A fine-dining street food experience with Khadija Kumcheang

A fine-dining street food experience with Khadija Kumcheang

In the kitchen of Hikina restaurant, sous chef Khadija Kumcheang takes us on a culinary journey to the Far East. 

What are the latest trends in Far Eastern cuisine?
The latest trends focus on healthy eating. Food must be both delicious and nourishing. These days, diners are concerned about the ingredients they are consuming and prefer to have them sourced locally wherever possible. A chef’s priorities ought to be quality and freshness.
We have also noticed that authenticity is gaining plenty of attention. Nowadays, consumers are knowledgeable. Most of them have experienced authentic cuisine in the countries they’ve traveled to, so they are able to identify the real experiences, cooking techniques and flavors.
Consumers prefer relaxed, casual eating experiences and look for great food in an environment that makes them feel comfortable. This improves the flavor of the food.

What challenges does a chef have to overcome in order to transform a basic street food experience into a fine-dining one?
Fortunately, street food has come a long way. Whether the dish is being served from a street food cart in a busy street market or at a restaurant, it is often packed with flavor.
The biggest challenge that chefs face when it comes to transforming a street food experience into fine dining is presentation.
A wonderful dining experience is multi-sensory and immersive; presentation is as important as the taste. Hikina’s plating elevates the culinary experience and leaves guests happy to have experienced authentic, delicious food.

How does Hikina cater to Dubai’s adventurous diners?
We cater to those passionate about food as our cuisine is deeply rooted in authenticity. We take foodies on an explosive rollercoaster of Far Eastern tastes, drawing on an exotic spectrum of textures and aromas by elevating the well-known street food experience to gourmet dishes that are accessible from a price point.

They genuinely feel that Hikina champions and celebrates the culinary heritage of Southeast Asia. Our guests can immerse themselves in an intimate and exciting dining space, with an open kitchen that’s dynamic.


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About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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