Iranian dhows in Dubai creekside

My Dubai Diary

As of October 2020, we have relocated to Chennai and I've started on a new category... My Chennai Chapter!
I’ve spent almost two decades in Dubai – the longest stint in any city after Kolkata, the city where I was born. Possessive about Dubai, I’ve tried to convince every guest that we’ve had, about the virtues and beauty that lay beyond the glitzy shopping malls and the stereotype associated with the city. For example, the magical desert under a star-lit night or Bastakia (now known as Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood) and its art alleys running amongst traditional houses with their alluring wind-towers. In fact, getting lost in the hidden galleries is my favourite past-time in this city!

Do read all about me here, why and how I started this blog, or what do I do now to earn a living. Dubai has been my adopted home for many years and a lot of food posts have been juxtaposed against my Kolkata nostalgia or my living experiences in the UAE. In most of my writings, culture, history, recipes, food stories and nostalgia – even my childhood memories in Kolkata, unfold amidst the urban backdrop of Dubai. Hence, sometimes I’ve not been able to clearly demarcate between Dubai and Kolkata posts.

Please note that some of my posts have been written as early as 2011 and there may have been changes in the restaurants and places mentioned (some may have shut shop, others have changed location, or simply lost their earlier ethos). Updating more than 300 blogposts can be quite a task… sometimes, next to impossible but I do try to update/edit as much as I can. Do please bear with me if there are any anomalies in some of my earlier posts!

I am very fortunate that my blog has enjoyed some press and media mentions and has also given me the opportunity to write elsewhere. Do join me on my daily food and travel journey on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and PinterestHope you enjoy!

All blogposts revolve around the following categories – Recipes, Reviews, Interviews, Food Events and Culinary Travel, click here to read. I have compiled all posts falling under the categories of Dubai here, Kolkata here, everything that I am exploring in Chennai here and everything beyond these three cities here. To find all the posts written so far in a chronological manner, click here.

Things to do in Dubai

Things To Do In Dubai | Like A Tourist In My Own City

An Indian food tour in Old Dubai with Frying Pan Adventures

Where to eat in Dubai (my favourites):

Bur Dubai | My favourite food memories from Old Dubai – Part 1
An Indian food tour in Old Dubai with Frying Pan Adventures
Bu Qtair Fish Restaurant | Capturing a hidden gem in Jumeirah – Seafood Shack, Jumeirah 3, changed location (next post)
Bu Qtair in a new avatar | A New Year, a new location Seafood restaurant, Jumeirah
New Bu Qtair | A revamped Dubai institution in video Seafood restaurant, Jumeirah
When you finally move out of Dubai… which restaurant would you like to visit for one last time? Ravi Restaurant, Arabian Tea House
Al Fannah | How Deep (Fried) Is Your (Fish) Love? Seafood restaurant, Jumeirah
The Majlis Dubai and Jumeirah Mosque – Camel Milk Cafe, Jumeirah
Seaview Restaurant In Jumeirah | A New Year And Visiting A Brand New Restaurant Seafood restaurant, Jumeirah

Where to Eat in Dubai (in alphabetical order):

Al Badia | Weekend in Dubai Calls For A Brunch, A Picnic Brunch! – Dubai Festival City, closed down
Al Fannah | How Deep (Fried) Is Your (Fish) Love?
Al Fanar Restaurant & Café | My First Authentic Emirati Food Experience! – Dubai Festival City, revamped
Ananta, Oberoi Dubai | Galouti Kababs Materclass – Indian Fine Dining, Business Bay + recipe
Asha’s with Asha Bhosle | Cooking With Her, Listening To Her & Sharing Her Recipe! – Indian Fine Dining, Pyramids at Wafi
Asado Wine Club | An Evening of Wine Tasting – Steakhouse, Fine Dining, The Palace Hotel, Old Town
Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa | Twitterati Lunch – Luxury Eco-Resort in the desert
Baisakhi Celebration in Patiala and Options By Sanjeev Kapoor | Celebrating Festivals in Dubai – Patiala has revamped while Options has closed down
Bateaux Dubai | #FoodPorn Along The Dubai Creek – Experiential Dining, Dubai Creek
BBQ Delights | The Afghani Rosh That’s Forced Me To Discuss Indo-Pak Politics! – Casual Dining, Downtown
Bikers Cafe | Emirati Breakfast Followed by Emirati Desserts – Cafe and Casual Dining, Jumeirah
Bo House Cafe In JBR Walk | Christmas Carols & A Gust Of Wind – Casual Dining, The Walk, closed down
Book Munch | Join Me For A Bengali Gourmet Meal On The 4th June – Family Restaurant, Al Wasl Square, changed location
Bu Qtair Fish Restaurant | Capturing A Hidden Gem In Jumeirah. A Video Too! – Seafood Shack, Jumeirah 3, changed location, check next posts
Bu Qtair In A New Avatar | A New Year, A New Location
New Bu Qtair | A Revamped Dubai Institution In Video
Chimes – Singaporean Chilli Crabs | And A Special Blog Giveaway For Valentine’s Day! – Oriental Casual Dining, Al Barsha, changed location
Creekside Cafe – More Than Just Food – Cafe Restaurant, Creekside
Costa Coffee | Back To Dubai, Back to Costa – Cafe, Meadows
Ezi Dzi and a Nowruz Buffet | Celebrating Festivals in Dubai – Iranian Casual Dining, Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT), closed down
Helio Lounge and Feteer Meshaltet In Video | Talking To Celebrity Chef Joe Barza – Arabic Lounge, Dubai Marina, closed down
Kebab Bistro | A Parsi Lunch Buffet To Remember – Parsi/Indian Casual Dining, Satwa/Jumeirah, changed location
Lafayette Gourmet  | Festive Menu Tasting – Christmas Is In The Air! – Gourmet Store, Dubai Mall
Mahec, Le Meridien | When Mango Is The Hero in A Love Story  – Indian Fine Dining, Garhoud, revamped
The Majlis Dubai And Jumeirah Mosque – Finest Camel Milk Cafe, Jumeirah
Mazina in Address Marina | Gingerbread House and Gingerbread Macarons – Family Dining, Dubai Marina
Mazina Theme Nights | Eating Around The World – Family DIning, Dubai Marina
Omnia Gourmet by Chef Silvena | Decadence, Deliciousness & A Lot of Expectations! Healthy Eating, Jumeirah
OPTIONS By Sanjeev Kapoor | Romantic Giveaway & Bengali Food Festival – Indian, Dubai World Trade Centre, closed down
OPTIONS By Sanjeev Kapoor, Mövenpick Deira | Official Opening & Romantic Dinner Invites for 2 couples! closed down
Patiala | Talking to Chef Sanjay Bahl About Flavours And More Flavours! – Indian Fine Dining, Souk Al Bahar, revamped
Ronda Locatelli | The Truffle Story With Giorgio Locatelli – Italian Fine Dining, Atlantis The Palm
Seaview Restaurant In Jumeirah | A New Year And Visiting A Brand New Restaurant!– Seafood restaurant, Jumeirah
Shiraz Golden Restaurant | Searching for Shiraz from Lucknow to Kolkata to Dubaiclosed down
Shiraz and Poila Baisakh | Celebrating Festivals in Dubai – Bengali New years Celebrations
Sukhothai – Songkran Dinner | Celebrating Festivals in Dubai – Episode 2 – Thai, Le Meridien Hotel, Airport
Tantuni | A Taste Of Turkish Street Food and Another Blog Giveaway! – Turkish Street Food, Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT), closed down
Taste Of Dubai Menu Tasting At Asado | Part 2 Of My Gluttonous Double Munching! – The Palace Downtown
Taste Of Dubai Menu Tasting At Thiptara | Part 1 Of My Gluttonous Double Munching! – The Palace Downtown
Taste of Dubai 2013 | I Saw Them Cook And I Ate What They Cooked – Food Event, Media City Amphitheater
The Change Initiative | Frozen Aam Pana/Green Mango Pulp – Dubai’s first sustainable store + a Recipe, closed down
The Label Project | Wines Tasted Blindly! – Invite to a Global Wine initiative from Jacob’s Creek
Thiptara and a Chef’s table | A Romantic Dinner Invite From The Palace Downtown! – Thai Fine Dining, Downtown
TRIBES | Celebrating South African Heritage Day! – South African, Mall of Emirates
Wakha Wakha Eh Eh (This Time For Afghanistan)! – Al Barsha
Westin – Songkran Splash| Celebrating Festivals in Dubai – Jumeirah Beach Road
Yuan In Atlantis| Dim Sum-ing All The Way On A Friday – Friday Brunch, Atlantis, The Palm

Dubai Roundups

When you finally move out of Dubai… which restaurant would you like to visit for one last time? Ravi Restaurant, Arabian Tea House
Hidden Gems of Dubai | My Pick of Restaurants  
My Best Brunch Experiences | Exploring The Friday Heritage
The Golden Dishes of Dubai | Countdown To 2015
Countdown To 2015 | Gobbling Up The Best Views In Dubai
Countdown To 2015 | Oh My Mulled Wine Over Christmas!
#MyDubaiTrip Itinerary For Peeta Planet | A Photo Essay
Ramadan in Dubai | The Iftars And The Suhours Around Town
BBC GoodFood Middle East 2013 Awards | And The Award Goes To…
The 7 Tastiest Fast Feasts Of Dubai | Introducing Chowzter to Dubai
Ramadan in Dubai | Where All You Can Eat
A Connoisseur’s Guide To Eating Out In Dubai | Zomato

Dining Concepts

Arabian Pilgrimage Food Tour With Frying Pan Adventures  – Food Tour
Dining Concept | Dining Around Dubai With Foodiva – Food Tour
Ghaf Kitchen | A Moving Hidden Gem of Dubai  – Gourmet Food Truck
ChefXChange | When A Chef Comes Home

Sustainable/Organic Dubai

Farmers Market On The Terrace | Breakfast Picnic and Knowing Your Local Farmers
A Trip to Rajasthan To Meet The Farmers | Is Your Spice Procured Ethically? Produced Organically?
Frozen Aam Pana/Green Mango Pulp | The Change Initiative Inspiration! – Dubai’s first sustainable store + a Recipe; closed down
Down To Earth Organic Store In Dubai | Mutton Chick Peas Curry – An event + a Recipe
Al Maha Desert Resort | Twitterati Lunch – The luxury Eco-Resort in the desert
Locavorism in UAE, Friday Market in Fujairah | Tok Palong/Sour Spinach Chutney Food talk + a Recipe

Hidden Gems of Dubai – PW in Gulf News

The Majlis Dubai And Jumeirah Mosque – Finest Camel Milk Cafe, Jumeirah
A Moving Hidden Gem of Dubai | Ghaf Kitchen – Gourmet Food Truck/Boutique Catering
Creekside Cafe – More Than Just Food  – Cafe Restaurant, Creekside

Food Events & Festivals

Ramadan in Dubai #FillingTheBlues
Grandma’s Recipe Contest | Digging Out Recipes From Family Heirloom
The World of Emirati Cuisine And Culture | A Photo Essay
Learning To Cook Risotto The Italian Way And A Creamy Brothy Recipe of Risotto Alla Milanese
Treat 2012 | Cooking Zatar Lamb, Crushed Lemon Potato with Chef Ron Pietruszka – Burjuman World Food Fest + a Recipe
Celebrating Dubai Christmas | Dining In, Dining Out, Cooking or Mall Hopping!

Living in Dubai – Memories & Recipes

Shubho Noboborsho | A traditional Bengali menu for Frying Pan Diaries podcast
Shubho Bijoya to all | Immersing in the bond of food and love
Food, Love And Good Memories Travelling in My Suitcase!
The Desi Chai Binge With Pani Puri | And Please Don’t Mind The Hands!
Opening Up My Bengali Kitchen For Dima Sharif | #RamadanSpecial2014
An Evening of Traditional Marwari Food | Daal Baati Churma
Leaving JBR | Capturing The Last Day in HD (Heart-Devastating) Mode
Meena Bazaar At Night | Introducing DubaiUnblogged… Dubai In Instagram
Things To Do In Dubai | Like A Tourist In My Own City (mentioned earlier)
The Diary Of A Dubai Resident | As Home Turns Into An Inn! (also mentioned earlier)
Deep Sea Fishing & Fish Barbeque | Persian Gulf off Dubai Coast
The Magic of Christmas!
Mums Who Share @JBR
Giving Back!

Chef/Celebrity/People Talk (in alphabetical order)

Chef Abhijit Saha | Is There Heart And Soul In Molecular Gastronomy?
Asha Bhosle | Cooking With Her, Listening To Her & Sharing Her Recipe!
Philip Chiang | Dynamite Shrimp For Breakfast And P.F. Chang’s
Greg Malouf | Unlocking Of Clé Dubai
Chef Joe Barza | Helio Lounge and Feteer Meshaltet In Video
Joymalyo Bannerjee/Chef Joy | Bohemian Restaurant In Kolkata
Chef Sanjay Bahl | Flavours And Flavours And Flavours of Patiala!
Sanjeev Kapoor | Talking To The MasterChef Extraordinaire
Chef Silvena Rowe and Omnia Gourmet | Decadence, Deliciousness & A Lot of Expectations!
Somen Debnath | Travelling 191 Countries, 200,000 kms, Meeting 20 Million People By The Year 2020!
Keeping Up With Chef Vikas Khanna | Igniting Sheer Passion!
Violet Oon | The Singaporean Food Guru & Her Recipe Of Chilli Crab!
Taste of Dubai 2013 | I Saw Them Cook And I Ate What They Cooked
Opening Up My Bengali Kitchen For Dima Sharif | #RamadanSpecial2014
Quique Dacosta | When Food Becomes An Enigma

Around the UAE:

An epicurean weekend escape in the UAE | Dubai, Ajman
Immersing Myself Into The Heart Of Sharjah – Part 1 | Sharjah
Eating Up Sharjah With Frying Pan Adventures – Part 2 | Sharjah
An Island Not Too Far Away… Zaya Nurai | Abu Dhabi
Khor Kalba & Kalba Corniche | Following The Bikers’ Trail
Where Can You Go On A Day Trip From Dubai? Part 1
Where Can You Go On A Day Trip From Dubai? Part 2
Sheikh Zayed Mosque or Grand Mosque In Abu Dhabi | A Photo Essay
Desert Islands Resorts By Anantara, Abu Dhabi | Cooking Spicy Prawn Harra By The Beach – Luxury Eco-Resort
The Million Street, in the middle of nowhere | Rub Al-Khali Desert, Abu Dhabi
Couch Camping and Bonfires in the Balcony | Hatta Mountains, Fujairah
Ringing In The New Year With Focus and Equilibrium | Inspiration – Tanoura Dance – Desert Safari

Blog Giveaway (according to date)

Blog Turns 2 Years | Chance for 2 lucky readers to attend a Masterclass with Sanjeev Kapoor!
Eating Around The World | And A Blog Giveaway From The Address Marina
Chef’s Table at Thiptara | And A Romantic Dinner Invite From The Palace Downtown!
Singaporean Chilli Crab At Chimes | And A Special Blog Giveaway For Valentine’s Day!
Tantuni Rolls – A Taste Of Turkish Street Food | And Another Blog Giveaway!
OPTIONS By Sanjeev Kapoor, Deira Opens | Romantic Dinner Invites for 2 couples!
Best of 2012 | Season’s Greetings and 3 Cookbooks Giveaway
Romantic Giveaway from OPTIONS by Sanjeev Kapoor


Shubho Noboborsho | A traditional Bengali menu for Frying Pan Diaries podcast
Bhapa Mishti Doi and A Food Safari of Bengal | BBC GoodFood Middle East
How Did I Fare In Showcasing My Bengali Cuisine? | On Zee TV Middle East
Featured In Ahlan! Gourmet, February 2013 | My Ode To Phulko Luchi
BBC GoodFood ME, August 2012 | ‘Meet the Blogger’
UAE National Day… Aam Pana | My Dubai My City – A video
On Dubai One & Noor Dubai TV | Making Rasgulla Macapuno – A video

Tracking My Footprints

The World Awaits for me to wander. ‘It’s a new world – it’s a new start/ It’s alive with the beating of young hearts… Here I am…’ Artist: Bryan Adams from the Movie ‘Spirit’. That is the idea behind the title of the Parent Category under which all the posts are listed and photos are cataloged.

Disclaimer: There aren’t any sponsored posts in this page, nor are there any affiliated links. Every blogpost has a disclosure at the end stating whether my family/myself have been hosted or my bills have been self paid; if I have been offered any media discounts for my family/myself; and whether a brand that I am writing about, is a paid collaboration because of the nature of my work. The subject, story, opinions and views stated here are my own. While you enjoy reading my posts with a lot of visuals, please do not use any material from these posts. 












  • shimmeshine

    Just 2 years here, and me too becoming possessive about Dubai 🙂
    May be because of the openness it offers, a stark opposite to what India offers……

    A very well written article with articles within…..kudos !!

    • IshitaUnblogged

      Very good point. Well there is an article ‘Like a tourist in my own city’ where I’ve tried to make a point that Dubai is not only about shopping and all that is glitz. like How many dark sides of a city do we get to see or ‘want’ to see as a tourist? Since this is a Travel and Culinary Blog I’ve been sticking to these aspects only. Have been meaning to write on other aspects – but that doesn’t really fit my blog so much. Do you have any writings that you might want me to read about?

  • Swati

    Really liked reading through your blog. I am a bengali who was brought up in the US. Now that I live in Dubai, i would love to learn rabindra sangeet…. any idea where one can learn that ???

    • IshitaUnblogged

      Thank you Swati for dropping by! There is a very informal but closed group in Facebook called ‘Bengalis in Dubai’ and do send in a request to join – you’ll find many Bengalis posting many things that might be of interest. There’s a lady called Madhumita Roy with a band called (Shrishti)… Why don’t you message her (you can take my name, though I still haven’t met her but I am in touch with her). I believe she takes music lessons. If not she can give you an idea where to go.

      Good luck! And it was great hearing from you. My mother has learnt Rabindra Sangeet from Kanika Bandopadyay, Nilima Sen, Subinoy Roy and I’ve been fortunate to have been surrounded by many such legends. Unfortunately, I do not pursue music. You can see where my passion lies. Keep in touch:)

  • Esha

    Hi Ishita! I am a Kolkata born Aussie living in Dubai (Fancy that!) Could you let me know of any place in Dubai that serves authentic bong food…anything similar to the taste buds developed during during my younger years in Kolkata! I was a frequent diner at Shiraz in Bank Street only to come back from Australia last week to be told it had been shut down for renovations. Would appreciate your recommendations. Cheers – Esha

    • IshitaUnblogged

      Dear Esha, thanks very much for hopping in and apologies for such a late reply – my site had been down for a while. Well, not too many that I know of. But I have had the ‘Macher Paturi’ and a few other Bengali dishes from Calcutta Fast Foods (in Sharjah) at various friends’ places but personally I have never been there. Also, have heard of a place called the Food Village in Ghusiais – again, I have never been there. Would you be interested in joining in a Bengali meal that I am hosting in BookMunch at Al Wasl Square in 4th June?

      • Esha

        Hi Ishita, Thanks for your response, no worries about the lateness :-). I would have loved to have joined you for the Bengali meal however i will be back in Australia by then. Please keep me informed about anything that is “Bengali food” related. I am awaiting anxiously for Shiraz to reopen. Hopefully when i am back in a few months it will be. All the best. Esha

    • Tribikram Chattaraj

      this blog is really interesting…..finding it very useful and nicely illustrated about different aspects of the city….can anyone comment about Durga Puja in Dubai,.I mean is there any association/organization here in Dubai who celebrates this festival like Bengali puja???any comment will be appreciated…thanks..

      • IshitaUnblogged

        Thank you very much Tribikram for hopping in. Yes, there is a closed group in FB called Bong Connection Dubai, who organises a Durga Puja. Apart from the one that happens in the temple in the Sindhi temple in Bur Dubai. You can send a request on Facebook to this group. Plus there is a LIVE Mahalaya performance in Indian Consulate by a band called Shristi LIVE – again you will find info on Facebook. Hope this helps.

        • Tribikram Chattaraj

          Thank you so much Ishita…..this is indeed useful information for me and also some of my Bengali friends who are new in Dubai like me. I must say Your blog is very lively and full of information….looking forward to get more spices from your such a spontaneous blog…

  • Lourie Peck

    “Bastakia – the art alleys running amidst the traditional houses with its’ alluring wind-towers. Or, simply getting lost in the hidden galleries is my favourite past-time!”

    Glad I am not the only one who loves getting lost in Bastakia. New “stumbler” on your blog, looks very interesting and entertaining. (New to Dubai as well). Will go explore some more. Keep it going.

  • Adventure Tourism In Sri Lanka

    Adventure Tourism In Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka’s variety of mini climates, not only gives it a wealth of fauna and flora but also rugged terrain, high peaks, deep chasms, mountain gaps, high water falls and snaking rivers all ideal for eco, nature-adventures trekking trails for the enthusiast. If its hiking/trekking trails or adventure you are interested in, Sri Lanka’s mist covered central mountains in Ella offers marvellous opportunities. Trek through the nature of Horton plains, an environment characterized by forest patches, grasslands along with steep mountain passes, Trekking trails toAdams peak (Sri Pada) ascent the holy mountain to witness the mystic shadow of the peak across the lowland plains, or if you are in Kandy the knuckles range wilderness area which will take your breath away literally speaks of adventure and nature.

  • Visit Sri lanka

    Visit Sri lanka

    Sri Lanka: A ‘Resplendent Land’
    Sir Arthur C. Clarke – a long time resident of Sri Lanka – once said:
    “The Island of Sri Lanka is a small universe containing as many variations of culture, scenery and climate as some countries a dozen times her size…”
    The island widely dubbed as the pearl of the Indian Ocean is a tiny tropical paradise where you can discover anything from golden sun-kissed beaches, mist-shrouded mountains, awe-inspiring ancient monuments to sprawling wildlife parks and lush rain-forests.
    Sri Lanka’s history whispers of tales over 2600 years. Its pre-history consists of stunning temples, man made reservoirs and monasteries.
    The “Lost paradise” considered by many globe trotters is filled with amazing cultural treasures where Portuguese, Dutch and British have all left their footprints here. With varying climates and adventures packed within few miles of each other, Sri Lanka offers an array of experiences from the top of the mountains to depths of the oceans.
    Despite its fame as a seductive tourist destination in the universe, Sri Lanka’s splendor lies with its people. Tea Drinking people in Sri Lanka are famed for their pleasing smiles with big hearts. Introduced to the nation by Colonial British, today the soil of Sri Lanka produces the world’s best tea. Sri Lanka also remains as one of the foremost exporters of high quality spices and precious stones across the world. Today it remains for producing the finest blue sapphires in the world. The country is also in the forefront in producing quality garment products for leading brands in Asia, Europe and the USA.


  • Sam Dickson

    I like how you don’t just focus on the glamorous attractions that most other people on the Internet do when writing about Dubai. The typical attractions are amazing and you should definitely visit them, but once you have visited them, I advise everyone to go and visit the more artistic and cultural Dubai, you won’t be disappointed!

    I learned this on my first visit to Dubai, I went straight for the attractions that you hear about a lot like Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall, completely missing out Old Dubai. This was because I didn’t even know of Old Dubai and was so overwhelmed with how great the attractions were. On my second visit to Dubai, I wanted to explore the different attractions as I had seen the rest, that is when I realise there is so much more to Dubai and I am glad I discovered the cultural and artistic things to do.

  • Ratul das

    It’s almost one and half years now since I had moved in last year. I have met up lot of people specifically Indians here, but what kept me thinking is when you are out of your home country, it actually let you be friends with anyone and everyone. . But when it came to bengali in here, still fill up the gaps of nog being able go speak in a language am happy to speak with from the bottom of my heart. .your blog give me that..

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