We all love to explore different kinds of foods while traveling. But if you’re an Indian, no matter where you travel, your trip is incomplete without some desi khanna. There’s something so comforting about Indian food. Even if you’re miles away, you feel at home in just one bite. Those rich creamy curries bursting with irresistible flavors, aromatic lentil preparations and drool-worthy sweets are like a warm hug on a cloudy day.
Known for its spicy palatable preparations, Indian food is famous world-over… specially in a multi-cultural place like Dubai, that is home to a large number of Indians. Just like Arabic food, it is easily available in every nook and corner. But in order for a place to become the ultimate restaurant, food isn’t the only thing that needs focus anymore. It also needs that extra touch of uniqueness coupled with immaculate presentation and hospitality.
So if you’re on the lookout for some tadke wali dal with a modern twist, we’ve got you covered. Take a look at our list of 6 restaurants that make Indian food look as good as its taste. These are restaurants that serve much more than just your average dal and rice. These are restaurants that stand out in a city boasting a glut of Indian restaurants. These are restaurants people seldom pop into on a whim because a meal here is best saved for those special occasions with your loved ones. These are restaurants that are changing the face of Indian cuisine globally by creating awareness of its impeccable diversity by serving food that is everything ‘Indian’ in taste but nothing in appearance.
Indego by Vineet
Awarded the Best Indian restaurant in the 2016 Time Out Dubai Awards, Indego is a place where textures and flavors are sumptuously brought alive with the use of traditional spices and ingredients. Guided by Michelin-starred Chef Vineet Bhatia – highly regarded as the ‘face’ of modern progressive Indian cuisine, one can expect an expressive range of Indian food with exemplary fine-dining presentation. Like he says, ‘If you eat my food at Indego with your eyes closed, it’s India on your palate but if you look at it, it’s very modern, very European.’
Junoon meaning passion is a contemporary Indian restaurant offering myriad flavors with a homely touch. True to its name, one can truly see the passion and commitment of the ever-so-busy culinary team as they whip up magical preparations behind the open kitchen. It’s like a theatrical show – there’s always so much happening. Watching them plate, brings in a whole new level of excitement. It’s a vibrant; trendsetting place that combines traditional taste with a je ne sais quoi that truly makes it par excellence. Perfect for a gathering or celebration, it exuberates sophistication and energy with a spectacular selection of food and wines. The original outpost in New York is a Michelin star and has made a name for itself all over the world.
Mint Leaf of London
Entice your senses with culinary delights in a luxurious setting at DIFC’s hip award-wining restaurant. From the English capital to the emirates, Mint Leaf of London made its way to Dubai, not-so-long ago and has taken the city by a storm ever since. A cozy restaurant offering Indian foods, true to its culinary roots with stunning views of Downtown Dubai and the tall and mighty Burj Khalifa. The food is elaborate and fancy yet heartening. Though they serve a diverse range of dishes, they’re known for their spicy and zesty Indian preparations.
Named after the princely state in Punjab, Patiala offers a relaxed yet refined ambiance, stylish interiors and classic Indian food. With a display kitchen, guests can watch age-old recipes being fabricated with a modern twist. The menu is carefully divided into two parts – the classic that brings out the old-world charm out of Indian food and the innovative that is young, effervescent and experimental. An energetic vibe with hearty food, the restaurant reflects a ‘joie de vivre’ that redefines fine-dining experience in the true sense.
Discover a touch of tradition with contemporary flair at Michelin- starred, Indian-born, UK-based Chef Atul Kochhar’s palace of color also known as Rang Mahal. Located at the world’s tallest JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai, the restaurant is one of the main culinary draws known for its flawlessly textured, delicately flavored, perfectly spiced lip-smacking preparations.
Carnival by Tresind
If you want to enjoy a dining experience like never before, this is the place for you. Modern, chic and vivacious with an urban feel – Carnival by Tresind, sister outlet to notable Tresind is a restaurant that perfectly exemplifies the marriage of Indian cuisine to molecular gastronomy. Expect a carnival-like feel with elaborately prepared dishes that have playful names like Game of Corns, Thai Tanic and lots more, an occasional spray of bubbles by servers, mind-blowing theatrics, exceptional food and a buzzing ambiance – all under one roof. Nearly every dish, from the textures to the spices is impressive and innovative in equal measure. A true surprise and delight at the same time, everything is flawlessly prepared and executed. Whether you call for one, two or everything on the menu, you are sure to walk away content. The only thing that you will regret is having to walk away!
A paradise for shopaholics and foodies, The Dubai Mall is a place where one can spend hours, days and even weeks shopping, eating or just strolling about. With innumerable options to pick from, there’s something for everyone here.
During my recent trip to Dubai, I spent an entire week at the mall shopping and trying out different cuisines at some of its renowned cafes and eateries. While I do share a special fondness for food, I also truly love desserts and all things sweet – be it a chocolate, tart, pie, cheesecake or cookie – guilty as charged, I love it all. Since this place has so much to offer, I had to take regular pit stops to satisfy my sweet cravings. So here’s my list of six drool-worthy sweet treats that were oh-so-satisfying:
Carrot Cupcake at Magnolia Bakery
The Bloomingdale’s store is home to an elegantly decorated counter of mouthwatering cupcakes and cakes from New York’s famed Magnolia Bakery. Each one looks so pretty that its hard to pick just one. However, after spending almost ten minutes admiring each one, I decided to try the carrot cupcake. One bite into it and I was floored. Moist cake packed with flavors of freshly grated carrots, coconut, pineapple, raisins and walnuts, melted in the mouth while the cream cheese icing left a tingling after-taste. Though their red velvet with cream cheese is a bestseller, I recommend giving this one a try. It’s worth the risk…and the calories!
Location: Inside Bloomingdale’s store, lower ground level
Macarons at Ladurée
World-famous, luxury French bakery and sweets maker, Ladurée gives you a feel of Paris as you walk into the store. With plush café style seating and cutesy interiors, one can pick from a variety of desserts and colourful macarons. I tried various flavors of these smooth delicate shells, but the salted caramel and black truffle ones, were par excellence. Crispy and crunchy on the outside, they were tucked with flavorful filling on the inside. Since they are priced on the higher side, you might consider compromising on those shopping bags over another piece.
Location: P5, level 1
Red Velvet Frozen Custard at Shake Shack
The combination of red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and ice cream sounds like heaven in a cup, doesn’t it? So when I found out that Shake Shack, the famous American fast food chain known for its burgers and hot dogs serves this lip-smacking trio, I knew I had found my calling. The divine fusion of red velvet cake chunks and cream cheese served as frozen custard was so pleasing that I just couldn’t stop myself even after a few bites. Next on my list is their Shack Attack.
Location: Level 1, near waterfront
Hot Bun with Chocolate Sauce at Pappa Roti
Pappa Roti, famous for their hot buns and cold shakes is a must-visit. Each bun is freshly baked from the oven and served hot. With a crispy layer on top, one can feel the crunch with every bite. I highly recommend their hot bun with honey and caramel. The crunchy layer of the bun along with these flavorsome toppings surely makes for a beautiful combination. All you need is a delectable cuppa chocolate milkshake on the side and you’re good to go.
Location: Level 2, near the waterfall
Tiramisu at Eataly
Eataly, known for its Italian food and fresh ingredients, warmly welcomes guests with a luscious dessert spread located right at the entrance. It’s hard to walk past the store, as the aromas of fresh ingredients and chocolate are enough to make you stop by. After several minutes of strolling around the store, I finally called for their Tiramisu. All ingredients of this rich, fluffy, coffee flavored cheesecake are specially imported all the way from Italy and packed with generous amounts of liqeur, espresso, chocolate and mascarpone, thus making it a must-try dessert on their menu. Incase that’s not enough, you can devour some crepe con Nutella from the store’s exquisite Nutella bar. After all, nothing makes shopping more enjoyable than a piping hot crepe oozing with oodles of creamy hazelnut-chocolate filling. I say its worth the chocolate rush!
Location: Lower ground level, near marina exotic home interiors
Oreo Dream Extreme Cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory
Known for its ginormous portions of food, The Cheesecake Factory is a great place to enjoy some lip-smacking American fare. No matter what you eat; make sure to leave some room for dessert, as they have a variety of drool-worthy cheesecakes that cannot be missed. If you’re a fan of cheesecake, cookie and chocolate, the Oreo Dream Extreme is what you’re looking for. Imagine relishing layers of delectable fudge cake, rich cookie mousse, decadent cheesecake and Oreo crumbs – all in a bite. Drooling already? I don’t blame you.
Location: Ground level, near aquarium