Fill your tum without emptying your wallet with these special deals and budget-friendly restaurants
Chez Sushi This sushi joint has just introduced a Japanese-style curry special. On the menu are grilled or fried chicken katsu teamed with Japanese curry, or vegetable curry. From Dhs48. Daily noon-midnight. Al Wasl Square; Dubai Marina; Bay Square and Arabian Ranches (800 78744).
Amala This Indian restaurant launches a new deal In September, which offers dinners the chance to try two traditional desserts, jalebi and omriti, both served via live cooking stations in the restaurant. Dhs45. Thu 6pm-1am. Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Palm Jumeirah (04 453 0444).
Centro Citta Italian Restaurant Currently available on the menu at this Italian eatery in Bur Dubai is a selection of varied lasagne recipes. The list includes chicken, seafood and vegetable recipes. From Dhs50. Daily 12.30pm-11pm. Four Points by Sheraton Downtown Dubai, Mankhool Road, Bur Dubai (04 316 9726).
KRIS KROS The globetrotting-inspired restaurant on the Boulevard has recently introduced a menu special of elaborate desserts. The selection includes a white chocolate crepe, a waffle tower and a chocolate fondant. Dhs35. Daily noon-midnight. Boulevard Plaza Tower II, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai (04 453 9994).
The Noodle House
The popular Dubai restaurant has recently revealed its new menu and boasts 50 dishes for Dhs50 or less making it, well… er… noodles of fun for budget-aware diners. Look out for wasabi prawns at a now reduced price of Dhs42, a hearty nasi goreng at Dhs50 or a filling duck wonton soup with ban mien noodles for Dhs35. Prices vary. Various locations including Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.thenoodlehouse.com (800 666 353). Vida Food Truck Giving a food truck a permanent home in front of a luxury hotel might be against the pop-up ethos, but we can’t help looking forward to visiting the Manzil Downtown Dubai’s shiny 23-foot Airstream Safari. Food trucks are just fun, so try the comfort-food-goes-gourmet selection such as the R-Rated Mac and Cheese made with fontina-stuffed ravioli, fresh black truffle, tots and slaw before taking a walk down Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard. Dhs40. Daily 3pm-11pm. Manzil Downtown Dubai, Downtown Dubai (04 428 5888).
Fratelli La Buffala Even with the spectre of construction on the horizon, the views of a sunset from The Beach in JBR are some of the more priceless sights in the city. Enjoy them while sharing a margherita pizza at Fratelli La Bufala. The taste is authentic Neapolitan and for a snack on an early evening stroll, it is large enough to share. You just need to find a friend who likes pizzas, sunsets and good food. Can you manage that? Dhs49. The Beach, JBR The Walk (04 430 3497). Zero Gravity Thronged by night and diverting through the day, we reckon it is worth dropping in near Zero Gravity (possibly by parachute?) for breakfast as well. Considering this is one of the city’s tourist hotspots the prices (Dhs15 for homemade yoghurt and berries or Dhs25 for waffles with syrup and berries) are not too bad either. The standout, for us, is the eggs benedict with hash browns, grilled tomato and baby asparagus for Dhs45. Prices vary. Zero Gravity, next to Skydive Dubai, Dubai Marina, www.0-gravity.ae (04 399 0009).
Yum! Some deals deserve to be sampled on the audacity of the offering. Noodle bar Yum! in the Radisson Blu on Dubai Creek has one such promotion. Here you can try a combo of starter, main course and unlimited ice tea for Dhs49. The dishes included change each week, but expect a noodly variation on something Thai, Indonesian, Singaporean or Vietnamese. Dhs49. Daily noon-11.30pm. Yum!, Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek, Baniyas Road (04 205 7333).
We love the casual dining prices with five-star service at the budget Asian restaurant in Grand Hyatt Dubai’s atrium garden restaurant. Every dish comes in at Dhs50 or less, making this one of the more affordable places to dine in a premium hotel. Try the wok-fried beef and egg noodles in black pepper sauce for a filling dish at a reasonable price. All dishes less than Dhs50. Daily noon-11.30pm. Wox, Grand Hyatt Dubai, Oud Metha (04 317 2222).
It is hard to calculate value for money. If it were an equation it would go something along the lines of: cost ÷ entertainment = value. However you work it out, the pizza, pint and football for Dhs49 at Majestic Hotel’s Barrels pub is something special. The offer is valid during selected live football games and ticks all of our boxes for Bur Dubai bargain hunting. Dhs49. During live football matches. Barrels, Majestic Hotel Tower, Bur Dubai (04 359 8888).
This is one of the best budget restaurants in Dubai. The Keralan food menu is varied, but the seafood is a speciality. Try the pollichathu, a fish in a masala rub and cooked in a banana leaf. Portions are plentiful and service is excellent. This is food to delve into and enjoy – leave any inhibitions at the door and take a trip to Southern India. Daily 7am-1.30am. Opposite Lulu Centre, Karama, www.paragonrestaurant.net (04 335 8700). Other location: Near NMC Hospital, Al Nahda (04 298 8858).
Seashell Cafeteria The iconic Seashell Cafeteria has branches across the emirates, serving simple mixed grills and wraps, and a rainbow variety of fresh juices, including avocado, papaya and chickoo. With mixed grill platters starting from Dhs35, and a whole barbecued chicken for just Dhs40, this is a very budget friendly place to dine. Vegetarians can also try the omelette paratha (a wrap made with paratha bread, and stuffed with chunks of omelette) for just Dhs4. Various locations including Jumeirah Beach Road, www.seashell-cafe.com (04 394 2886).
A ‘momo’ is the Himalayan answer to the dumpling, popular in Nepal and Tibet and, it is fair to say, Time Out has an obsession with them. With Dhs50 we suggest gorging on buffalo momo (Dhs13), vegetable momo (Dhs12) and accompanying them with some Nepalese wai wai noodles (Dhs10). Daily noon-midnight. Behind Park Regis Hotel, Karama (04 385 2233). Other location: International City (04 276 5772).
Ravi restaurant One of Dubai’s Hall of Fame restaurants, Ravi’s has been delighting tourists and residents for decades with excellent, extremely affordable Pakistani food. It’s very basic and the focus is on the cooking. There’s a menu, but staff will tell you what is available when you’re there and recommend what to have. The Dhs8 dahl fry is amazing – gently spiced lentils in a silky yellow sauce – as is the Dhs20 mutton Peshwari. Visit with a friend and still get change from your Dhs50. Daily 5am-2am. Satwa Road, Satwa, (04 331 5353). Other location: Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Street, Al Karama (04 352 8090).
Betawi Café This budget eatery is based on a quiet Karama back street and serves affordable and wholesome Indonesian food that bursts with flavours and spices. A few bites of classics like gado gado (Dhs27), nasi padang (Dhs30) or ketoprak (Dhs27) and you’ll feel transported from said Karama street to a rainforest bamboo hut, accessed only by a dirt track. Sat-Wed noon-11pm, Fri 2pm-11pm. Mabrooka 1 Building, behind Park Regis Kris Kin, Karama (04 279 0302).
Bu Qtair Located in a residential area behind Jumeirah Beach Road, there are no reservations and you can only order from the fish they’ve caught that day, or prawns. Prices have crept up over the years – the secret got out and tourists added it to their itineraries – but you can still get a medium sherri dish for Dhs50. Cash only. Open daily 10.30am-3pm, 6.30pm-11.30pm. Road 4d, near Burj Al Arab, Umm Suqeim (055 705 2130).
Rangoli Once inside this basic canteen you’ll have a thali tray placed in front of you and waiters will come around to dish out your food. Top ups of the tasty vegetarian dishes, including yellow dahl, chickpea curry and potato curry keep coming, along with chapatis and popadoms. The Gujarati thali is only Dhs24 and includes a dessert. Dhs24. Daily 8.30am-11.30pm. Cosmos Lane, Meena Bazaar, Bur Dubai (04 351 5873).
Taqado Mexican Kitchen
At this Mexican spot your Dhs50 will stretch to a medium steak burrito topped with black beans and Monterey Jack cheese. On the side you should take the lime cilantro rice and a nacho box with chips, guacamole and salsa. Zuma it is not, but for DIFC eats on a budget you will not be disappointed. Sun-Thu 7am-9.30pm, Fri-Sat 9am-6pm. DIFC, Marble Walk, www.taqado.com (04 351 5210).
Venus Go for the thali at this Karama restaurant and you’ll get plenty of change from Dhs50. As well as the dahl and three vegetable curries, you’ll get as much rice as you can manage and perhaps the best poori in the city. Mounds of them. Daily 7am-midnight. Opposite Lulu Hypermarket and Karama Park, Karama (04 335 2113).
Vinkers Waffles Green Community residents and employees sometimes give the impression of being outsiders. They don’t speak up quite as often as people from, say, Dubai Marina or Downtown. We think this might be because they don’t want word of the city’s best waffles getting out. Make the trip out to sit by the mini-lake, kick back at cosy café Vinkers and scoff a waff. At Dhs25 each, go for the maple syrup flavour and get your friend to go for ice-cream and you can share the spoils between the two of you. Daily 8am-9pm. Green Community Market, main lake side, opposite Courtyard by Marriott, www.vinkerswaffles.com (04 885 0944).
Hanoi Naturally We once took a holiday to Vietnam. We can only remember some of the many amazing things we saw that hazy summer. What does stand out is how obsessed we became with a lemongrass chilli dish we tried one evening. Flying back to get another fix would cost us thousands of dirhams so we content ourselves with a trip to this authentic Vietnamese canteen in JLT. Join us and tuck into a huge steaming bowl of chicken pho (Dhs29) or caramelised ginger chicken with lime and rice (Dhs40) to be transported east. Prices vary. Daily 11am-11pm. Gold Crest Executive, Cluster C, JLT, www.hanoinaturally.co (04 431 3099).