Dusty’s is DIFC’s ‘newest kid on the block’. Conceptualized and created by the very talented young foodie Dusty Tourani, the self-named gastro-bar is a compilation of his favorite dishes from around the globe.
Born in Singapore to Indian socialite couple Mahesh and Rekha Tourani, Dusty is an amalgamation of many foodie influences. After completing high-school in Dubai, Dusty moved to the States. He was studying in the East Coast, and his brother was on the West. The two would meet up midway in New York, and this opened up a whole new world of gastronomic experiences to Dusty.
Back home in Dubai, Dusty’s was born. Located on the first floor of Al Fattan Currency House in the business hub of DIFC (Dubai), we walked in for dinner on a Thursday night expecting it to be rather quiet given the office crowds must be partying the weekend elsewhere. How wrong were we! The place was absolutely buzzing with activity. There was a table of well-suited executives, loosening their ties over drinks. Another table was crammed with leggy young ladies, daintily forking select appetizers, and at a corner was a middle-aged couple exchanging soft whispers. The casual, funky ambience at Dusty’s has turned into a favorite watering hole for all sorts.
I felt pretty awkward for tagging along my 5 year-old. This is a grown-up’s playground after all. However, the staff were very accommodative, and reassured me that they have little diners at their table for breakfasts and lunches all the time 🙂
I love the interior décor at Dusty’s. Remember when you were in preschool and got to practice your scissor skills on a pile of magazines, and create weird and wonderful collages of big heads and small bodies? At Dusty’s, the walls are lined with this form of artwork, and a local artist who was hired for this job, took 4 months to complete it. It makes me want to go on a DIY trip and do up my own den!
I found the blaring music rather loud when we just walked in, but a few drinks down and I was a part of the whole Dusty’s vibe!
We were served a complimentary bread basket to whet the appetite.
For drinks, we decided to give Dusty’s cocktails section a try. Hubby went for the Chateau Dusty Grand Cru, a very flavorful, fruity and potent muddle of scotch, red wine and crème de cassis. A hint of black pepper laced the drink with a unique spiciness, and a bite of dark chocolate on the side makes this drink Hubby’s favorite at Dusty’s.
Being a fan of avocado smoothies, I was rather curious about having avocado in a grown-up cocktail. Dusty’s Guacarita gives the simple, mellow avocado smoothie (sweetened with agave syrup) an alcoholic twist. Tequila and triple sec have been blended in, and I love how the martini glass it was served in was laced with chili salt. Very Mexican don’t you think?!
The menu listings at Dusty’s is not overly long, yet is packed with many favorites you would want to order at a casual-dining setting.
We started off with one of my favorite Italian starters, the Burrata. At Dusty’s it is served with roasted sweet peppers which really went well with the creaminess of the cheese, and the chopped basil went on to add a hint of Italian panache. Loving the rustic-style presentation at Dusty’s; isn’t the cutlery absolutely stunning?
Below is Dusty’s Rock Shrimp Tempura, yet another popular favorite with Japanese origins. The tempura had a beautifully crisp and golden on the outside, and the shrimp meat was soft, steamy and cooked to perfection. The chili mayo on the side added a much needed zing to the palette.
The third appetizer is yet another very popular snack, and this one originates from the Far East. This is a serving of Dusty’s Satay Chicken. The flavors were well-marinated into the chicken meat, and the soya sauce dip accentuated the Eastern flavors in each bite.
My favorite appetizer at Dusty’s was their Beef Carpaccio Crostini. The beef has been marinated in a very flavorful lemon dressing, and is served with dollops of aioli. The crisp, finely thin crostini bread adds a delicate crunch to each mouthful, and a sprinkle of rock salt gives each bite an unexpected burst of flavors. Absolutely delicious!
The starters at Dusty’s got me excited on what the main course would bring. We filled up the gap with a second round of drinks. Hubby got introduced to a Japanese beer brand called ‘Kirin‘. We are told this Japanese lager beer is a favorite among Dusty’s regulars, and really packs a punch.
I tried Dusty’s Tubble & Bubble. A very pretty girly-girl drink in a vibrant pink, this is a fruity blend of raspberries, strawberries, Prosecco and gin.
For our main course, Hubby ordered Dusty’s Beef Stir Fry and I had their Black Cod.
How pretty is the presentation of the Beef Stir Fry?! This is a simple dish with bold, vibrant flavors. Thin strips of beef tenderloin has been marinated in a decadent chili-soy marinade and tossed with sesame. The beef is deliciously tender, and the marinade has soaked right through each bite.
However, both Hubby and I agreed my main dish was the star on the table. Neither Hubby or I am a huge fan of fish, but the Black Cod at Dusty’s is a must-try. Cooked to absolute perfection, the fish flakes out with the touch of a fork, and is beautifully moist and moreish. It is coated with a deep, dark sauce which I suspect is soya based, and has Indian accents thrown in. The fillet is accompanied with a Mango Salsa, akin to an Indian chutney, and the fruity sweetness adds an exotic appeal to the overall dish.
And who walks in just as we start digging into the mains? Dusty himself! Warm and enthusiastic about his culinary creation, this young restaurateur has many plans up his sleeves. Dusty is a child of this generation, exposed to a whole array of interesting cultures, and his restaurant is an attempt at presenting his this mix in the form of delicious global cuisine.
We ended our meal at Dusty’s with their Candy Station. This platter is a sweet-feast of my childhood dreams, and it got my 5 year-old very excited!
Here you have a chocolate fondant, and an array of marshmallows, donut holes and fruit to dip in with. I really liked the caramel macaroon, and my daughter insisted on having both the chocolate lollipops on the platter.
Overall, we had a lovely time at Dusty’s, DIFC’s brand new, laidback hangout joint. From the spunky décor to the roundup of foodie favorites, all served up with great customer service, Dusty’s is an ideal watering hole to hang out with the mates after a long week at work. What are you doing this Thursday? 🙂
Dusty’s is located on the 1st Floor of Al Fattan Currency House (DIFC, Dubai). Browse their website for details, or give them a ring on 04 354 5435.