Best of Emirates Food Fish and Chips
Disappointing Emirati restaurant near Jumeirah's Village Mall 5 Reviews
It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but Best of Emirates Food Fish and Chips is a name that’s hard to forget. In fact, it’s a name that has long stared up at me from one of the many takeaway menus cluttering my desk. Eventually I gave in. I had to visit the restaurant, if only for its ridiculous title. There was also the added bonus that it claims to serve authentic Emirati cuisine, which, oddly enough, is a rarity in the UAE.
I found Best of Emirates Food Fish and Chips totally empty. Not only were there no customers, but there were no staff either. As I deliberated whether I should leave or stand guard until someone appeared, the chef walked through the front door and greeted me with a nod before walking the length of the tiny restaurant and disappearing into the kitchen. A waitress suddenly appeared from nowhere and asked whether I wanted takeaway. A little disoriented, I shook my head and asked if it was possible to eat in – the most stupid question you could ask in a restaurant, but considering the circumstances it felt wholly appropriate.
As tempted as I was to try the fish and chips, I stuck to my guns and inquired which Emirati dishes I should sample. The waitress diligently described each one and I settled for a plate of dango (chickpeas sprinkled with cumin) and arseya. The latter arrived frighteningly quickly – so quickly that I could only assume it had been pre-prepared and heated up.
As a consequence I was confronted with a plate of tepid, porridge-like chicken mush, topped with yellow puddles of oil. The dish didn’t taste any better than it looked: the only discernable texture was the occasional chicken bone. The dango offered some respite – the cumin complemented the chickpeas nicely, enhanced by a squeeze of lemon. However, a restaurant can’t be judged by the quality of its chickpeas, and I reserved judgement for the mains – a meat stew.
Best of Emirates doesn’t pay much attention to the presentation of its dishes, a failing exemplified by the meat thereed – a mound of mush punctuated with occasional carrot, stewed aubergine, soggy bread and what used to be a sheep. For the second time this week (the first being at Lamesa, see opposite), I wondered whether my reaction to the food was cultural rather than critical, but as I picked through the tired, turgid ingredients, I couldn’t shake the suspicion that this had been reheated rather than freshly prepared.
I’m always ready to champion small, independent restaurants, but I can’t bring myself to say anything good about the food here. The upsides? Well, the bill was about the same price as my taxi fare home, though my journey was infinitely more enjoyable. Perhaps I should have opted for the fish and chips, after all.
The bill (for one)
1x Arseya Dhs10
1x Dago Dhs10
1x Meat thereed Dhs45
Total (excluding service) Dhs65
Time Out Dubai,
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