If you travelled along Jumeirah Road from one end to the other, you could probably eat cuisines from every part of the world. Sometimes though, it’s good to stop and think about where you are. Local Bites Cafe in Umm Suqeim 1 is a quiet spot, with a fresh look – half ’50s diner and half Emirati heritage centre. It also specialises in local food. The walls are covered with huge prints of local men and women, camels and birds of prey. The chairs are a mix of vibrant red leather and clear or red plastic.
There’s also seating outside, by Jumeirah Road, but it’s inside where we decide to eat – a calm haven away from the hustle of everyday Dubai life. Coffee bubbles and pours, local women chat and take the occasional selfie, a television plays the football highlights, with the volume down low.
A syrupy lemon ice tea quenches our thirst while we browse the menu. It’s breakfast time and there’s plenty to choose from. There are eggs made in every way possible and what amounts to an English breakfast.
Most of the choices are a combination of Arabian and Indian food, so the Jumeirah platter which we choose has a paratha, two freshly baked khameer, two chabab (Emirati pancakes) and balaleet (Emirati omelette), served with honey and cream cheese. It’s probably not a breakfast for the health conscious.
The khameer was delicious, especially when it arrived – warm and plump. The flavour of the chabab pancakes was a little too delicate perhaps, maybe more cardamom needed, but they were perfectly cooked, thin and an enticing yellow. The paratha was the low point – a little too greasy and probably unnecessary given the other bread, but perfectly passable. We always find balaleet a strange concoction. Bright yellow, salty and sweet, here it was exactly right, but it’s something our English palate just can’t get used to. The vermicelli was served in a ramekin with a heart-shaped omelette on top. Bless those waiters, they really shouldn’t have!
The staff were great, friendly and happy to leave us to it when the food and drinks arrived. We finish with a pot of Arabian coffee, which was fragrant and probably enough for two – and no danger of too little cardamom there.
Local Bites is a pleasant, relaxing spot. Perfect for a lazy breakfast or somewhere to recharge and take a step back from a hectic life.
The bill (for one) 1 x lemon ice tea Dhs18 1 x Arabian coffee Dhs22 1 x Jumeirah platter Dhs42 Total (including service) Dhs82
Local Bites Café