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It is often easy to get distracted by the array of glitzy malls and international restaurant chains and miss out on the range of Arabic and Islamic food that Dubai offers. The pleasant Dubai winter is a good time to go and try these out. Here are four places that you can go to:
This is a chain of Pakistani restaurants famous for its rich, oily and lip-smacking fare. While the menu is meat-heavy you get vegetarian items too. Some of the must haves here are the beef nihari and haleem, breakfast dishes that are available throughout the day. The dish that they recommend is the outstanding succulent mutton Peshawari made in a tantalizing curd, pepper, chili and tomato based sauce.
Lebanese Village Kitchen, Bur Dubai
This is a good place to try out Lebanese fare. Sitting in the open on a winter evening is a pleasant experience. Try out the ubiquitous shawarma, the vegetarian mezzes of hummus, tabbouleh and baba ganoush. The keema paratha like araye and the meatball in tomato sauce kabab khas koush make for the good mains. Automatic in Al Rigga Road is another good option for Lebanese.
Qwaider Al Nabulsi, Muraqqabat Street
This is a good place to try the Palestine version of falafel manshi (chickpea falafels stuffed with sumac and onions) and a sweet Palestine cheese pastry called Kanafeh.
Al Tawasol, Old Dubai Clock Tower
This is an Emirati place where the menu is designed by an Emirati mama. You can sit on carpets spread on the floor like a nomad and enjoy the shorbat adas (split pea soup), haris (wheat, ghee and chicken mash) and chicken machboos, the Emirati chicken and rice version of the Indian biryani.
The old Dubai food walk conducted by Arva Ahmed of Frying Pan Adventures is a good way to get an insight into the food of Old Dubai.
Kalyan Karmakar authors the popular award winning blog, Finely Chopped and is an authority on the food of Mumbai. His extensive knowledge of the city's food scene has been featured in publications such as Femina, Mumbai Mirror and BCC Good Food. He was one of the founding critics of EazyDiner's Mumbai team.