|18 August, 2019

Dubai's never-ending appetite

Whether you're craving for a barbecue platter or a Goan seafood feast, fear not - for Dubai has them all

Chicken Tikka Masala, served with naan bread and rice.

Chicken Tikka Masala, served with naan bread and rice.

Getty Images/Jenner Images

Dubai is an emirate often associated with the phrase "melting pot of cultures" - majority of its population constitutes a mix of nationalities, giving birth to a cosmopolitan community.

With diversity comes the love for food - many cuisines intertwine with each other, creating a delicious marriage between cultures.

Indians (a whopping 27 per cent of the population) living in the UAE, suffer an insatiable appetite.

The concept of Indian food has spread to every nook and cranny. Residents have also turned heads to healthy eating, motivating restaurants to offer gluten free or vegan alternatives on the menu.

A plethora of dining choices are taken by Indian residents. Delivery applications now ensure you don't have to pause your favourite Netflix show to head out for a meal.

Some gorge on a sandwich whilst working at the nearest café they can find. Others find joy in the explosion of flavours from a pani puri plate, as their very favourite street foods are conveniently located on the streets of Dubai.

Ever heard of the term brunching? Paint an image of delicious food and laughter filling the air as a bunch of friends "spill the tea" over happenings of the week.

Barbecue Delights has got you covered with an elaborate table - from bubbling hot chicken qorma to a mouthwatering barbecue platter. If you're not aware, an empty stomach is an empty soul for Dubai foodies.

Seafood lovers in Dubai despise those who do not enjoy a mouthwatering platter of freshly caught treasures from the sea. Indians have discovered a gem in Dubai that serves authentic Goan style seafood dishes. Grub Shack in Umm Hurair is a local hotspot for seafood lovers - enjoy nana's green pomfret curry and fall head over heels as you take every bite.

Through the old lanes of Karama and Deira lie the biryani jewels. The elaichi bite may be dreadful, but a few gulps of water will do the trick - after all, the flavours infused by these Indian spices and condiments (elaichi, star anise, cloves) create a most aromatic biriyani.

Jaffer Bhai's is the place for those confused between selecting a chicken or mutton biriyani; simply go with both - the parda biryani aims to satisfy your tastebuds with both the luscious meats.

Certain restaurants incorporate a "cultural" vibe ­- Dhabas are very popular in India as passersby walk in for authentic tastes of the land. Punjabi Dhaba may have an elegant ambience, contrary to the rusty dhabas back in India, however the food is cooked dhaba style, to perfection.

Bring along your hungry Punjabi friends - scoop some butter chicken with a piece of naan and watch as you stuff yourself further, without resistance. Vegetarian visitors painlessly enjoy the paneer alternative, as well as the classic dal makhani.

Cafes are now used as workation spaces - if you don't know what a workation is, look it up - whilst you sit in a café.

To compensate for the biryani belly, Indian residents often head out to cafes that offer healthy eateries. You can now hit a café (read: Starbucks) and replace your regular calorie-rich drink with almond milk.

Pita Pit is a one stop quick bite café where you can not only order a healthy yet delicious Thai-Flax chicken, but also customise your own pita.

European cuisine is loved by Indians - eggs benedict is the all-time new breakfast trend. In a city like Dubai, where all nationalities and cuisines come together, Indian residents have the privilege to enjoy European delights whilst you enjoy a Mexican breakfast burrito at the café, submit your reports - you heard that right; Panifico offers free wifi, so work away at this work-friendly café.

What are Indians a big fan of? Live music, good food and good friends. There is a spot that bhukkads (read: hogger!) go to when they need to relieve their stress and pain with live music and 'Indian street food'.

The Bukkhad Café is a favourite of bhukkads who wish to enjoy the basic Indian snacks - samosas, butter pav and bhaji. and the Nutella sandwich, affectionately rewritten as the 'dil dhadakne do' of the menu.

Pet therapy is real -Having a gloomy day in the office, what is better than looking forward to meeting your furry friends? If you don't have a pet and badly yearn for one, fear not.

Ailuromania café is a hidden spot in Jumeirah Beach Road to play with cats and devour a plate of Spaghetti bolognese - two delights to make your day.

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