Incredible food and ‘low-cost’ aren’t often terms associated with one another. That’s why we’ve dug out the hidden gems so you don’t have to spend a small fortune on awesome grub.
Time Out has visited each and every restaurant assessing factors including quality of food, ambience and service. Popular or relatively unknown, we’ve gone undercover to find out what you’re getting for your money (or lack of it) at each venue.
Paragon is popular, and for good reason. The Keralan food menu is varied, but the seafood is a speciality. Crab Thusar is a thick, spicy sauce with a full crab broken up inside, it isn't dainty but it is delicious. Mop it up with appams, pancakes made from fermented rice and coconut milk. The Pollichathu is also recommended, a fish in a masala rub and cooked in a banana leaf. Portions are plentiful and service is excellent. This is food to delve into and enjoy, leave any inhibitions at the door and take a trip to Southern India.
A ‘momo' is the Himalayan answer to the dumpling, popular in Nepal and Tibet. YallaMomos in Karamawas Dubai's first eatery dedicated to serving this little Himalayan street food snack, with an additional branch now in International City. Expect momos delivered to the table freshly cooked, still too hot to devour and perfectly twisted and formed in dough casings that are clearly freshly prepared in house. After eating here, YallaMomos' neighbourhood popularity is pretty self-explanatory. The food is excellent, cheap, moreish and even unique in Dubai. A must-try.
You'd be forgiven for thinking you've walked into a Japanese eatery given the decor at this Sheikh Zayed Road eatery. Graffiti is sprayed on corrugated iron adorning the walls and manga-style cartoon characters decorate the ceiling. Thanks to the delectable dishes on offer for astoundingly low prices, this cool comic book-style Lebanese street food restaurant is perennially packed with all kinds of patrons, from businessmen and women in suits to expats and students from around the world. Zaroob offers outstanding, fresh and juicy shawarmas for a nominal Dhs10 as well as other light bites and sandwiches. Zaroob is well worth a visit and staff are friendly and keep their cool despite the vast numbers already dining, milling around both inside and out waiting for and to be seated and waiting for takeaway. But the good service, great prices and undoubtedly delicious food makes all the waiting worth it.