Faludeh might be the first ever frozen dessert and for that it should be celebrated. We find the best examples in Dubai.
Faludeh It can almost be argued that the Persians invented the frozen dessert. By some accounts, faludeh, an iced treat made from vermicelli noodles and rose water, dates back to 400 BC. Time Out sampled the delicacy from a few random Iranian restaurants throughout Dubai.
Sarband 4/7 Iced vermicelli noodles flavoured with rosewater? For someone who counts cake (in all its myriad forms) as the perfect dessert, this little combination doesn’t sound promising. And on first taste, it isn’t – it’s just a bowl of ice-cold noodles. But pour over the sweetened lemon syrup that’s served on the side and the whole thing comes to life. Yum. Sarband, Century Village, Garhoud (04 283 3891). Dhs30
Persia, Persia 6/7 You say tom-ay-toe and I say tom-ah-toe, you spell it faludeh and I spell it falooda… Indeed, there seem to be as many ways to spell (and say) this Iranian dessert as there are to serve it, so at Persia, Persia we go thoroughly off-piste and order it as makhloot, in which sweetly creamy honey ice cream is served alongside the little iced noodles. It’s not unlike a grown-up version of something you remember being served at kids’ parties – all it needs is a few sprinkles and we’d be back there, party hat in hand. Persia, Persia, Wafi Pyramids (04 324 4100). Dhs35
Pars Iranian 4/7 When you are dealing with a dessert as essentially prosaic as faludeh it pays not to attach too many bells and whistles. The people at Pars know this and their doughty dish succeeds where more garish contenders fail. Crisp vermicelli provides the crunch, ice provides the chill and rosewater the flavour. There’s lemon juice and some extra rosewater for a little variety, but these are little more than extraneous decoration to a barren tapestry that thrives on its minimalism. Pars Iranian, Behind Satwa roundabout, beside Rydges Plaza, Satwa (04 398 4000). Dhs10
Iranzamin 2/7 Having opted for the takeout option, we were presented with a tub of Barbie-pink noodles. The source of this over-zealous colouring – a strawberry syrup more artificial-tasting than the most additive-fuelled kids’ sweet – did little to compensate for the otherwise flavourless icy mush. Reprieve was granted, however, by a squeeze of the fresh lemon wedge served on the side. Iranzamin, Concorde Hotel, on Maktoum Street in Deira (04 229 2931). Dhs18.75