Setting the benchmark for Indian food in Dubai 12 Reviews
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One might sum up Dubai’s Indian restaurant scene like this: there are those that have a great reputation, are naturally creative, and consistently produce the evidence to sustain their good name; while others, well, just don’t have so much to stand on.
So it was with thanks that, as we walked out of Ashiana at Sheraton Dubai Creek one recent sunny lunchtime, we felt we’d been dealt more of the latter end of the deal.
Dubai’s benchmark for Indian food is high. There’s no shortage of decent Indian food at both pocket money or wallet-vacuuming prices: Asha’s at Wafi City is as artistic and imaginative as they come, while The Bombay at Deira’s Marco Polo Hotel maintains a solid standard, appealing to both locals and expats alike. Ashiana, therefore, must be doing something right to have won the Time Out Award for Best Indian Restaurant 2007, as well as receive a highly commended star from us this time around. And judging by our last visit it’s clear they won’t let those plaques go without a fight.
The service on our visit was impeccable – attentive but complemented by plenty of personality, with pertinent knowledge about the menu. To start, the taimuri shorba – a creamy swamp of lamb shank-infused soup – was a perfect kick-off. However, the gosht boti kebab was even better. It wasn’t some sliver of lamb swimming in oil,which many restaurants in the city attempt to define as a kebab, but rather caveman-like boulders of spiced tender flesh – a sign of hot things to come.
Feeling like a Texan that had been challenged to a duel, I picked up the ‘you can’t handle the heat’ gauntlet laid down by the waiter and devoured the murgh Ashiana – strips of chicken (i.e., murgh) engulfed in a thick rich sauce of pepper and spice, packing an almighty but moreish kick in its rich and multilayered aftertaste.
My partner’s murgh tikka was a little milder, fuelled with chunks of perfectly cooked chicken that fell to bits faster than Britney Spears at a set of traffic lights, and smothered in sauce silkier than the lining of a silkworm’s smoking jacket. Scooped up with a buttered naan or mixed with the fragrant saffron basmati rice, you’ll find these dishes hard to beat.
Ashiana isn’t the cheapest Indian around, but it rests comfortably between the rock bottom prices in Karama and the budget-busting alternatives in Jumeirah. Pay day or not, at Ashiana you’re not just paying for the interior and service show, but extremely high-end cooking. It’s clear that its going to add more than a little fight to the ongoing tussle for the city’s Indian crown.
The bill (for two)
1x taimuri shorba Dhs18
1x gosht boti kebab Dhs62
1x murgh Ashiana Dhs55
1x murgh tikka Dhs52
1x mineral water Dhs18
2x Pepsi Dhs36
Total (excluding service) Dhs241
By Becky Lucas
- Previous reviews
- 15 April,2013- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 25 March,2012- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 27 March,2011- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 06 April,2010- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 17 March,2009- reviewed by Time Out Dubai staff
- 26 March,2008- reviewed by Time Out Dubai Staff
- 12 March,2007- reviewed by Time Out Dubai Staff
- 28 February,2007- reviewed by Time Out Dubai Staff
- 27 April,2006- reviewed by Time Out Dubai
- 01 August,2005- reviewed by Matthew Lee
- 01 January,2003- reviewed by Rob Orchard
- 01 January,2002- reviewed by Time Out Dubai Staff
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