Time Out celebrates the best comfort food at leading Dubai restaurants, including burgers, pizza, Mexican, fry-ups, cheese dishes and more
By Amy Mathieson09 November 2016
Sometimes all you need is grub that makes you feel good – and we're not talking superfood salads. Amy Mathieson rounds up some of the best the city has to offer, from carbs to crusts, via an epic helping of cheese…
One of the best things about Jazz@PizzaExpress is that you know what you’re going to get. And what you’re going to get is an expertly cooked pizza with a thin and crispy base, gooey mozzarella, jalapeño peppers and spicy beef pepperoni. We’re not saying it’s an original choice, but it is a good one. Dhs58.
Taqado has all the standard Mexican fast-food fare you could want. A ten-inch burrito (which comes packed with beans, cheese, veggies and more) is flavoursome, filling and immensely satisfying. That’s your Thursday lunchtime sorted, amigos. Dhs32. Various locations.
If you’re seeking comfort by way of Indian cuisine, search no further. This biryani is spot on, with tender chicken and flavoursome rice. It’s pretty big, so you might want to share (this is not compulsory). Dhs38.
First established in New York in 2001, this American import prides itself on its chicken and waffles. Sweet and savoury, the fried chicken is served with honey-tabasco sauce, atop a crispy Belgian vanilla waffle with warm maple butter. Dhs72.
There are mornings (and lunchtimes and evenings…) when only a fry-up will do. Head to Fibber’s and tuck into a huge platter of fried eggs, beef sausage, beef bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes and a mountain of toast. Dhs55.
Celebrity chef Silvena Rowe is known for her healthy, raw, paleo cooking. She has, however, made an exception for this towering thing of beauty. The bun is gone, replaced by two crisped-up rounds of rich mac ’n’ cheese. They house three burgers made with Aberdeen Angus beef. Leaves, pickles and onions provide freshness and crunch. Dhs99.
If you’re living in the Middle East and are yet to try one of these traditional bready basics, may it be the first thing you do after reading this. Head to Al Reef for a cheap and cheerful version, covered with cheese, zaatar or spicy meats. This is Dubai institution you really shouldn’t miss. From Dhs5. Various locations.
As a venue, Lock, Stock & Barrel tries to do a lot of things, and it basically gets them all bang on. As a menu, it’s a similar story. This is a fantastic offering on the Dubai bar food scene and one we highly recommend you seek out. As a setting it has pool tables, big screens that descend for the big matches, a cracking stage for bands and a magic New York meatpacking district sense of cool oozing from its décor to its staff. And food-wise it’s hard to really go wrong. Feeling particularly peckish? Well, why don’t you check out the one-metre (really) flatbread, which is divided into quarters of margherita, “hotstuff!”, four cheeses and Buffalo chicken? It’s excellent. And, if that’s not to your fancy, the burgers are seriously juicy, the chicken wings plentiful, the chilli con carne deep in spice and all manner of pub-grub staples are delivered with style, too. No wonder it won our award for Best Bar Food, at the 2017 Restaurant Awards. Get down and stuck in.
A nursery favourite, nothing makes you feel like a kid more than a soothing, creamy bowl of rice pudding (unless it reminds you of dodgy school dinners, in which case, move along). Choose the size of your cup and from a range of toppings including marshmallows and caramel, and dig in. Dhs18.
For a taste of Great Britain in sandwich form, this is the one. Tender roast beef, zingy mustard and horseradish all rolled up in a Yorkshire pud. Regular sandwiches will surely be a let-down after this. Dhs38. Various locations.
The fact that it’s called “carb”onara means this dish was made for this very list. Rich, creamy and fully loaded with Parmesan and beef pancetta, this is an Italian classic worth trying. Dhs64. Various locations.
Generously portioned and with a little bit of a kick, this is the Asian version of comfort food at its best. The thick noodles will leave you full, without needing a nap. Go for the ginger chicken version: strips of ginger give it some heat, while also being a natural stomach soother. Dhs49.
To be honest, we don’t even know where to start when it comes to recommending just one item from Big Daddy’s. The newly opened Bur Dubai diner has more comfort than your favourite armchair. But as you can’t go far wrong with cheese, cheese and more cheese, we’ll plump (maybe literally) for this one, basically a toasted cheese sandwich stuffed with macaroni cheese. We’ll be snoozing in the corner if anyone needs us. Dhs29.
These Egyptian street food snacks are a much-loved comfort food. And if, like us, you can’t resist cheese, you’ll be in your element here. Roll options start at just Dhs17 and include those stuffed with Kraft cheese, four cheeses, egg and cheese. From Dhs17.
Quite frankly, we can’t think of anything more glorious than an entire menu filled with everything mozzarella. However, if forced to choose, we’d have to opt for the house-made crumbed deep-fried version served along some freshly sliced tomato (that’s one of your five a day right there). Dhs50.
Cheesy carbs? We’re in. Try this piping-hot pasta, which is served with a slice of garlic bread for added carby goodness. It’s not one for every day, unless you’re in the market for a new wardrobe. Dhs46.