African-themed groceries seem to be few and far between in Dubai. Time Out tracks down the best places to buy African snacks.
Time Out went on the prowl for imports from Africa that are available in Dubai. While African-themed groceries seemed to be few and far between, we were able to suss out a few goods you can buy at local restaurants. If you’re bored tossing your money at Coca Cola and Pringles, you could give some of these products a try.
Akabanga We stumbled upon this spicy Rwandan import while dining at African Restaurant in Deira. Its primary ingredients are vegetable oil and a yellow pepper grown in Nigeria known as the scotch bonnet. Essentially, the oil is fire in a bottle. It won’t add much in the way of flavour to your meal, but it will give it a kick strong enough to send you over the Gulf.
Available at African Restaurant, in the Pacific Hotel (04 223 6670), across from the Sabakha bus station on Sabakha Road, Deira
Harar Sofi The Harar brewery in Ethiopia produces this non-alcoholic beverage, which has a sweet, musty taste similar to rum. Supplies tend to be limited, so you might want to call ahead before running to Deira to pick up a bottle. The drink is so popular with the local patrons that it tends to run in short supply.
Available at Jimma Café (04 271 7610), across the street from the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Deira, behind the Pizza Hut
Nando’s peri-peri sauce While some Brits assume that Nando’s is a UK brand, it actually hails from South Africa. Though the sauce itself is Portuguese, you have the Saffas to thank for putting this spicy condiment on grocery shelves the world over.
Available at Spinneys, various locations
Peppadew™ The folks at Peppadew International want to make it very clear that their products are not to be called ‘peppadews’, though this is exactly how many in the South African community refer to the jar-confined ‘fruits’ (as the company insists on calling the sweet piquant peppers). No matter how they’re referred to, the product is a staple in many a Saffa home, as is Peppadew™ Splash-on Sauce.