Grill Corner

Satwa gem provides hearty, great-value Filipino fare Reviews

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When you consider Dubai’s sizeable Filipino community, there appears to be disproportionately few Filipino restaurants in the city. Of course, I could be looking in all the wrong places, but risking death by dashing across the Satwa roundabout to reach Grill Corner, I was excited to have found another addition to an otherwise under-represented cuisine.

From the outside, there’s nothing particularly remarkable about the simple street-side restaurant, other than the racy red fairy lights adorning a small outdoor ‘terrace’ (a few tables down a side street). But the air was thick with humidity on the night we visited, so we opted to sit inside with the rest of the guests (all Filipino, before you ask). As polite as he was, our waiter struggled to mask his surprise at seeing a couple of sweaty Westerners stumble through the door. ‘Are you on holiday?’ he enquired politely as he handed us our menus. We informed him that we live in Dubai. ‘And you came here?’ he exclaimed. Perhaps not the best advertisement for the food we were about to eat, but we put his incredulity down to the fact that the place isn’t frequented by many non-Filipinos.

Grill Corner serves traditional Filipino fare such as tapsilog and bulalo soup, a selection of Chinese dishes, and burgers. Of course, Chinese food is two-a-penny in Dubai, so, with the exception of the broccoli and tofu in oyster sauce, we stuck to the aforementioned Pinoy favourites as well as a portion of bicol express chicken. It was obvious that I’d over-ordered, but I didn’t care: I was hungry, not to mention over-excited at potentially unveiling a hidden gem of a restaurant. I surveyed the simple interior, peered over to see what the families around us had ordered and gazed up at the restaurant’s one flat-screen TV, showing a Filipino news channel, happy to be somewhere that felt totally different to my usual Dubai dining experiences.

Two bowls of coconut broth soon landed on our table: warm, hearty and wholesome, the creamy soup proved the perfect way in which to start the meal. With our appetites piqued, the waiter arrived with a tray laden with colourful dishes, from the white chicken bicol and handsomely sized bowl of broth to a neat pile of brown rice and quick-fried beef cured in soy, oyster sauce, pepper, salt, sugar and spices.

Each dish proved to be an exercise in wholesome, hearty, homely cooking. The taste of the express chicken bicol, made from long chillies, coconut milk and shrimp paste, was reminiscent of Thai green curry, only smoother, while the tapsilog was simple and delicious in equal measure. The highlight for me, however, was the piping hot bulalo soup containing beef bone marrow, which proved the perfect remedy for Dubai’s predilection for freezing A/C during summer. I found myself excitedly buzzing from dish to dish, hardly allowing time for the taste of one to register before moving to the next. And then, without warning, I was stuffed. I could hardly move from the quantities I’d consumed and I sank back in my chair, half amazed and half ashamed that I had managed to eat so very much in such a short amount of time.

I was as pleased by the sight of the bill as I was the taste of the food – less than Dhs100 for a feast. My only regret is that more of Dubai’s Filipino chefs aren’t serving more delicious cuisine from their homeland.

The bill (for two)
1x Tapsilog Dhs14
1x Bulalo Dhs25
1x Bicol express chicken Dhs15
1x Tofu and broccoli Dhs14
2x Fresh orange juice Dhs20
Total (excluding service) Dhs88

By Oliver Robinson
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: Satwa, Dubai
  • Tel: 04 358 1445
  • Travel: Mankhool Road
  • Website

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User reviews

  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Family friendly

User reviews:

Posted by: Khalil Eisa on 10 Apr ' 12 at 03:48
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Highly recommended, particularly the bulalo (beef marrow soup). Cheap but generous and very tasty portions, we tried bulalo, tapsilog, chicken sisig and sweet and sour prawn - couldnt find fault with any of them. Neat presentation of condiments, as well as hygienic state of whole restaurant- well done!

Posted by: daisy on 30 Oct ' 11 at 19:34
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

i visited this place and i loved it.......i was impressed with the quality of food at unbeleivable price.....i had a really good meal for a good price.....also the staffs are really welcoming. the interior of the restaurant is also great......i would suggest people to go this place as its wroth it and ya cant miss the ICE TEA which i order at last and I looooooooved it.......cheers to tht.....i would viist again and again and again......:)

Posted by: shahid on 26 Sep ' 11 at 11:42
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Great ..!

Posted by: Lachelle Arevalo on 21 Jun ' 11 at 08:48
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I've never heard of this resto until I read this review... and boy, was I in for a treat!!! i loved everything that my family and I ordered and you were right about the price - it was pleasantly affordable! and surprisingly, there was something for my picky Arab boyfriend - he chose to have the fried hammour with chips and it was delish! although the cramped space was a bother, it was too small an issue compared to the delectable food! so kudos to you my friend for this rave review! i would definitely go back to satwa's grill corner - even if i live in faraway barsha :)

Posted by: Mohammad on 20 Jun ' 11 at 02:51
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Great Value for Money

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