I.O.U.A.E

Dubai is many things, but a Mecca for foodies it is not. Or religious types;­ that’s Mecca. If you like your Fridays TGI and your ice cream Baskin, then it’s the place for you. If you’re not careful, most dining will take place in shopping malls or downtown restaurants like Tony Romas etc. Safe, unchallenging and a magical ticket to any tedious landscaped resort in the world.

Dig a little deeper and you’re likely to find some excellent eating however. I’m not one of those fart-sniffing Brooklyn types who won’t go near a chain restaurant and will only patronise vegan hostleries serving organic guano beans or whatever. I patronise nearly everyone. In Dubai, you can find some decent places if you look for them. There’s a lot of expats from the Midlands. But almost as many from India, Pakistan, all over the Middle East and they bring the nice food with them.

The two highlights were Sind Punjab near Port Rashid (29 A Street) and Sidra in Jumeirah (Al Diyafah Street).

Sind Punjab offers fantastically cheap and tasty fare. I plumped for the lamb saag, tasty and the gristly lamb just made me think how authentic it was and how seasoned a travelling type I was (am?). If I got gristle and bone in the UK I would sick it up and run crying to the waiter. But with the lightest naan and for a tenner for 2 people you cannot complain.

Sidra was hilarious. Mixed grill? Check. Super sour/salty pickles? Check. Humongous number of little naans? Check? The salad was the piece of resistance though. Whole, unsliced cucumber, lemon, tomato, green pepper and spring onion. Talk about your lo-fi dining.

I want to eat camel.

SIND PUNJAB

Don't come between a bearded man and his gristle

Don’t come between a bearded man and his gristle

Mukhwas? Sometimes, in the shower.

Mukhwas? Sometimes, in the shower.

I like an audience pawing at the windows as I scoff. It makes supper time a little more gladiatorial.

I like an audience pawing at the windows as I scoff. It makes supper time a little more gladiatorial.

They're all watching the cricket

They’re all watching the cricket

SIDRA

Comes with maggot eggs

Comes with maggot eggs

Nice looking grill. That's a whole tossing onion

Nice looking grill. That’s a whole tossing onion

Look at that salad was brutal

Look at that salad. It was brutal

Busy busy.

Busy busy.

Sind Punjab
Near Fish Market
Al Karama
Dubai
UAE
Tel: +971 4 337 5535

Sidra
Dune Centre
Satwa
Dubai
UAE
Tel: +971 4 345 3044

 

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