Alternative eating out awards

We pay homage to the quirkier aspects of Dubai restaurants Comments

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Quirkiest dish

Curry and toast at Curry & Toast

Balance, flavour, season, presentation – there are so many components to a truly great dish. However, it seems we spend a great deal of time celebrating exquisite culinary creations and not enough focusing on more bizarre offerings. Our review of Curry & Toast back in September 2011 was effectively a protracted rant about how someone, somewhere, has made millions by combining curry and, well, toast because he (or she) was too lazy to boil rice. Having already wowed India with thick slabs of what is best described as French toast and curry sauce prickling with spice. The piece de resistance at Curry and Toast is the minced lamb ‘Round Up’ – essentially like a Big Mac, but with curried lamb instead of a meat patty and Secret Sauce. Very fun, very silly, and worth a visit.
Open daily noon-midnight. Trade Centre Road, Karama (04 354 7477).

Highly commended
Stir-fried ostrich at Hakkasan

How an ostrich found its way into a Chinese kitchen, we’ll never know, but we’re sure it regrets it.
Jumeirah Emirates Towers (04 384 8484).

Tomahawk steak at Terra Firma
Again: two kilos of meat. Need we say more?
InterContinental Dubai Festival City (04 701 1111).

Most unusual name

Smiling BKK

It must be difficult to conjure up an alluring name for a restaurant without falling into tried, tested and positively tired clichés (if we visit another Italian restaurant called Al Fresco or Al Dente, we won’t be held responsible for our actions). The proprietor of Smiling BKK thinks differently to the average restaurateur and just went with the wackiest, cheeriest name he could. And it works: You can’t help but smile when uttering the words ‘Smiling BKK’, a name that’s substantiated by the lunacy of the restaurant itself – think kitsch decor and crazy, cheerful staff.
Open daily 11am-midnight. Al Wasl Plaza, Al Wasl Road, behind the Emarat petrol station near Safa Park (04 349 6677).

Highly Commended

The dot never fails to intrigue us.
Burj Khalifa (04 888 3828).

Student Biryani
It’s implausible that a biryani, chicken or otherwise, could or would attendan institution of learning, so why name a restaurant as such?
Kuwait Street, Karama (04 336 9992).

Most memorable staff

New Sarhad Darbar

This innocuous restaurant near Mall of the Emirates sticks in our memory thanks to one man – a dwarf, dressed as a maharaja, who cheerfully greets guests and shows them to their tables. The fact that most guests at this eatery – which specialises in budget Pakistani fare – are taxi drivers stopping in for a quick bite, doesn’t matter a jot. He still goes about his work as if he was welcoming people celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. All in all, rather heart-warming.
Open daily 6am-midnight. Al Barsha, near Mall of the Emirates (04 395 0194).

Highly commended
Hard Rock Café

They’re so zany, personable and fun, they could easily be kids’ TV presenters. Take that as you will.
Dubai Festival City (04 232 8900).

Johnny Rockets
They sing, they dance, they make milkshakes and decent burgers – could you ask for more jolly staff? We think not. Just be sure you can stomach at least three renditions of ‘Greased Lightning’ during your meal.
Dubai Marina Walk (04 368 2339).

Click here to view Restaurant Awards 2012

By Oliver Robinson
Time Out Dubai,

User reviews:

Posted by: Basharat Khan on 14 Oct ' 12 at 15:22

Jones the Grocer.... great food , great service

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