It’s winter in the desert and foodies are on the loose everywhere ?? . Winter in itself is an excuse to eat good food (summer has other excuses to eat ofcourse) and most of all good “comfort” food. We all have our own comfort foods now don’t we? For most Pakistanis it’s the homemade sarson ka saag, makai ki roti, gajar ka halwa, kashmiri chai *drool* and the list doesn’t end there.
Over the years expats living in UAE have developed a liking to certain restaurants or cafeterias whose food either reminds them of home, or they just love the food itself and it keeps them coming back for more!
I too have a few (actually loads ☺️) of such places and would like to share some of them with you. Beware some of these places are hidden and difficult to find and the service may not be awesome. And most of the places don’t have seating arrangements, so for me they are ‘eat in the car’ places (take away really doesn’t cut it). But the quality of food is excellent and you will not be dissapointed!
- Rabbash cafeteria – so i have tried the branch right next to Fili cafeteria at Mamzar. To be very honest i like their tea more than Fili and you ‘have’ to try their Chips Oman Paratha Roll. It’s my current obsession and since it is an Emirati thing, you should try it asap! There is quite a lot of parking, although during the evenings it can get crowded. So you can either park there, switch off the car, roll down the windows and enjoy the weather while munching on them parathas or just carry your stuff to the mamzar corniche!
- Des Pardes Restaurant – a small restaurant in oud metha, near lamcy (next to emly and chilli), it is a place where mostly men dine, but you do see some families at times. There is no separate family dining area but they do put up dividers for your privacy. Service is great and food is very very very reasonable. What’s more? It’s finger licking good!! Be it aloo parathas with garam chai on a rainy morning or just steaming spicy curries with piping hot naans on a cold night!!
- Copper Kettle Restaurant– finding the perfect halwa puri in UAE is every Pakistani’s mission ? . Copper kettle serve an almost close to perfect version of them halwa puris yes! I have only tried them at the silicon oasis branch, and i have to say, i can never have enough of them. They are not heavy in the least. Yes the puris are oily like anything (but that’s what puris are supposed to be like no? ?) and the curries are a blend of the right amount of spices. The chai is worth a mention too and they serve a decent lassi ?. An ultimate punjabi nashta for you ladies and gentlemen! I have mentioned Nirala and BnB restaurant before for tasty halwa puris and they are good too, but this one is just a little more better than the others.
- Billo Ice Cream – winters and ice cream go hand in hand right? I don’t think i even need to explain to you why Billo icecream is in my winter comfort food list ? . And as if all those excellent Pakistani ice creams were not enough, they had to introduce savory items which include gol gappas and chat and not to forget the perfectly masalafied Pakistani french fries ?. The gol gappas definitely need some improvement on the spice meter, but the chaat is heavenly and i find myself craving for it literally everyday! Now imagine a wintery night and you are having a spicy (nose and eyes both watering spicy) chaat followed by the best (and most authentic you will find in proximity) Falooda!! That is my new dinner menu ?
- Shakh Al Kunafa – ok honestly this was a place my brother introduced to us and i have no idea how to get there. But it’s another hidden gem in Sharjah, near Rolla. No seating area and service is a little… lazy ?. But the konafa is to die for! I have tried the cream Konafa and it is the best i have had so far! Warm and not sickly sweet, they have done justice to this lebanese dessert ?
Here are my top 5 eateries i won’t be missing this winter! What are yours? I would love to hear (and add to my never ending list ?)