1. Well, Street Fest sounds like a whole lot of fun
It really does. The hotly-awaited event will be a huge part of this year’s Abu Dhabi Food Festival and will be held over three weekends in December in both Al Ain Zoo and at Lake Park, on Abu Dhabi’s most scenic stretch, the Cornich. Thousands of food lovers are set to flock to the huge melting pot of street culture, with tasty servings of art, music and, of course, lots of food, being dished out along the way.
2. There will be plenty of food, right?
Most definitely. First things first, make sure you go in hungry – as you won’t be leaving that way. Festival-goers will be spoiled for culinary choice, with a mouth-watering array of more than 40 food trucks, stalls and kiosks delivering brilliant bites and drinks from all corners of the globe with that straight-from-the-street vibe thrown in for good measure.
3. So what will be on the menu?
Whatever food mood you find yourself in, you will be well catered for here. If you love Lebanese, pop on over to Kaak Al Manara, who not only serve up the famous sesame-seed coated, purse-shaped bread (it’s delicious, give it a try) but a nice line in salads and soups. For a Far Eastern flavour with a twist, try out Moshi – Momo & Sushi, a fusion of Japanese sushi and Nepalese momo dumplings, sample the the cool creations at the Ice Cream Lab, featuring organic desserts prepared using liquid nitrogen for instant freezing, or head to Andiamo, a gourmet street food truck offering Italian pizzas, fresh burgers and traditional Quebecois street food favourite, poutine. Other top tastes include Mr Brisket, a hip and colourful food truck paying homage to the American favourite of brisket. For the uninitiated, it’s a prime cut of beef smoked using 16 different types of wood for 12 hours, topped with organic cheese.
4. That sounds delicious, but I’m on a bit of a health kick at the moment...
Ever heard of cheat days? Okay, if you are determined to keep up the diet we wouldn’t want to lead you too far astray. You can still get in on the Street Fest fun, too, by plotting a course for Theo’s Point Food. The menu here is based on clean eating and rich superfoods and fresh ingredients, home-made artisan breads, wraps, chips and dips among the flavours that are far from a guilty pleasure. If you fancy washing your healthy treat down with a drink, Fruitero Do Brasil serves up natural juices and smoothies made with exotic pulp, with no sugar, preservatives or colouring added.
5. What else have the Street Fest team got cooking?
If you would like to see how the best chefs in the world take their culinary creations from the heat of the kitchen to your plate, then get set for a fantastic feast for the eyes. Renowned chefs from across the globe will be on hand at the Street Fest to show off their skills in live demonstrations.
6. I feel full already, what else can I do while I build my appetite back up?
There is much more than just food for thought here. If you fancy a slice of edgy, urban culture then check out the eye-catching collection of local graffiti and street artists who will be putting their dazzling daubings on display. Emirati talents taking to the street include Melancholyarmy, Mas Ink band Bird FWC. With names that cool, we really want to see their colourful creations.
7. We’ve heard there'll be some funky music during the festival, is that right?
Yes, indeed, the voice behind one of the funkiest bands to ever hit the stage will be taking it to the street in the UAE. JT Taylor was part of the hugely popular American group Kool and the Gang from 1979 until 1989, when the New Jersey band were at the height of their fame with chart-topping smash hits such as Celebration, Get down on It and Ladies Night (yes, it actually is a song not just a night out) His tones have pleased the ears of music lovers for generations and is showing no signs of slowing down.
Taylor will be gracing the stage in Abu Dhabi on December 21 and 22.
8. Are there any other live acts coming to the festival?
Yes, as if JT Taylor wasn’t enough, he won’t be the only high note of the entertainment front. Emirati singer and songwriter Hamdan Abri will be wowing the crowds, while R&B star Hamza Hawsawi, the winner of season four of X Factor Middle East, will be out to show why he is such a musical hit. Dubai-based hip-hop group The Recipe (we know, what a good name for a band at a food festival) have all the right ingredients to steal the show.
9. Can I bring the kids along, too?
Street Fest will be jam-packed with family-friendly fun. There will be breakdance and street art workshops for children, as well as a kids play area equipped with giant inflatables. Meanwhile, for those foodie aficionados who want to put their palate to the test, there will also be blind tasting competitions. For those in search of a little retail therapy, a host of local craft vendors will be selling mementos and trinkets to treasure from your visit.
10. It sounds right up my street, when is it happening then?
We’re glad you asked. Street Fest comes to Al Ain Zoo on December 8 and 9 Lake Park on the Corniche from December 14 to 16 and again from December 21 to 23.
Lake Park, the Corniche: Dhs30. Thu Dec 14- Sat Dec 16, Thu Dec 21-Sat Dec 23, 2pm-11pm. Al Ain Zoo: Dhs40. Fri Dec 8- Sat Dec 9, 2pm-8pm.