There wasn’t any available taxis in sight and I was so late (I hate being late and 5 minutes past an appointment is already too late for me.) for my 5PM Filipino merienda date with Sandy. So I decided to be crazy brave: I power walked from the Al Karama metro stop to Delmon Filipino restaurant in the heart of Karama. I’ve been to the restaurant twice, but I didn’t know how to get there on foot…alone. That was the problem. A big problem.
Good thing that I have some directional sense, which I find quite odd for a girl. (Sometimes I think I was a boy in my past life.) After a block of huffing and puffing in the now humid Dubai afternoon (Goodbye winter?), I managed to ask some “kabayans” if they knew where Delmon was.
Of course, they didn’t know. Drat. And so I brisk walked on, weaving through two apartment blocks, which pretty much looked the same. They were all white-beige worn down buildings filled with dingy shops of knock off designer goods, pharmacies, groceries and cafeterias; but no Delmon Filipino restaurant in sight. I was lost and late. Oh, my underarms were getting sweaty too. How embarrassing. Triple setback!
As I was shuffling my feet as quickly as I could, I saw a couple of empty, air-conditioned taxis calling my name. I tried to hail a taxi outside of the loading zone with one hand flailing in panic (Yes, I was panicking already), but then the crazy Dubai laws popped in my head and my hand quickly disappeared faster than a blink of an eye. I could not risk being fined because I only had enough money for a cheap Filipino meal and a ride back home. So this little lost Filipino girl had to find a loading zone quick. I was 10 minutes late and I didn’t want Sandy, her mum and Wee Scotch to wait for me any longer.
Then finally, a red and green neon sign of hope: the Karachi Darbar signage, my landmark for Delmon Filipino restaurant. I almost cried, knowing I was saved! I wasn’t randomly picked up by a car full of perverts or I wasn’t fined for illegally hailing a taxi cab. Whew! I was once lost and now I’ve found my Karama destination: Delmon Filipino Restaurant. But I was still 15 minutes late with sweaty armpits. Ugh.
I was blessed to have a bit of time to breathe (It was a good 1.5 – 2KM of power walking) as Sandy, her mum and Wee Scotch walked over to Delmon from Lulu Park. Thank God for a cricket game to keep them entertained, while waiting for the late hostess (me). After another 5 minutes of waiting (Note to self: Do not set appointment at 5PM when the restaurant opens at 530PM), we finally entered the air-conditioned comforts of the restaurant and sat down for a feast of Filipino merienda (snacks), or rather early dinner for all of us, especially the oh-so cute, charming, lovable little foodie, Wee Scotch.
The four of us shared a table full of Filipino treats. Though I initially planned to only have Filipino merienda fare, we ventured out into the regular meal viands including the Sinigang na Hipon (Filipino shrimp sour soup) and Pinakbet (stir fried vegetables in shrimp paste sauce).
To be honest, the food wasn’t all that great. The sinigang na hipon was more salty than sour. The lumpiang shanghai (fried meat spring rolls) was a bit burnt. The pinakbet’s vegetables were overcooked. I thought the okoy (vegetable and shrimp fritters), the palabok (rice noodles with annatto seed sauce), the cassava suman (rice cake wrapped in banana / coconut leaves), the halo-halo were just acceptable.
But really, I was just soooo relieved that I found my way to a small patch of home, being that Filipino restaurant that I now know how to get to on foot.
Delmon Filipino Restaurant
(across Karachi Darbar, near Lulu Park)
Karama Dubai UAE
Open 930AM – 2PM and 530PM – 1130PM
Delirious about delicious,
P.S. Thank you Sandy for bringing me to my real Dubai home. I don’t know if I would’ve survived getting out of Karama on foot, alone and in the middle of the night. Sheesh.
P.P.S. Did I distract you from my story with all those food photos? Hehehe!