At 40 years young, Dubai is already home to a multicultural melee, and unlike other global cities where one native dish reigns supreme, Dubai’s signature cuisine is as varied as the globe. To find these traditional tastes, steer clear of the newer developments of Dubai Marina and Downtown Dubai and instead, head to the city’s older backstreets to uncover some delicious and inexpensive local eats.
Levant cuisine has become synonymous with Arabic restaurants across the city, but Zaroob offers a fresh, fast food-style take on the usual sharwamas, grills and flatbreads. The live cooking stations and open kitchens produce sights and smells reminiscent of a Middle Eastern street market, and the name of the restaurant actually translates as “small alley”.
The Taiwanese national drink is not strictly a food and not strictly on the street, but it is worth a mention simply because it is so delicious. For the uninitiated, bubble tea is a blend of cold tea and milk or fruit juices, with added tapioca pearls (the bubbles).
Dubai is not short of a Pakistani restaurant or 10. But there is only one that every expat can name: Ravi’s (Satwa Street, Satwa; 971-4-331-5353). Despite its near infamous status as being one of the only “authentic” places that everyone loves to “discover”, its popularity never wavers because the food is always top notch. And despite its enduring popularity, no matter what you order at Ravi’s, the price is rock bottom.
Head over the creek to the original old town, Deira, and the best place is China Sea (Al Maktoum Street; 971-4-295-9816). This family-run restaurant’s decor lies somewhere between a Communist canteen celebrating Chinese New Year and a 1960s garden party with wicker furniture. Menus come with pictures, and all the enormously-portioned dishes are wheeled at high speed to the tables on metal trolleys. Some dishes are even prepared table-side, so if you like the look of someone else’s dinner, be prepared to point and ask.
Pyongyang Okryu-gwan (Al Maktoum Street, Deira; 971-4-298-1589) flies the flag for North Korea’s excellent chow, though, having never been allowed into North Korea, few can attest to whether it is representative of the rest of the nation. Barbeque meat at your table, devour kimchi like there is no tomorrow and try not to be too disappointed by the unremarkable decor.
Where else in Dubai can you find authentic cuisine? Share your ideas with us!
Source: BBC Travel
Image: My Hotels In Dubai