Ditch those sub-standard lunch-break subs, and get some serious satisfaction with these greedy, gourmet creations
Fleshy meats, nutritious veggies and creamy condiments… just some staples of a good sandwich. But a portion of places in Dubai have gone above and beyond to please with the perfect combination of ingredients to wrap up in thin tortillas, thick soft baps or toasted slices. Whether sweet, savoury, crunchy, nutty, or a mind-boggling combination, you might have to use your loaf to figure out how some monstrous creations should be tackled (hint: a knife and fork helps). Yes, a few of the pairings may be strange but we can’t deny this lot are winning the sarnie game.
Among the tales of unusual sandwich experiences, this ‘burger’ with a Japanese twist might just top the list. You can in fact find a series of these ‘burgers’ at Sushi Counter, each made with a wafer approximation of a burger bun, filled with sushi rice and raw fish toppings (including a choice of salmon, tuna and also beef), along with tamago (egg).
What more would you expect from this quirky British gastropub than a quirky British street food favourite. This sandwich is a particularly British peculiarity that simply involves chips stuffed in white bread with plenty of butter. Sound gross? Well, it will probably cure whatever ails you, and you’ll find this on the restaurant’s ‘nibbles’ menu if you are eager to try.
There can be no better place to try Greece’s (arguably superior, but shhhh!) answer to the Middle Eastern shawarma. Labbys’ take on pita-wrapped souvlaki is almost embarrassingly generous – opt for option ‘a’, stuffed with tomatoes, onions, parsley, home-made chips and impossibly creamy tzatziki, all vying for attention next to juicy chunks of marinated poultry. If you can’t make it to Athens this year, get thee to JLT.
This is not just a kebab sandwich, this is a German kebab. And yes, before you scoff at that, there is in fact a difference. Thanks to the sizeable Turkish community in Berlin, the German capital not only has a healthy kebab shop scene, but also makes a mean sandwich, quite unlike any other kebab you’ve ever sampled (even in the rest of Deutschland). Some even go so far as to claim that Berlin invented the doner kebab. They did at least invent this particular style of sandwich, which involves a triangular pouch of bread (crispy on the outside, fluffy and doughy inside, when at its best), slices of chicken or veal and so much finely shredded salad that you can actually just about kid yourself that this is in fact quite healthy.
Nobody makes Pakistan’s street food look cooler than the kids at Moti Roti. This pop-up store and food truck (look out for them at events such as Ripe Market, the Formula 1 and Dubai Rugby 7s) offers Pakistan’s answer to the grab-and-go sandwich: roti stuffed with rice, and a freshly made, daily changing selection of curries. We’re fans of the fresh, home-made taste of these whole-wheat flatbreads.
In this age of culinary hybrids, the next on the list of weird mash-ups had to be the humble sandwich. This home-grown brand has brought together two of the world’s most beloved fast food sandwiches, the shawarma and the burger, and in doing so, created the ‘shawurger’. It’s a small and fluffy burger bap stuffed with slices of shawarma meat and a little fresh salad and onion.
Dubai’s first independent doughnut boutique, Jam Bar, specialises in what it refers to as ‘artisanal’ doughnuts, meaning they are made fresh and by hand, without artificial additives. Sandwich fanatics with a sweet tooth can head to this spot to pick out any one of the filled doughnuts in the display counter and choose any scoop of ice cream. Staff will cut your doughnut in half and stuff it with the scoop, sticking it all back to together like a little saccharine burger. Very naughty. Very nice.
This is not just a shawarma. It’s the shawarma to end all shawarmas. Small, but packing a mighty punch, this little flatbread wrap is like a bizarre cross between a traditional meat-filled shawarma and a grilled cheese sandwich, filled with plenty of molten, greedy mess. Worth every dirham. All six of them! Dhs6 each.
This fast food joint in Dubai Marina offers one major point of difference, which is that all the food on its menu has a healthier focus. For example, the brand promises that recipes are free from trans fats and MSG. They also promise that there is no deep-frying going on behind the scenes in the kitchen. Try this wrap, filled with scrambled egg, smoked turkey rashers, cheddar cheese, fresh salsa and tomato, to start your day with a healthier kick than the average breakfast sandwich.
This sustainable-minded café focuses on using local, seasonal and organic ingredients where possible. The eatery is launching a new series of what it considers to be ‘cult’ and classic street food dishes. First up on that list is the kathi roll. You can order this Indian favourite made with a potato paratha stuffed with paneer or chicken and dressed with onion, peppers, cumin, turmeric, chilli, coriander, tomato and mint chutney.