dhs72.45. Open daily 8am-9.30pm. Umm Suqeim, hamptonsdubai.com (04 331 5118).
Pumpkin soup at Leen’s Casual to Gourmet
The beach in front of you may say summer, but the bowl of creamy vegan soup at the table has hearty autumn flavours. The roasted pumpkin is mixed with leeks, turmeric, ginger and coconut milk to produce both a meal and a whole vibe, too.
Dhs35. Open Sun-Thu, 8am-10.30pm; Fri-Sat, 7am-10.30pm. Umm Suqeim, leens.com (04 346 6292).
Butternut squash curry at Little Erth by Nabz and G
This healthy JLT spot knows its way around a vegetable and there is a lot of goodness in a dish such as the squash curry with added cauliflower and chickpeas. Take some beetroot hummus on the side for more autumnal tastiness.
Dhs39. Sat-Wed, noon-10pm; Thu-Fri, noon-11pm. J2 Tower, Cluster J, JLT; Time Out Market Dubai, Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai, nabzandg.com (04 276 7287).
Apple and cinnamon crumble at McGettigan’s DWTC
Look, you will have to imagine that you’ve been picking the fruit from the orchard yourself as you spoon mouthfuls of apple and cinnamon crumble into your mouth. For certain expats the sight of a crunchy crumble on a menu is enough to transport them to a crisp afternoon in their childhood and a scoop of ice cream helps that nostalgic nourishment.
Dhs38. Open daily 3pm-2am. DWTC, Sheikh Zayed Road, mcgettigans.com (04 378 0801).
French onion soup at Paul
We may have raved about the croissants at this French bakery before, but there is a lot more to take in at a specialist with nearly 150 years of history. This hearty French onion soup comes with melting mozzarella cheese and arrives at your table in a bread bowl.
Dhs32. Open daily 8am-11pm. The Walk, JBR, paularabia.com (04 436 4156).
Waldorf salad at Peacock Alley
A globally famous salad feels especially relevant at this time of year. Created for the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York, the recipe is not much different on the Palm Jumeirah. That means plenty of crunch from the celery and Granny Smith apples, with some sweetness from the grapes and candied walnuts. This version has truffle mayo, because Dubai.
Dhs58. Open daily 9.30am-6pm. Waldorf Astoria, Palm Jumeirah, waldorfastoria.com (04 818 2222).
Wild and chestnut mushroom risotto at Rhodes 1
A creamy risotto can be a warming and simple dish at the best of times, but as an autumn plate and filled out with wild mushrooms and chestnuts it is hard to beat. There may be fancier dishes at this upscale restaurant, but the addition of walnuts and pine nuts add to a rustic charm.
Dhs125. Open Mon-Fri, 6pm-midnight; Sat, 1-9pm. Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina, rhodesw1-dubai.com (04 317 6000).
Roasted pumpkin salad at Tom&Serg
The Al Quoz favourite is still one of Dubai’s finest cafés and you can’t go far wrong anywhere on the menu. As well as the roasted pumpkin you’ll find zest, creaminess, crunch and juiciness with toasted pine nuts, feta, rocket, sundried tomato and lemon dressing.
Dhs57. OPen Sun-Thu, 8am-4pm; Fri-Sat, 8am-6pm. Al Quoz, tomandserg.com (056 474 6812).