Tourist friendly dining spot in the Heritage and Diving Village Discuss this article
The Heritage Village is a weird and wonderful location. Stretching back from the creek to the highway, it’s designed to look like a medieval desert fort. Originally meant purely as a tourist attraction, it now has people and camels living in it, and you can buy pots and assorted ethnic trinkets at the entrance. Al Bandar sits at the far end of the village, down by the water. It’s a pretty rough-and-ready, no frills sort of place, and doesn’t serve alcohol, so a boozy dinner is out of the question, but it’s
reasonable if you fancy some decent fish without breaking the bank.
The menu embraces all things fishy, from chargrilled snapper to sautéed mussels, as well as some basic mezze, salads and meat dishes. A starter portion of crab and avocado salad came with soft avocado and slightly bland crab, layered with lettuce and cocktail sauce. A tray of shrimp spring rolls was hot and flaky with good wodges of prawn and the Dhs15 cream of seafood soup was a cheap and cheerful bowlful with thick fishy flavour. A special salad had some fat prawns, squid squiggles and tasty marinaded red mullet.
For mains we opted for a fisherman’s platter – a half lobster with hammour fillet, seabream, tiger prawns and squid all for Dhs25. This fresh, well-cooked plateful was plenty for even the gutsiest of fishermen, with tender, largely bone-free fishmeat. Our lobster thermidor, a rich crustacean
concoction, came matched with a layer of french fries and the Al Bandar Special was a red mullet fillet on a bed of saffron rice with a good tomato and mushroom sauce.
A good place to take visitors to gaze at some inner-city camels and sample some local marine life, Al Bandar is very good value for money. After dinner, shisha is available for some post-prandial
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