One of the first things you’ll notice about Ayubowan is the amazing smell – scents of curry and fresh spices greet you as soon as you walk through the large wooden doors. The restaurant is small but welcoming, and you’re guaranteed top service. The Sri Lankan dishes are authentic and excellent, and most importantly – wallet-friendly. Curries start from as little as Dhs20 and are on the large side, so bring your appetite for a cheap and delicious meal. Open daily 10am-11pm. Lake Point Tower, Cluster N, Jumeirah Lake Towers (04 452 1007).
This spot in Karama specialises in, as you’d imagine, meat cuts. However, the veggie food is also very good. A hidden gem that we love. Open Sat-Wed 12.30pm-11pm; Thu 12.30pm-midnight; Fri 1.30pm-midnight. Al Wasl Hub Building 3, Karama (04 331 2567).
Head here for the bargain – and downright brilliant – chicken biryani. Also try the special vegetarian meal (thali), served on a banana leaf. Dhs150-250. Unlicensed. Open daily 10am-3.30pm, 6.30pm-midnight. Discovery Gardens (04 334 8030).
A stalwart on the Satwa dining scene, visit for the superb shawarma and fresh juices, and stay for the people watching. Dhs150-250. Unlicensed. Open Sat-Thu 6am-4am, Fri, 12pm-4am. 2nd of December, Satwa (04 398 4962).
A Dubai institution serving fresh, simply prepared seafood on the beach. Expect to queue, then wait for your food. It will be worth it. Dhs150-250. Unlicensed. Open daily 1.30am-11.30pm. Umm Suqeim Fishing Harbour, off Jumeirah Beach Road, behind Umm Suqeim park (055 705 2130).