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15 September, 2006

Seven (edible) Wonders of Dubai

1. Thai chicken with cashews
Noodle House, Emirates Towers. Sticky, tasty, sweet and lemongrassy, and absolutely amazing.

2. Rack of Lamb with mash and crispy beans
Finz, Ibn Battuta. Have it medium rare, and let all the juices soak into the mash as you gnaw each succulent chunk from its bone.

3. Teriyaki Steak Soba
Wagamamas, Crowne Plaza. Delicious, as is the Ginger Chicken Udon. Very hard to choose between them.

4. Aromatic Crispy Duck
Summer Place, Metropolitan Sheikh Zayed road. Easily the best crispy-shredded-duck-with-pancakes in the UAE.

5. Bihari kebab
The Daily Restaurant, Bur Dubai. Fiery meat marinaded so long that it is as soft and tender as pâté. Cram great chunks in your maw wrapped up in fresh roti bread.

6. Hammour in Holy Basil
Thai Paradise, Dubai Marina. From the "magic wok", and it really is magic. A sweet, hot, aniseedy sauce, that goes great with prawns too.

7. Beef Ularthiyathu
Thattakuda, Palm Grove, Bur Dubai. Tastiest, most addictive dry-fried beef imaginable. Best eaten with flower-shaped rice Appam pancakes.

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21 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi SD, I get the feeling you have a hankering for some Asian food. You're making me hungry!! By the way, loved the Press Release generator (as we ALL did).

Also worth a sample: Fusion at Royal Meridien (for the scrum, not the ambience).

Bon apetit!

15 September, 2006 19:09  
Blogger nzm said...

Right beside Finz in IBM, is Zyng which is our favourite for Asian fusion.

We love the Kung Pao chicken/shrimp, the edamame is great, and the lettuce leaves wraps are a specialty.

15 September, 2006 19:33  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Oh yes - I love the lettuce wraps at Zyng. They used to have amazing ones at Summer Place, but not so long ago they had to discontinue pork (they only have one kitchen or something) so I'm not sure they are as authentic any more.

I actually bought an Asia@Home food kit from Choitrams to make san choy bow lettuce wraps. Only despite its high price, you still have to buy about every ingredient yourself (lettuce, meat, onions etc). It just provides a sachet of sauce, some chopped peanuts, and a can of water chestnuts. Had I looked at the packaging more closely I could have easily bought all the ingredients cheaper myself, but never mind.

One restaurant that didn't quite make it on the list yet (as I've only been there once) is Chop Chop at Hell of the Emirates. AMAZING crispy duck, and kind of shredded (sliced, then kind of shredded up).

I didn't add drinks and puddings to my list, so here goes:

1. White chocolate cheesecake
The One, Jumeirah. Worth dying of obesity for.

2. Elderflower forest presse
Lotus One, DIEC. Has crushed raspberries, elderflower, and the secret of its success is perhaps the dash of passionfruit syrup. Not sure, but there may be a haram-juice version as well.

3. Basil ginger iced tea
Chop Chop, MoE. Only tried it once so far, but it was amazing. And comes in a short glass so doesn't look too "girly" for male drinkers. Soft version only, as Chop Chop isn't licensed.

15 September, 2006 20:14  
Blogger rummyjohn said...

This certainly isn't gourmet, but it is edible and truly wonderous:

The Giant Karama Burger:

A giant burger made by a giant Pathan in a shop greasier than a teenagers forehead. Its bigger than your average dinner plate, takes a good 2 hrs to finish, costs 20 Dhs and is truly revolting.

Its been 10 years since I ate there. Has anyone tried it/ does it still exist?

15 September, 2006 20:46  
Blogger OS said...

Ah the monster burger! Never knew you could have them in Karama too...I've always had my grossly oversized burger from a mis-named restaurant called Turkey Burger in Alshaab (behind Choitrams). I ate there a couple of years ago, so its probably still around. The burger (if you can call it that) is massive, likely to give you an upset stomach and as you said, revolting; yet there's some forbidden satisfaction in wolfing one down in 20 minutes!

15 September, 2006 22:13  
Blogger Kiwi Boy said...

With all due respect to you SD, and to your tastebuds, but do you know what beats all?
Hummus and Pita Bread.

15 September, 2006 22:35  
Blogger DG said...

Wow, Secret Dubai as a food critic & a master chef. Nice post :-)

16 September, 2006 08:00  
Anonymous Mukund said...

There is an eigth wonder secretdubai (not the palm island lol). The famous Falafel Sandwich at Al Mallah on the ever changing Champs Elysee of Dubai, Diyafah Street, Satwa. Also worth mention are their fruit cocktails, Princess Diana was the best (not sure if it's still around, must have been renamed by now)

16 September, 2006 11:48  
Blogger Al Sinjab said...

They all sound mumtastic and I'm sure they're delectable but how can there be a Top Seven without Al Farouj spicy mexiki shwarmah? Or is this food that is exclusive to Dubai?

16 September, 2006 16:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not a single vegetarian mention. sigh!!
food food everywhere, not a morsel to eat.

16 September, 2006 20:04  
Blogger Tanper said...

The best peeking duck in Dubai is at the Shang Palace at the Shangra La.... so so good.

For cake, nothing can be better than Lime Trees Carrot Cake. I fantasise about that. The cream cheese frosting is to die for.

Of course for the nights when you have had maybe a drink or two too many - Al Reef Bakery cheese bread, or Zatar bread or Eat and Drink Restaurants chicken Schwarma. Eat that after drinking and you wont get hungover the next day - I promise!!

16 September, 2006 20:40  
Blogger secretdubai said...

The best peeking duck in Dubai is at the Shang Palace at the Shangra La.... so so good.

God - that's about the only one I haven't tried, I must give it a go. Is it the proper shredded one, or the sliced one they often do around here?

Summer Place is also great because of the atmosphere, it's one of Dubai's oldest chinese restaurants, so has a great feeling to it. It feels kind of different and relaxed and out of the way.

16 September, 2006 21:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.goveg.org/

16 September, 2006 23:28  
Blogger crazy1 said...

http://www.goveg.org/

16 September, 2006 23:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correction, 7. Beef Ularthiyathu

17 September, 2006 09:18  
Blogger Tanper said...

SD, Shange Palace I think serves the traditional peeking duck, they first come to your table with the whole duck and carve off the skin, then you can either make the rolls yourself or the waiter makes them. After that you can choose to have the body of the duck I think minced with lettuce, stir fryed and another option. We always take it minced and served with fresh baby lettuce leaves. Only thing is if you sit in the non smoking section there is not much atmosphere - you are kind of on the edge of the balcony hanging over the lobby. Its very hotelish - no mistaking it for a little hole in the wall in Shanghai.

I think you live in the Gardens? Did you know that Thai Orchid at Dubai Marina also do Peeking Duck delivery? Its just the skin pancakes bit but you get a nice large container of duck skin, pancakes, hoi sin sauce, spring onions, cucumber and other sauces nicely presented so all you have to do is start rolling. Its great - perfect for those nights when you want something great but cant be bothered going out to get it.

Cheers

17 September, 2006 14:18  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Correction, 7. Beef Ularthiyathu

Brilliant! I couldn't remember the correct spelling. My malayalam only extends to suprapadum, onam sandosham, and a few expletives that I'd better not mention here ;)

17 September, 2006 15:15  
Anonymous Sam said...

SD you've started a series of enzyme chain reactions in my mouth that will not stop unless fed. Rack of Lamb with mash and crispy beans will have to be my lunch for today.

18 September, 2006 04:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where are all the ducks peeking from? What are they peeking at? Do ducks peek at all? Shouldn't it be "Peking Duck"? ;-)

27 September, 2006 15:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh oh DAILY REST ROCKS bihari niharii...mmmmmm

30 March, 2008 18:49  
Anonymous Mike said...

I have to say your post really got me to the right place. “Daily Restaurant” has some amazing food. I tried the Bihari Kebabs and it just melted in my mouth. I also tried “Keema”, which is a chopped lamb cooked in chilies I believe. And “Nihari”, if any of you have not tried “Nihari” and have a high tolerance for spicy food, I would highly suggest you go for this. Apparently, it takes about 24 hours to slow cook this beef cube. I tried this because Shoaib the owner of Daily restaurant said “this is the best selling item in the menu since the last 30 years”.
Good posting. I am yet to try the other 6 wonders!!!

14 November, 2008 01:04  

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