Kochfreunde.com is the culinary magazine of Oliver Wagner. Here, everything revolves around the almost most beautiful thing in the world: good food. The focus ranges from reports on exciting restaurants to recipes from his own kitchen, cookbooks and culinary gadgets.


Kochfreunde.com ist das kulinarisches Magazin von Oliver Wagner. Hier dreht sich alles rund um die beinahe schönste Sache der Welt: Gutes Essen. Dabei reicht der Fokus von Berichten über spannende Restaurants bis hin zu Rezepten aus der eigenen Küche, Kochbücher und kulinarische Gadgets.

Sky Table, Dubai

Dubai. The largest city in the United Arab Emirates. Oriental megacity. But, let’s make it short: From a culinary point of view alone, the trip to Dubai is not worth it. We cannot be accused of not having undertaken the most diverse experiments. Whether street food, fine dining or typical local products: Nothing really excited us. And we prefer to eat many of the imported delicacies in their parent stores rather than in the outlets in malls and hotels.

We had probably the most memorable dinner on the 42nd floor of the Sofitel Downtown. Sky Table is the name of the concept. A private dining room for a maximum of four people. Set up in a repurposed former kitchen of the house. Accessible only with personal escort, across the hotel, through various elevators and the last meters also through the staff wing.


Directly behind the counter where the guests take their seats, however, an impressive view of nocturnal Dubai opens up. Just across the street is the Burj Khalifa, currently still the tallest building in the world. At the foot of the bustling metropolis, the waterworks of the Dubai Fountain dance every twenty minutes – and everywhere the construction cranes are busy turning. This is not much less than spectacular. It is also supposed to be extremely romantic. For this was not spared rose petals and candles, which are used for the sole illumination of the room.

Only the dinner, which we have already reserved many weeks in advance and even already selected in numerous emails back and forth (a total of well over 20!) en detail, was far less spectacular.

Foie gras with brioche and fig chutney, Grilled Tiger Prawns with asparagus and beurre blanc on my side of the Sky Table, couscous salad and vegetarian tian next door.



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One may forgive some weaknesses in the dishes. After all, the kitchen where we took a seat is not currently available to any chef. Instead, the food from the large kitchens on other floors of the hotel is transported to our area in a warming trolley. Very much like trying to get room service. As a result, the products are neither hot, nor prepared á la minute. The effort also explains why there are three large courses and not a few more, but more compact plates. But do you want to forgive all these circumstances, at a dinner for which regularly* 300€ per person (without drinks) is calculated?

Another shortcoming was the temperature of the room. 16 degrees may be cool for a kitchen where hard work is done, but may still be perfectly fine. We felt it was significantly too cold for dinner. Finally managed to turn off the air conditioner completely. Temperature and mood rose in parallel to almost unexpected heights. However, and this is the downside of romance, all the small and large candles that were placed everywhere in the kitchen had intense floral fragrances. Which now, without air conditioning could unfold their full effect and thus covered even the most intense olfactory perception of the food. So you could alternately choose between arctic cold or a fragrance equal to an artificial rose garden…

Leaving these serious aspects aside, of course, the outlook is indeed sensational. The privacy that one enjoys in the frame here also unbeatable. And the service was great too. So what remains is a nice memory of a beautiful evening – and some potential that can still be awakened up here on the 42nd floor…

Culinary Dubai

Many other culinary excursions took us to the various malls that characterize daily life in Dubai. No wonder, with summer outside temperatures of up to 50 degrees. Sometimes you can even eat quite well there – but our sweet highlights were imported from Paris. Fauchon has a branch worth seeing in the Dubai Mall, in the center of the Fashion Hall. And fabulous éclairs!


Another import is the dim sum from Ping Pong in London. Unfortunately, there is no local reference in terms of the selection of products and dishes on the menu – and in direct comparison, the quality of the dim sum is nowhere near that of Din Tai Fung (a more Asian chain) or even Yauatcha in London (my favorite dim sum restaurant).


* We were thankfully booked into the Sky Table at press rates. This reduced the price of the dinner by 50%. This obviously had no influence on my reporting.

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