Bastakiah Nights Bastakiah Nights

Idyllic location, but can the food impress as well? Reviews

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Allow yourself plenty of time to find this open-air restaurant. It’s difficult to locate, and not even the neighbours seem to know where it is. But, just as importantly, it’s a shame to rush the search for your meal table, as Bastakia is such a charming and atmospheric district and a joy to stroll through, particularly in the early evening.

Bastakiah Nights occupies a former courtyard house and has been simply decorated with rugs and low lighting evocative of The One Thousand And One Nights. As a restaurant it’s aimed unashamedly at tourists, with high prices and (on our dinner visit) a limited-choice set menu of broad-brush Middle Eastern favourites.

Starters? The usual roll-call of hummus, tabouleh and so forth; lowest common denominator tourist food, and carelessly made. Our waiters were unable to give us any useful dish descriptions; the written menus would have been more useful, though these were whisked away on ordering.

But it was the main courses that were the biggest disappointment. The dish described as zereshk polo, which is an Iranian pilau/pilaf dish with barberries, had a top layer which had been dyed yellow but we could detect no trace of the promised saffron. A vegetarian dish was a leaden wodge of pan-fried spinach and not much else at all. The savoury dishes were, at best, lacklustre.

The setting is beautiful, and this is a fabulous destination restaurant for taking visitors – who will doubtless be smitten by the atmosphere. But if you also want to savour the local food, look elsewhere.

2x set menu
(choosing from four appetisers, six main courses and one dessert) Dhs296
1x large water Dhs15
Total (excluding service) Dhs311

By Guy Dimond
Time Out Dubai,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.


  • Location: Bur Dubai, Dubai
  • Tel: 04 353 7772
  • Travel: 3c Street
  • Website | Send mail

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Bastakiah Nights On The Map

User reviews


User reviews:

Posted by: riette on 19 Nov ' 10 at 10:03
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? No

Horrible horrible horrible. Nice setting, bad food and bad service. Price is far to high for for a set menu with samosa from the freezer and a maincourse only consisting of spinach from the freezer....

Posted by: abdul al-hashmi on 28 Jul ' 09 at 14:14
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: pepe on 01 Jun ' 09 at 10:16
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

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