Known for their seafood platters, this gourmet paradise has over fifty different types of cheese. The majority are from France, supplied by producer Beillevaire, and there’s a good range of cow, goat and sheep’s milk cheese mainly from raw milk. Enthusiastic and helpful service, Chef Ray recommends his favourite soft, hard and blue cheeses as Brie de Meaux, Comte and Forme D’Ambert.
Market and Platters is located in Marina Pinnacle Tower, Dubai Marina. www.marketandplatters.com
Don’t be overwhelmed by the array or the prices at Eataly in Dubai Mall. Some canny shopping will uncover a few gems. My tip is to buy a huge block of their Grana Padano. It may seem expensive to fork out 100 aed in one go but it’s the best value for this quality in the whole of Dubai. Store it well and it will last for ages too. Bonus tip: Keep an eye out for their occasional events, which includes a class on making mozzarella.
Eataly is located in Dubai Mall. www.eatalyarabia.com
Before all the specialist choice we had Carrefour and it’s still a good bet for cheese if you choose wisely. Ignore the array of mass produced block ‘Cheddars’ and plastic looking stuff. Go for individual whole cheeses from small French producers. The Mont D’or (only available in winter) is very good value (if kept a bit too cold). Leave to ripen in your own fridge and remove well before serving to come to room temperature.
Carrefour Hypermarkets are located in various loca ons across Dubai. www.carrefouruae.com
La Cave a Fromage
Tucked away on the back wall of this space dedicated to good food, my eyes boggled when I first saw the varying sizes, shapes and colours of the vast array of cheese. Managed by some seriously nerdy cheesemongers, this is the very best selection of European cheese you will find. My previous gripe was where were all the British cheeses, however they now stock an incredible range including a nutty Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop, a raw milk Derby (from the Staffordshire Cheese Company) and a farmhouse Caerphilly. It’s a blue cheese lover’s haven.
Chef Russell Impiazzi of Lafayette Gourmet recommends his favourite soft, hard and blue cheeses as Xavier David Saint Marcellin, Testun al Foglie di Castagno -wrapped in chestnut leaves – and Devon Blue (one of my favourites too).
La Cave a Fromage is located in Lafayette Gourmet, Galeries Lafayette, Dubai Mall. www.galerieslafayettedubai.com
Jones the Grocer
I’ve spent many a happy time in the special cheese rooms in the Jones the Grocer shops at the Al Manara branch and more recently the new one in the Dusit hotel. The cheese is well stored and displayed; you can taste before you buy and all from small, specialist producers. It’s top of my ‘go-to’ list for my Christmas Stilton. Their exclusive partnership with Paxton and Whitfield (the oldest cheesemongers in England established in 1797) has brought new British treasures but they are strong on French, Spanish and other European specialist cheeses too. Royal warrant holders Paxton and Whitfield make all sorts of crackers, biscuits, chutneys and preserves to go with cheese so you could be munching on the same favourites as the British Royal family. Bonus tip: Register for their cheese club and cheese-tasting nights.
Jones the Grocer, Sheikh Zayed Road (opposite Times Square) and in the Dusit Al Thani. www.jonesthegrocer.com