Hafiz Mustafa 1864, Dubai Mall, United Arab Emirates

Address: The Dubai Mall, Fountain Level – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday 8:00am – 11:45pm, Friday – Sunday 8:00am – 1:00am
Official Website: hm1864.ae
Hafiz Mustafa 1864 Dubai Mall Menu

I literally had consumer paralysis when I was researching about desserts in Dubai Mall. You’ve got the recently opened Yann Couvreur from Paris, Yamanote Atelier from Tokyo, Angelina from Paris, Leto Caffe and Cakes from London, Eataly from New York, and more. Simply put, you’re going to need more than 2 weeks in Dubai… And more than 2 stomachs to digest them all.

If you happen to land in the same dilemma as I did, go with Middle Eastern desserts first and you’ll never regret your choice. You must always try out cuisine that is local first, before you delve into the international playground.

For example, I didn’t believe the the first Kunafe I tried in Sofra in Singapore was even noteworthy. I didn’t know what made a kunafe authentic or even memorable.

Enter Hafiz Mustafa, Istanbul’s most popular confectionery since 1864.

Ismail Hakki Bey started his business with only rock candy in the humble Bahcekapi neighborhood in Istanbul’s Faith district. They’re a god in Turkish delights, offering over 50 varieties which they are now exporting out of Turkiye.

But I’ll set aside Turkish delights. I had two desserts in my mission: Baklavas and Kunafa.

Afet-i Devran Baklava

At Hafiz Mustafa, desserts are a royal treat. Afet-i Devran Baklava is a spectacle to watch tableside. Carrot slice baklavas is filled with pistachio wrapped baklavas. Talk about baklava-ception. Now, Turkish ice cream is playfully sandwiched between and topped with signature Ala sauce.

These were unlike any baklavas I’ve tried. Not too sweet, and packed with crunch coming from pistachios and carrot. If you have just one moment to have dessert in Dubai, try Hafiz Mustafa’s baklava.

Kunafa – Shredded Kadayıf With Cheese

Kunafa is a dessert with debatable origins, but it’s usually shredded kadayif with cheese. Often it’s eaten with ice cream or clotted cream. You’ll get a lot of cheese pull as you slice the kadayif and feed yourself. First the coolness of the ice cream greets your tongue. Then the kadayif with the cheese absorbing all of the creamy milk. Insane. Sofra’s Kunafe didn’t even come close.

I had a nice Turkish coffee to go with my dessert, which was served with chocolate dates and a bottle of still water.

An hour later, I can feel Dubai sinking his teeth in my bones, and it’s only day one.