“I want Bu Qtair shrimp.”
After months salivating over No Reservations’ Dubai episode, I had to have it. And I also wanted to visit and eat at every restaurant Tony Bourdain conquered in that episode. Okay, I admit I am such a lame fan. Would you go this far to follow Tony Bourdain?
This lame fan planned poorly. Even if I wanted to have Bu Qtair shrimps within the 1st hour of our Dubai touchdown, I could not. Bu Qtair Restaurant is only open at night (Doors open at 7PM as I’ve learned). And so I did wait…
Bu Qtair Restaurant
Like they always say, Patience is a virtue. It is indeed. I FINALLY got a taste of them Bu Qtair shrimps. Marinated in an eerie orange mystery spice and deep fried in X-times used oil.
Oh, my husband ordered fish too. But I wasn’t there for the fish. I was there for the shrimps!
They served us an equally eerie orange spicy fish gravy and some “ruffage” (chopped cabbage, red onions and slivers of lemon) to accompany both the fish and the shrimps.
Rice is served at Bu Qtair, but is not recommended. If you want rice, better to bring your own or just take away the shrimps and eat with rice at home (Like what I did the other day…I couldn’t help it! I was craving for them Bu Qtair shrimps!). So we ordered a stack of paratha bread for everyone.
It was perfect. The shrimps. The gravy. The chewy, slightly burnt paratha. The desert humidity. Dubai, I am finally here.
Bait Al Mandi
Another evening in our small and ravenous household, the husband decided to whisk me away to another Tony Bourdain spot.
The husband ordered the specialty of the house: the Mandi, an arabic version of rice toppings. It was meat on top of rice. So that’s rice toppings according to my dictionary. Hehehe! There were two variations of Mandi: chicken and meat (Is it mutton? Or lamb?). So we ordered both, so that I could try them.
The Mandi came with a clear soup. I could not decipher what kind soup it was. But it was meat and spicy. A good prelude to the main event.
They also served us a spicy, tomato salsa-like sauce and a cup of very, very thick yoghurt (it was almost soft cheese like in density). Yoghurt seems to be a staple in this side of the world.
Then came the Mandi. Or should I say: MANDI. Oh boy, the servings were good for two (or maybe even three!) people! Good thing the husband has a stomach of three-four “normal” people. Yes, he finished his gargantuan order of Chicken Mandi, ate some from my Meat Mandi and even ordered extra rice! Ayayay! The good thing was that extra rice is free of charge. Hooray!
I actually liked the Meat Mandi versus the Chicken Mandi. Is the Meat Mandi tastier just because it is double the price of the Chicken Mandi? Hahahaha! Nah. I’m not just a chicken person.
So did Bait Al Mandi set the pace for the ginormous plates to come? Waaaaahhh! Learn more about Bait Al Mandi’s food offerings here.
After another long day of malling (Yes, this is apparently one of the favorite activities of Dubai-nites), Dodong took me to Ravi. I’ve done some preliminary research on Ravi. And it is one of the most popular Pakistani restaurants in Dubai. It serves delicious food that hits the spot, plus it is dirt cheap for Dubai standards.It was the wee hours of the morning and still people were piling up. And the food is enough reason to keep us up late.
My favorite was the Chicken Tikka Masala. Rich and spicy, but not the burning kind of spicy (at least for my palette). Best eaten with Naan bread to scoop up every last bit of gravy.
Oh, if you find it too spicy for your taste, don’t worry. There’s always yoghurt to cool your taste buds with. This is yoghurt country right?
And of course, a big bottle of cold desert water plus a box a tissue at arm’s reach :-) Learn more about Ravi’s food offerings here.
This is the end of my Tony Bourdain trail. There is another restaurant though, Verre by Gordon Ramsay. But sad to say, that is beyond our budget. Maybe a few more months to save a lot of dirhams, I’d be able to complete the Tony Bourdain trail full circle. Or maybe somebody would be so kind to treat me there instead? Hahahaha!