Good quality meat: is it worth a quick Uber ride and the extra dirhams? Too right it is. With the season of entertaining – and bbq-ing – in full swing, it’s time to hunt down the best artisan butchers in Dubai rather than just popping into whatever supermarket happens to be nearest.
Whether you want cooking tips, advice on which cut to choose, or better quality meat for a special occasion, they’re the experts after all, and it’s also a great excuse to shop small and change your habits to eat more ethically, sustainably and healthy. That’s a win/win all round, if you ask us.
From T-bone steaks to BBQ bundles, these top seven artisan butchers will take your grill game to the next level.
Concerned about the source of your food and the impact it has on the environment? Then CarniStore is for you. Part-butcher, part-smokehouse, this online one-stop-shop promises ethically-raised meats sourced from across Australia and the US free from hormones and antibiotics, served alongside rubs, marinades and a selection of hot and ready-to-eat smokehouse products. Expect everything from Tomahawk (from Dhs250 for 1.3kg), striploin (from Dhs65 for 300g) and fillet mignon (from Dhs54 for 250g) to Angus beef hotdogs, short ribs and chicken wings. Oh, and if you ask nicely they’ll debone, deskin, dice, season and marinade your cut, too.
Meats & Cuts
One of the newest meat merchants on the scene, this upscale butchery and gourmet deli at The Pavilion, Jumeirah Park has already got locals talking thanks to its dry-ageing room, where not only can you hand-pick your meat, but you can also choose your aging time, too. A must for die-hard meat connoisseurs, all its US-grade meats are picked from premium farms, including Australian grass-fed tenderloin (from Dhs200 per kg) and USDA Prime ribeye (Dhs270 per kg). A great source for dinner parties, experts also whip together customised platters of cheese and hand-crafted cold cuts, plus ready-made barbecue boxes including burger patties, buns, condiments, briskets and beef ribs. Say no more.
The Pavilion, Jumeirah Park, instagram.com/meatsandcuts.ae (058 582 6223).
Having opened its door back in 2010, Prime Gourmet is the city’s original artisanal butchery. Now present everywhere from Umm Suqeim and the Springs to Town Center and Depachika Nakheel Mall, its Japanese Wagyu is where Prime Gourmet really shines, being a pioneer in serving up unusual cuts beyond the likes of tenderloin, striploin and ribeye. The star of the show is its Saroma Wagyu, sourced from the Saroma Lake Region in Hokkaido, renowned for the purity and minerals present in the water. A beef bundle of this will set you back Dhs430, while for dry-aged meats expect to pay Dhs295 for an Australian Wagyu striploin.
Various locations, primegourmet.ae (04 517 9666).
This home-grown brand in JLT prides itself on serving responsibly-farmed and grass-fed meats (a USDA Prime 5Up Beef tenderloin 250g will set you back Dhs75), plus New York-style pastrami, cooked meats, salamis and homemade pickles and more. It’s great for vegans, but if you’ve got mates coming round, we recommend opting for the Wannabe Grill Master which contains potato rolls, burger buns, lamb chops, Wagyu burgers, marinated beef skewers among others for Dhs450, serving up to 8. Refreshingly, Sausage Fabrique is all about transparency, and comes framed by a glass window so you can see everything being made from scratch – no mystery meats here.
Cluster F, JLT, instagram.com/sausagefabrique (058 584 4057).
The British Butcher Shop
When fully qualified British Master Butcher Mike Barber’s friends used to complain to him that they couldn’t find quality non-Halal meat anywhere in Dubai at a decent price, he did what any good friend would do – opened a butcher offering just that. Three years later and The British Butcher Shop now boasts four non-halal stores within the Geant supermarkets, plus a store in the Meadows Village Mall serving top notch beef, lamb, poultry and vegan options, plus over 50 types of handmade sausages and burgers using only the finest Suffolk produce flown in weekly. One for nostalgic British expats, there’s also a second store due to open in Arabian Ranches Souq in a few weeks, so watch this space. 170g of Australian grass-fed tenderloin comes in at Dhs29.50.
Various locations, thebritishbutchershop.com (04 575 4942).
The Dry Age Boutique
Never heard of dry aged meat? Hardly surprising as it’s always been basically impossible to come across in Dubai. Until now, that is. A process whereby meat is stored under particular conditions from anywhere between a couple of weeks and several months, the result is a richer flavour and more tender texture than its fresh-cut counterparts. Located in Wafi Mall, The Dry Age Boutique is the first of its kind in the city, offering up everything from dry-aged beef, lamb, deer, duck and camel, plus exclusive cuts of 9+ wagyu and Japanese A5. What’s more, there’s even a tasting room where you can taste your selections before purchasing, and be advised on the suggested cooking method and temperature of each cut. If you’ve got some cash to splash (rib-eyes start from Dhs228 but you can pay up to Dhs1,375 for a filet mignon), this is the butchers for you.
Wafi Mall, thedryageboutique.com (052 307 4000).
The Meat Avenue
A favourite among JLT dwellers, this artisan butchers meets Lebanese restaurant draws in the crowds with its grass- and grain-fed beef, hormone free chicken and top-quality cuts of lamb sourced from New Zealand and Australia. Cuts include everything from bone-in ribeye, black onyx tomahawk steak and grass fed lamb to Wagyu tenderloin and striploin steaks with a marbling score of 7-8, many available whole or cut to preference. A great option when catering to larger numbers, you’re looking at Dhs210 for 600g of the USDA prime tenderloin, Dhs165 for 750g of dry aged black angus T-bone, and Dhs70 for 500g of Australian grass-fed beef tenderloin – not bad at all.
Cluster Q, Dubai Gate 1 Tower, JLT themeatavenue.com (04 443 3738).