There is something in the air, closely resembling an electric vibe, when a nation holiday is announced in Dubai. It’s knowing that everyone is on vacation, laughing and trying to have a great time – a unison feeling of enjoyment that I relish.
With a holiday and spectacular weather in tow the perfect restaurant recommendation is in order aka Aprons and Hammers.
Just a big shout out to my beautiful cousin, Hana Zarour, for introducing me to Aprons and Hammers. Big love to her and to whoever introduces me to new places!
Stepping onto the dhow, which is Aprons and Hammers, we climb to the top deck to take full advantage of the outdoor weather.
Dressed in aprons on arrival, we take our orders. My friends focus on the starters and I keep my eyes set on the prize – buckets of Crab! Yes buckets – it’s the pleasure of grabbing your food from a bucket without the guilt of KFC.
In addition to choosing your buckets of locally sourced “fruits of the sea”, you are also asked to select a sauce they would be cooked in. We select some buckets avec sauce Provencale and others with a Pepper cream sauce.
(There is an option that the crabs be cooked plain and a dip of your choice would be offered on the side – don’t select this option, the previous is much better)
Our sides arrive and are annihilated in a second. Can you blame us? Comfort food classics from calamari, breaded shrimp, crab cakes, corn on the cob to ceasar salad.
The crab cakes are my top pick – golden and crispy from the outside and white and soft on the inside. I would although request that they make their own sauce to accompany the cakes – I’m not a fan of readymade sauces.
And then we wait, and we wait and we waited for our much anticipated mains – I’m not complaining I have a table of 10 close friends, a cool breeze and a chilled glass of Ksara white wine.
Finally our buckets arrive, all 7 of them – which is about 0.7 buckets per person if you wanna get all technical.
Eight pieces of warm crab drenched in the sauce of your choice. Cracking open the crab a billow of steam escapes, I pick out the white soft, but not too soft, crab meat and submerge it into the sauce. With the bite dripping down my fingers I add a French fry and pop it into my mouth and repeat and repeat.
The provencal is a light see through herb infused, French inspired sauce while the pepper cream sauce is a thicker cream based sauce. Every time I feel as though my mind is made up on which I prefer, I taste the other sauce and have to rethink my decision.
Aprons and Hammers does a good job of providing all the necessary utensils to optimize your crab eating experience:
Hammer: Which can be use to either bang away all your Dubai frustrations or crack open your crab. Just as a warning, with each bang comes a squirt to your neighbor so be careful and aim wisely.
The Crab Cracker: Is my utensil of choice. The best way to use it is to go along the crab leg and ever so slightly crack the shell.
The mini claw: A long metal rod with a small hook at the tip, which is excellent for grabbing the meat from inside the shell.
Or just use your hands!
There are two types of crab eaters, the first meticulously picks out all the crab meat and piles them on their plate. Then when appropriate, drizzles their favorite sauce and enjoys several bites of hassle free, pure crab meat. Then there’s people like me who get a small piece of meat, dunk it into the sauce and enjoy the bite right then and there! Which crab eater are you?
At the end of the meal all I can see is piles and piles of shells and everyone leaned back on their seats with smiles on their faces.
Aprons and Hammers encompasses what I always ask from a restaurant experience, exciting food, lively atmosphere and the desire to return!