International City Indian spot 9 Reviews
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If you hate surprises, don’t come here. Chingaar is full of them. First of all its slogan of ‘A Fine Dine’ is somewhat misleading. Tucked up in a dusty road of the China cluster in International City, the Indian restaurant was hardly fancy – unless your idea of class is having wrapping paper stuck on the ceiling and gift bows adorning the walls. This strange attempt to jazz the place up did have a certain endearing quality, however, and my date and I became determined to enjoy our experience.
We sat near the TV and Ikea mirrors so we could watch MTV or ourselves, should conversation falter. The smiling waiter brought us out paper take-away menus jam-packed with Chinese and Indian dishes. I was flummoxed, not only about how they cooked up all these dishes, but how they managed to fit all the ingredients necessary in the tiny kitchen.
I decided to delve into the Chinese section first and ordered a spring roll. Another surprise: it was the best spring roll I have ever tasted. Cut into three pieces (it was a big ’un) the shell was delightfully crisp, bubbly and non-greasy and it was generously stuffed with tender chicken, bean sprouts and the other obligatory veggies. For the main I ordered the paneer makhini. Mopped up with a huge, piping hot, buttery garlic naan and coupled with fluffy basmati rice, it was delicious.
The cottage cheese cubes had a delightful hint of chewiness, and the gravy was a creamy, onion-kissed concoction. My date’s chicken shahi korma was not as successful. After prising the meat from the bones there wasn’t much left and the gravy, which was made with cashew nut, cream, butter and white pepper, looked and tasted like Campbell’s soup. After clearing away our dishes the waiter promptly presented us with our (very small) bill. Not sure why – there wasn’t exactly a queue for our table, but perhaps we looked as full as we felt.
Unfortunately, the lack of atmosphere at the restaurant was off-putting and a past Chingaar diner told me their beef had been pretty gristly. But, if you order a takeaway and stick with the vegetarian dishes, you will be pleasantly surprised.
The bill (for two)
1x Spring roll Dhs15
1x Paneer pakoda Dhs16
1x Paneer makhini Dhs16
1x Chicken shahi korma Dhs 18
1x Basmati rice Dhs10
1x Garlic naan Dhs4
1x Butter naan Dhs3
3x Lemonade Dhs24
1x Apple juice Dhs10
Total (excluding service) Dhs116
Time Out Dubai,
Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.