Hailing from Mumbai, Khyber is the latest arrival to Dubai’s Indian fine-dining scene.
Set on the 15th floor of DUKES hotel on the Palm, Khyber’s traditional Indian cuisine comes with a side of panoramic views and authentic interiors (think vibrant paintings and intricate concrete pillars).
The focus here is primarily on authentic North Indian dishes. The menu (like the décor) mirrors that of the famous Mumbai restaurant, with favourites from the original all present and correct. Staff are eager and helpful, so on their advice (and with the promise that they will be different to what we expect), we opt for some of Khyber’s signature dishes.
They’re not wrong. A dish of butter chicken is as far removed as it could be from the overly sweet, bright red offering we so often see. It’s perfectly spiced (complete with a kick), rich without being sickly, and we love the tangy shards of grated ginger.
The paneer tikka is a massive portion, delightfully charred and delicately spiced, while a tender lamb seekh kebab packs quite the punch. Order wisely and you’ll leave pleasantly full, rather than feeling as though you need a lie down.
As much as we love some theatrics, a meal at Khyber is none the worse for being authentic and simple.
Food arrives in traditional metal dishes, not in plumes of dry ice, as is the trend in some Indian restaurants in the city. There’s a place for both and Khyber holds its own when it comes to taste.
The same sadly can’t be said for the atmosphere. As most places are during the summer, it’s quiet when we visit, but the shape of the room (it’s long and narrow) perhaps may never be conducive to an upbeat vibe. It’s also very brightly lit. Go for the food, but not for a lively night out.
The Bill (for two) 1x seekh kebab Dhs90 1x paneer tikka Dhs70 1x dum murg Dhs110 1x butter chicken Dhs105 1x naan Dhs15 1x jeera rice Dhs25 1x large water Dhs20 Total (including service) Dhs435
The bottom line Traditional dishes done well, but served in a setting lacking atmosphere Khyber