Posted by: englishdubai | March 19, 2008

My Little Black Book

I saw an article in an old Society Dubai magazine, that we have kept for sentimental value, it features my flat mate Duncan and his “best kept Dubai secrets”. In reference to that and following the nice post by Margarita I thought I would do something similar here.

Best place to hang out look cool, enjoy cocktails and smoke shisha

It has to be Bar 360 – the amazing views, funky chairs and laid back techno tunes gives the perfect atmosphere to enjoy a heady mix of expensive (but strong cocktails) and fruity shisha smoke

Best place to have a cheap cocktail and have an amazing view

The roof top terrace bar at the Royal Mirage hotel is an excellent place to visit. Most days between 5-7pm it is happy hour and the cocktails are half price. The position affords excellent views of the Palm Jumeriah and the Dubai Marina. A perfect place to unwind after work or pre-drinks before a big night out

Best fun thing to do in Dubai

Personally I think it is the water park Wild Wadi – a great day out to enjoy the water slide and wave pool, a close second is a desert safari and if you want to do something “because it is the last thing you would ever do in the desert” is take in some piste action at Ski Dubai in Mall of the Emirates

Best Place for Flowers

If you have an occasion to buy flowers then “Wud” on Al Wasl road has it all. Attentive staff in a very nice building that will deliver the type of bouquet that makes you feel proud to give. Here is Catherine with a lovely bunch of flowers from Wud:

Best Indian Food

Probably the hardest one I have to give so I am going to give a number of categories:

Best Tandoori

Chicken Tikka Inn on Beach Road – a small innocuous restaurant that provides inexpensive tandoori grills. The chicken malai boti is sensational accompanied with a keema nan that has more in common with a calzone pizza, you will be hard pressed to eat it all

Best Butter Chicken

Ashars in Wafi Pyramids – amongst my circle of friends this wins hands down as the tastiest butter chicken in Dubai. Last time we had a party of six four of us ordered the same – a little sad, but just so hard to resist

Best Luxury Indian Food Experience

Nina’s in the Royal Mirage is a fantastic dining experience with a modern fusion take on traditional Indian food. I actually went last night and the coconut tandoori prawns were huge, succulent and juicy – I shy’d away from the frogs legs curry but will try it next time. Last night our party of five jointly declared it the best Indian food we had had in some time

Best Authentic Pakistani Food Experience

The legend that is Ravi’s in Satwa is somewhere to visit before it is levelled to make way for Jumeriah Garden City. The curries that are delivered for a few dollars taste out of this world. I would recommend eating vegetarian here simply as the meat in the curries is not what I would call world class, the tandoori grills are great though. I would defy anyone to order and completely eat $20 worth of food from here. Go expecting a cheap food which will set the taste buds tingling – do not go if you want pure cotton table cloths, fine wines or waiters that speak French. Here are some sheekh kebabs about to get the grilling of their life at Ravi’s:

Best Thai Food

Tucked away behind the Emarat on Al Wasl road the secret that was Smiling BKK is now a mainstay with expats in Dubai. Despite not being able to get a beer here the restaurant has funky walls, magazine pages as table mats and an eclectic menu that hides the original Thai phrase with some wild song/movie inspired phrase. Going here the other night it had been taken over by a large group of Jumeriah Jane’s celebrating a birthday. My flatmates and I are regulars due to the low prices and well spiced food. They do not server the biggest portions in the world so those wanting “man sized” food should not be afraid to go wild. Here is their signage at night:

Best authentic Dubai experience

Have a wander around the old gold souk and spice souk’s in Deira and then take a ride across the creek on an Abra. For only one dirham you get a unique perspective on Dubai and marvel at the hub of activity that surrounds Dubai Creek.

I could go on but for now I want to leave some things a surprise and probably a topic of another blog. Just remember it is hard not to have fun in Dubai – people are friendly, it is a safe city and there is a little bit of something for everyone if you look hard enough. I have a well deserved week off coming up soon and will be enjoying a number of these places with an old school friend from the UK….I can hardly wait.


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