Bur Dubai | My favourite food memories from Old Dubai – Part 1
Chalking out my favourite food memories from the neighbourhood trio of Bur Dubai, Karama and Oudh Metha in a three-part blogpost … digging into a two decade long delicious list!
After twenty years of living in the UAE, we are relocating to India once the commercial flights resume between the UAE and India. The Bearded Biker is being transferred within the organisation that he has been working for, hence it’s a happy move. Where are we headed to next? While I shall reveal that shortly – what I can tell you right now is that, it’s going to be another delicious journey!
With Esha Nag, Senior Editor of Gulf News for whom I have written one of my favourite columns – Hidden Gems, featuring many casual eateries around Dubai
In one of my recent articles published for the Gulf News Neighbourhood Guide (above), I chalked out my favourite food memories from the neighbourhood trio of Bur Dubai, Karama and Oudh Metha. To do justice to the long standing culinary legacies of these neighbourhoods, a combined article with a word limit of 800-1000 words can never be enough. In fact, an entire supplement is also probably not enough if I were to dig into my memories from two decades! So in my three-part pictorial blogpost here, I am including some of the eateries that I couldn’t mention in my published article and sharing some delicious images for the ones that I may have already mentioned in the GN article… for one can never be rich enough… or in our case, hungry enough!
Property Weekly Neighbourhood Guide: Do explore the various communities of Dubai in this weekly community neighbourhood magazine… where to stay, where to shop and most importantly, where to eat!
Barjeel Al Arab Restaurant, the traditional Textile Souq and Meena Bazaar area, Everest Restaurant, Arabian Tea House, Local House Restaurant and Coffee Museum in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood... these are a few places that I have mentioned in the above article.
The traditional vermicelli dish Balateet for breakfast at Barjeel Al Arab restaurant
Traditional ethnic wear shops in Meena Bazaar
A shop in the temple alley in selling fresh flower garlands and other puja ingredients
Crispy hot jalebis at Veg World
Live chaat counter at Veg World
Blue Barjeel restaurant by Dubai creekside
Breakfast at Blue Barjeel restaurant – falafels, parathas and eggs
Apart from Barjeel Guest House, the Blue Barjeel restaurant situated near the Al Ghudaiba Metro station is also a great alfresco dining option by the creek. The Textile Souq and the Meena Bazaar nearby is a culinary treasure trove – from small eateries offering fresh juices, crispy fried pakodas and shawarmas to restaurants which have stood the test of time. Veg World situated in the atrium of a shopping centre is a very good chaat stop in this area. Much like a food court, there are multiple shops that serve different kinds of Indian quick bites – street food, a variety of kulfis, fresh juices and more. The chaats and panipuris aside, the Cheese Gini Dosa is also my favourite pick here. The spicy concoction of cheese, vegetables and sauces inside crispy upright mini dosas, is a popular rendition of the South Indian dosa from Mumbai’s roadside food vendors. A stone’s throw away, the Pakistani restaurant Sheher Karachi is a must try for meat lovers. The restaurant has been around for more than thirty years and is open way past midnight. Try the special Peshawari Mutton Kadai, the most sought after dish in this restaurant… amongst their other signature meat dishes
Thakali Mutton thali at Everest Restaurant
Kothey buff momos at Everest Restaurant
Steamed momo at Everest Restaurant
Chilli Buff Momo at Everest Restaurant
Badam Sadheko or Nepali roasted peanut salad
Desi Chinese at Everest Restaurant
The Everest Restaurant near Astoria, serving authentic Nepalese cuisine and desi Chinese is another small eatery that we are very proud to have discovered. Tucked in a small alley near the Astoria hotel, it can be a bit tricky to find the restaurant. The kothey momos – half steamed and half fried dumplings or their other momos served with spicy peanut sauce are as delicious and authentic as the ones that we tasted in Kathmandu. You must also try the Nawari khaja sets and the Thakali Mutton thali.
Our cultural lunch at SMCCU – Chicken Machboos and Leqaimats
Chicken Machboos at Arabian Tea House Restaurant and Cafe
The Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood is not only a cultural and creative treasure trove, there are so many different kinds of cafes and restaurants in its hidden and not so hidden alleys. The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) offers a variety of programmes where one can have a glimpse of both Emirati culture and cuisine with its interactive cultural meals (you can read all about it and Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood in my earlier post). Arabian Tea House Restaurant & Café is one of my favourite restaurants and hang out spots in Dubai, since the time we arrived in Dubai. It is as if by sheer syncronicity, that I wrote about it way back in 2017, as one of the restaurants that I would like to visit one last time, if I were to leave Dubai!
The legendary mint lemonade in XVA Gallery Art Hotel & Cafe
The Local House Restaurant located next to Arabian Tea House serves Emirati and regional specialities while the XVA Café doubles up as a boutique guesthouse and art gallery and specialises in a gourmet vegetarian menu. The Coffee Museum is a unique museum and is a brewing haven for coffee lovers (above images). From learning about roasting and various brewing techniques to understanding about different coffee cultures – Arabic, Japanese, Ethiopian, Vietnamese and others, there’s also a small cafe at the museum where one can taste a variety of coffee.
Another delicious way to discover the old Dubai area is to book into the ‘Little India on a plate’ food tour with Frying Pan Adventures… do read all about it in a separate post. While I must absolutely wrap up this post now, all I can say borrowing the words from Andy William’s Love Story…
To tell the story of how great a love (Bur Dubai) can be
The sweet love story that is older than the sea
The simple truth about the love she (Bur Dubai) brings to me
Where do I start?
Bur Dubai is my first muhalla in our Dubai chapter… changing houses and neighbourhoods multiple times after that in a span of twenty years. See you in Karama in my next post!
Unblogging it all… Ishita
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Disclaimer: This isn’t a sponsored post, nor are there any affiliated links for any of the brands that may have been mentioned in this blogpost. We have paid for our meals at all restaurants, excepting the cultural meal at SMCCU and the ‘India on a Plate tour, where we were kindly hosted us our FoodeMag team. The subject, story, opinions and views stated here are my own and all images are from my personal album. While you enjoy reading my posts with lot of visuals, please do not use any material from these posts.