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This is not a drill.

For foodies across the city, the name Akmal Anuar needs no introduction. For others, here’s a brief one: not only is the Singaporean chef the brainchild behind the likes of 3 Fils, Goldfish and Sharjah-based Chie, but he’s also the founder of F&B consultancy firm White Rice. Now, Anuar is gearing up to showcase his heritage through an exciting new concept, 11 Woodfire.

chef Akmal 11 Woodfire

As its name suggests, the restaurant will pair vibrant flavours with traditional wood-fire cooking techniques, resulting in a unique dining destination rooted in earthy soulfulness. Located in a charming villa on Jumeirah Beach Road and opening later this month, 11 Woodfire is the result of a collaboration between Anuar and Atelier House Hospitality. As for what diners can expect? A simple menu that celebrates the earth’s natural bounty and creates a sense of community, especially as this eatery’s core philosophy centres around a warming fire – a place to gather, connect and share food with friends and family.

chef Akmal 11 Woodfire

As a result, the cuisine will showcase various techniques of grill cooking with an array of wood types, which help to create and enhance flavours. This will translate into an extensive selection of dishes that span meat, vegetable and seafood options – think: Wagyu kebab with fresh bread and truffle, king crab with lemon butter, and sea bass with a salt crust cooked in hay. Both familiar and unique flavours await, enveloped by the distinct tastes of woodfire and accompanied by unique seasonal ingredients. A passion project through and through, 11 Woodfire is a place driven by memories, stories and people, embodying the talented Anuar who, incidentally, started his culinary career working at his parent’s hawker stall in Singapore.

chef Akmal 11 Woodfire

As its curator and culinary force, his unbridled passion for simplicity and authenticity promises to shine through. “During my years of training, I never really found anything more interesting than the simplicity of natural flavours. It’s a personal development of the palate and memory to combine and achieve the best pairing taste,” he says. A sensory journey from start to finish, 11 Woodfire invites Dubai diners to explore a myriad of different textures, tastes, smells and sounds while discovering longstanding cooking techniques that enhance primal tastes in a warm atmosphere that encourages curiosity and conversation. Elevated yet comfortable, chic but casual, and committed to zero waste and sustainable practices – we’d expect nothing less.

GO: Visit or follow @11woodfire on Instagram for more information.

Samia Qaiyum

A textbook third culture kid with a perpetual thirst for adventure, Samia Qaiyum specialises in travel and culture, having lived in five countries and travelled to 34 others – just don’t ask her to define the word ‘home’.

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