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wgallois

Restaurants in UAE

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Any good recommendations for restaurants in Dubai or Sharjah?

Personal favourites are The Clay Oven (great Indian restaurant in Sharjah), The Automatic restaurant (a sometimes good Lebanese place in Sharjah) and Verre (Gordon Ramsay's restaurant in Dubai).

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I wish I could help you out, but all I can say is welcome to the site!

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Nope ! can't help - Sarjah ? Isn't that one of the places that will turn you away if there is a isreali entry/exit stamp on your passport ?

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Went to ThaiChi last week in the Wafi Centre, and thought the cuisine was pretty tasty. Forget the new Indian restaurant just across from them.. overpriced and definitely not spicy enough!

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Went to ThaiChi last week in the Wafi Centre, and thought the cuisine was pretty tasty. Forget the new Indian restaurant just across from them.. overpriced and definitely not spicy enough!

Would you mind starting a thread on that Indian restaurant?

Do you mind sharing details of some of the dishes they serve? I am very curious to see what would be on the menu... what names they give dishes etc... I hope you can find time to do this.. and I thank you in advance. :smile:

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Suvir, if you are interested in the kind of Indian dishes available at restaurants in the Emirates, let me mention some highlights from the menu of The Clay Oven, which I praised earlier in this thread:

Paneer Bhujiya: really smokey (as all the cooking is there) and with quite a chilli kick.

Palak Paneer: much more flavoursome than versions I have had in Britain as it is made with stacks of fresh spinach and finished with coils of ginger.

Malai Kofta: I can't say I'm wild about these dumplings as they are pretty chewy.

Pindi Channa: their version is a very rich proposition indeed, with a paste rather than a sauce very heavily spiced and flavoured with onions.

'Yellow' Dal: again, much hotter and smokier than those I have tasted in Britain.

Dal Makhni (described as 'black lentils smoked overnight and cooked in aromatic spices and a creamy tomato sauce'): very nice, but I can't remember the taste...

Sarson Ka Saag: I am still not quite sure what this dish consists of. We ordered against the advice of the waiters, who felt that it would not suit our palates. They were right about this, but i could see how it might become an acquired taste. I imagined that it might be like eating asparagus for the first time.

Vegetable Kadahi: the Kadahai cooking at this restaurant is superb. The dish of peas, carrots, potatoes, chillis and spices in a tomato sauce comes to the table sizzling, and it is one of the most complex Indian dishes I have ever tasted.

Kulcha: These cheese or potato stuffed breads are greasy and delicious.

As my wife and I are vegetarians I could not comment on the other items on the menu, though I have eaten with friends who enjoyed dishes such as Malai Tikka, Fish Tikka (made with cubes of hammour I believe - hammour is the most popular fish here) and Chicken Kadahi.

As I mentioned before, the Emirates has a great subcontinental eating scene, and my feeling is that the Clay Oven is at the top of the tree.

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Wgallois, thanks for the great informative post.

Many of the dishes you mention sound very authentic.

I have heard from friends that live in the region that Indian food there is very authentic.

Maybe the great numbers of Indians living there must be part of the reason.

Sarson Kaa Saag is made with mustard greens. It is an acquired taste but one that is easily addictive. It is traditionally eaten with makayee kee roti (flat bread made with corn flour).

Paneer Bhujiya, sounds excellent. It is a homestyle paneer (Indian cheese scramble) and happens to be a dish I loved as a kid. And can eat a lot of even today.

Malai Koftas (are dumplings made with paneer) should be very soft. You are correct in not having liked them for their chewy texture. That should not be. Not many home chefs can make these well. I remember Panditji (our families chef), would love to see me make them. He had taught me the secrets.. and was always happy to see me make them the right way. Most people add too much flour, or drain the cheese till it is too dry. It makes for a tough and chewy dumpling.

Do share more about your experiences at Indian restaurants in the region. You can start threads here with restaurant names.. or you can discuss it in the Indian forum. Whatever works best for you.

Thanks for taking time to share this information. :smile:

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I have previously posted on the fact that an interesting potential symbiosis seems to be taking place between Indian, Lebanese and Chinese food in the Emirates (or at least, there are plenty of places which serve all three styles of food). This was brought home to me the other night, when my wife noticed an unusual taste in a tomato, potato and dried pea curry we were eating in an Indian restaurant. At first we thought the unexpected taste was ground peanuts, but then she realised that it was tahini. Is this, or a similar sesame paste, a traditional ingredient in Indian cooking, or was this an example of a new style being developed?

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We use sesame oil in India to my knowledge, but not anything similar to Tahini.

But who knows... maybe there is a region of India where something similar to tahina is used.

Thanks for your great posts on the Indian food you have eaten at the Clay Oven. Have you been back lately? How was the food?

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Hi Suvir,

We've been back to the Clay Oven a number of times since I last posted! However, we now tend to order more or less the same dishes as we've eaten all the vegetarian dishes on the menu and have decided on the ones that we think are best. Having said that, we have tried to expand our scope by ordering off-menu and had a very good Bombay Aloo the other day. Yesterday I had a real craving for Dal Makhni so we ordered this and I was not at all disappointed. My wife is not very keen on the dish, but there is something very lush and rich about its combination of creaminess, tomato and earthy flavours that I like a great deal. The menu mentions that the dish is prepared a day in advance, or could this be that the beans are simply soaked a day in advance?

We took some South American friends there recently, and our Bolivian friend pronounced the Chicken Kadahi to be the best chicken dish he has ever eaten. A Tunisian friend, who is also relatively new to Indian food, also rates it as one of his favourite ever dishes.

On a related note, a batch of rather more expensive Indian fusion restaurants have recently opened in Dubai. A review of one of them is included from Time Out Dubai here:

http://www.timeoutdubai.com/restaurants/re...view.php?id=524

The online version of this magazine also includes a very large selection of reviews of Indian and other restaurants in Dubai.

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I have also eaten at the Clay Oven a couple of times, and yes, the Chicken Kadahi is the best Indian chicken dish I have eaten. The combination of spices is one which I have never tasted anywhere else, and it is this that makes the dish what it is.

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Thanks for the link to the Time Out Dubai page.

And many thanks for sharing your wife and your exprience and also that of your friends.

I love Dal Makhani. In fact it is one of my most favorite dals and actually, many friends I know have been hooked to Indian food because of this dish. You decribe it perfectlty in your words.

".....There is something very lush and rich about its combination of creaminess, tomato and earthy flavours that I like a great deal.."

I could have hardly said it better. You nailed it perfectly.

The Dal is tradionally made on the left embers of the tandoor and allowed to cook overnight. It is then seasoned in the morning and cooker for many more hours. My grandma felt it became sublime the next day. Hardly any food was eaten in our home the day after, but this Dal, certainly was relished the next day.

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Another recommended Indian restaurant in Sharjah is Arab Adupi (they also have branches in Abu Dhabi and, I think, Al Ain). It is located just off Rolla Square, which is the heart of Indian Sharjah, and most of the clientele are Indian. It offers Chinese dishes as well as Indian, but I think the standout dish is the Tandoori Gobi - really hot and smoky sizzling cauliflower covered in a thick, flaky tikka paste.

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Never got out of the rug souk to eat in Sharjah-shoppers anorexia!

Found that the Lebanese restaurants are the best for inexpensive but filling dining. First heard the term "Machine Chicken" at a small Lebanese place located near the Airport Hotel. The Airport Hotel has a lunch buffet that serves plenty of food -some Indian-some Chinese- with dessert for under $12. Near the Howard Johnson hotel was a small Indian place that catered to the taxi drivers. It was terrible. We never found a decent Chinese place but we did not go high-end. Dubai's shopping reputation far exceeds its dining-which it wants to remedy. The number of 'star-chef' restaurants have really exploded. It is not a place that wants budget or midrange travelers/diners.

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