What is Our Table UAE
Our Table is a concept that has been established for almost 2 years in Australia is now being rolled out in Dubai and the UAE under the name Our Table UAE. It’s popular in Australia and works very well there. DoinDubai was one of the first organizations to try the experience in Dubai in a home setting.
How does Our Table UAE work
The concept is to bring together good wine, good food and good friends in a home setting. The wine is supplied by Jacob’s Creek who developed the Our Table concept. Do note that valid alcohol licenses are required by whoever is hosting the Our Table UAE experience. You will also need to provide proof of tenancy or ownership of your home.
What did we experience from Our Table UAE
We experienced a very well organized evening of good food and good wine shared with our friends in a home setting. We loved the Our Table UAE experience as did our guests and we would have no hesitation in repeating the experience at a later date in another setting or attending another Our Table experience.
The Setting Up of the Our Table UAE experience
Once I had agreed in principal to hosting an Our Table UAE experience, and a date had been confirmed, the team came to visit our home. Leave at least an hour of time for the set up and planning visit. Expect 3 to 4 people and do have some kind of format in mind with any questions that can be ironed out at this stage.
I wasn’t keen on my guests being videoed or interviewed during the evening for example. The team arrives about 3 hours before your first guests are expected. Table ware, crockery, cutlery, glass ware, candles and greenery are all taken care of.
The format of the evening
There are a variety of formats you can choose for your evening. Ours sounded like it was going to be quite a formal evening but actually it was really relaxed!
Drinks and canapés on the terrace
Guests were greeted and given a first taste of a few wines for the evening by Alex our designated sommelier from Jacobs Creek.
We tried 2 wines at this time, a sparking wine and a light rose.
Moving inside for a sit down meal
We were invited to sit down for our meal about an hour later. We were instructed to leave our glasses outside, as there would be 3 more wines to try, one white and two reds and glasses were set out on the table.
Dessert Canapes served in the lounge
To be served in the lounge area. This didn’t quite work as we’d planned, but see my note on how our format worked in practice.
Cheeseboard back out on the terrace
A full cheeseboard with our last wine, this time a sparkling white wine, served back out on the terrace.
Did our format work in practice?
Yes but not perfectly as 2 of our 11 guests were late, so the canapés on the terrace part went on for a little longer than planned, but this was well accommodated by the team.
We also decided that we wanted desserts to be served at the table instead of on the relaxed sofas, again our request was accommodated and the catering company washed the starters boards and served on those. Again we were impressed by the professionalism of the team.
Were there enough drinks for the evening?
Yes absolutely, there is a set number of glasses of wine allocated for each guest. The staff is happy to refill as necessary. Alex is also happy to answer any questions and tells us a little about each wine as the evening progresses.
Can your guests drink anything else other than the wine offered?
Yes but you have to provide those drinks. We were convinced some of our party would want to revert to their favourite spirits but no requests came forward. They were very happy with the wine that was offered, in fact one of the reds – the Jacob’s Creek Reserve Barossa Shiraz was an existing favourite of one of our guests.
Food for the evening
Your food will be determined by the formality of your experience. Our Table chose a caterer that we were happy with. They chose Elements Catering that I had experienced beforehand. You also don’t have the headache of matching food courses with the wines etc. However we were offered a chance of using a caterer of our own choice with a good set budget per head. As ours was a formal sit down meal our menu was as follows:
Our favourites were the octopus balls and the manchego cheese croquettes. But we also served mini chicken shwarma wraps, scallops, olive spheres and a special mini egg.
Green and white asparagus with black tuffle and hazelnut oil
There was also a very good aubergine dip on the table that everyone ate with bread, that was really tasty.
Halibut that was seared with a red pepper crumb and spicy corn salsa
3 different chocolate canapé type desserts.
Overall everyone thought the food from Elements Catering was of a high standard and very tasty. Points that may inform you when choosing your caterer are as follows:
- Our favourite canapés were the octopus balls and the manchego cheese croquettes. Both of these are deep fried though.
- The halibut main course looks quite small on the dinner plate, so I was concerned about their being no sides. In the event, no one was hungry (as we have been at some other catered, sit down meals) but I would have preferred if there was a side on the plate, perhaps of crunchy green beans or some hot rosemary potatoes. I did ask for the bread to be passed around again at this point as the fish portions looked very lonely on their plates!
- There is a vegetarian option also available.
- There will not be any extra portions of food as it is strictly according to numbers of people eating.
Set up for the evening
All the setting up of the table, outside area, bar and kitchen is done in full by the Our Table team.
Music for the evening
We were responsible for our own music.
Clearing away after everyone has gone
My helper was around for the duration of the eveing, but the staff from the Our Table team handle everything fairly well and do most of the clearing up.
The next day
The Our Table team agrees a mutually convenient time and comes the next day to clear away and take away all their setting up props. They do itemize things like succulents, candles, mats, vases etc and expect them all to be returned in good condition.
What about the Left Overs?
It’s unlikely there will be any left over food if you choose Elements Catering although we did have some cheese left from the cheese board. This was quite unlike our experience with Dish Catering when we have a good amount of food left over that can be refrigerated for the next day.
You may want to check out the Our Table UAE Instagram page to find out more.
Thank you or Cheers in this case, Monica.