There were too many words in my latest Dubai post, which talked about where we stayed and what we did, which you can read about in It’s Been Almost 7 Years Since I Last Went to Dubai. So this post will focus mainly on the places and things we ate during the four days I was there.
I highly recommend you to check out Forget Dubai, Visit Abu Dhabi! (Day Trip) for a brief overview of the Abu Dhabi day tour I went on, which brought me to see many impressive places such as a humungous mosque and a presidential palace. You should also read my Dubai blog from 7 years ago called Dubai Is Not A Walking City, But A Dining City to find out other things I did and ate as well.
And just to set the expectations of this blog, there were neither street food or fancy restaurants that will be featured in this post. There’s like casual dining and typical Middle Eastern to more above average upscale restaurants that we mainly ate at.
Arabian Tea House Restaurant & Cafe (website)
Ah Arabian Tea House Restaurant… how I fondly remember you… for being so… mediocre 😐
Located in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, we were craving breakfast since we just had a 7 hour flight and dropped off our luggages at like 7am in the morning, and already started to head out, so we were lacking energy and wanted a place to sit down. So again, this restaurant just magically appeared for us in our route, and why not start our Dubai trip with some Arabic breakfast?
But all I can say is that, just like last time, it was also… very… meh. Very consistent even from 7 years ago.
Arabic breakfast tray – A breakfast tray of scrambled eggs, tomatoes, mixed olives, rose jam, zaatar with olive oil, labneh, halloumi cheese and fresh cream and honey. Enough for two persons with moderate appetites.
The Edge – Atlantis The Palm (Tripadvisor)
Not actually a restaurant restaurant, but one of those hotel beachside restaurants, given that we wanted to visit the Atlantis and wanted to eat something that wasn’t too expensive, we went to The Edge.
What’s funny was, we didn’t make a reservation, so initially the staff at the door said we needed a reservation there first. I asked if we could make a reservation right now online to go in, and he said yes, so I reserved a table right in front of his face, and then showed him the confirmation, and went inside. It was barely packed there, lol.
That being said, both the foods and drinks were excellent! We actually both enjoyed the meal here quite a bit. Would recommend coming to eat!
Siraj in Souk Al Bahar (website)
Initially, we wanted to go to Time Out Market upstairs of Souk Al Bahar, but it was completely empty, and the prices were quite high for what we saw as international food court foods, so we opted to go to a different restaurant instead, and saw Siraj was part of Michelin guide.
Even though Siraj was quite empty as well, we were intrigued by its menu choices of Emirati Levantine cuisine with a contemporary twist, and the atmosphere looked very Arabic and elaborate too. Even its motto, “A Story from Dubai Cuisine” was quite eye catching.
Thankfully, most of the food did not disappoint, although I do remember one dish that was quite disappointing. Additionally, you can also order shisha here as well.
So actually when we sat down, the host / waiter only gave us the main menu. But luckily, I spotted that they were also offering business lunches on the weekdays as well, so I immediately pointed it out to him and requested to see the business lunch menu. The business lunch menu was a much much better deal than a la carte, I think 78 Dirham or something, with 2 courses and a drink!
On the left was Mom’s Ouzi and on the right is the Chicken Biryani. The Chicken Biryani was quite flavorful and delicious, but the Ouzi was terrible. The beef was super dry and hard, and the rice was very dry and tasted bad too. Do not get the Ouzi.
Another good thing about this restaurant was that it was right next to the Dubai Fountain, so you can just walk out to catch the water fountain shows as well.
Timeout Market in Souk Al Bahar
So originally I wanted to go to the Timeout market in Souk Al Bahar since Timeout markets were supposed to be fun, filled with people, and lots of foods to choose from. But this one was empty. Last I went to a Timeout market was in Portugal and that was filled with people. Maybe because it was lunch time on a weekday? But there was no one, literally.
Nando’s, Cafe Barbera, Uncle Fluffy, Ben’s Cookies, all in Dubai Mall
So in Dubai Mall, we ate and drank at a couple places:
If you’re familiar with Nando’s, you know Nando’s is the shit. Nando’s makes these delicious peri peri chicken, where when you add their spicy Nando sauce as well, it’s just unbeatable. This is where we ate for lunch on the first day there.
I ordered two cookies – one was a date chocolate chip cookie, one was a milk chocolate chip cookie. Both were quite sweet, so stay away if you can’t handle the sweet! But personally, I loved them; they were delicious.
ZouZou Turkish & Lebanese Restaurant | JBR DUBAI (website)
The portions here were huge! This one we went because the other cuisines in JBR Beach did not appeal to us, and we wanted to try something Middle Eastern, and this restaurant screams Turkish & Lebanese food, and the place was packed. I thought the food was okay, and it definitely tasted better when we ate them while the food was hot; after we took them home and tried to eat them cook the next day as breakfast, it was like ew how did I even eat this yesterday.
MasterChef Restaurant in Millennium Place Marina Hotel (website)
So when I first dined here, I thought I was eating at a restaurant that was somewhat related to the TV show MasterChef, but it now looks like it was just inspired by the TV show, with dishes copying the culinary innovations of some of the chef champions.
That being said though, this place was actually quite good! We came here just because it was located in our hotel and we wanted something convenient and close by. Not only that, the hotel also offered a 20% discount since we were staying there!
Gnocci Al Pesto with Parmigiana Reggiano, extra virgin olive oil. Not something I usually order, esp. since it’s complete vegetarian, but I was so full from all the eating the last few meals I wanted something lighter. But this was actually quite yummy!
And BONUS! For drinks, go to Weslodge Saloon in Business Bay (website)
While Weslodge Saloon was actually a restaurant in JW Marriott, I happened to be in Dubai when a web3 event was happening organized by Arts DAO, and since I wanted to connect with more web3 people, I decided to attend. Arts DAO booked a private room in Weslodge Saloon just for networking and drinks, and I was there for a few hours in the evening talking with numerous people throughout the night.
In general, all the foods that we had in Dubai were pretty good, but the portions were all ridiculously huge! Like equivalent to American sizes. I would rather pay half the price for half the portion for most of these places lol.
Anyway which one looked the most appetising for you?