Flames

Indian concept has travelled across continents and reached Dubai 15 Reviews

2012_flames_1
© ITP Images

I entered Flames hoping to find a convenient dinner spot on a weekday evening and was met by something rather unusual: staff that seemed genuinely pleased to see me. I took a seat and, before the menu arrived, occupied myself with the pictorial story of the restaurant, laid out on the place mats.

There was something charmingly personal about Flames. The concept, I learned, had travelled from India, where the owner’s grandparents were born, to Kenya, where they began serving Indian food influenced by the locale. It then moved to Britain, where his parents continued the tradition, opening a Brit-style curry house, before finally setting their sights on Dubai. Neat.

The menu arrived: in keeping with the concept, it was divided between authentic Indian cooking, British-style Indian curries and Kenyan-inspired dishes. Long before I’d had a chance to read the menu and learn this for myself, the waitress was over to check on me and guide me through. For a causal venue this size, the waitress had a refreshing knowledge of the menu and recipes and was able to explain them without being prompted.

I took her recommendations and opted for the Kenyan-style mutton shish kebab, followed by Brit-style prawn balti and a romali roti. The shish kebab was shockingly, meltingly tender. The wonderful meat was coated in a delightfully thick, flavoursome marinade that offered a little mouth-tingling heat, a touch of sourness, a touch of sweetness and even a little nuttiness too. Excellent.

The prawn balti sauce had a creamy, tomatoey quality, which excited me far less than the kebab had done. I’m British – as Flames bills this dish – so perhaps it was little surprise. Yet the curry had a noticeably grease-free, light and home-made quality: the prawns were well prepared, and the plentiful slivers of green pepper and onion were caramel-soft. Among the waitress’s many nuggets of knowledge, I learned that ‘romali’, the variety of roti she recommended, means ‘handkerchief’, and is made in a similar wide, thin sheet. It was a great accompaniment to the balti: soft and doughy, yet crisp at the same time.

The restaurant had been fairly quiet when I arrived (it was a week night, after all), but at some stage there was a noticeable flow of customers, either dining in or picking up takeaway orders. Evidently it wasn’t just me making the manager smile: most of the guests were greeted like old friends, with much hand-shaking and an inference that these were repeat customers. And with food this good, it’s no surprise.

The bill (for one)
1x mutton shish kebab Dhs30
1x prawn balti Dhs35
1x romali roti Dhs4
1x large water Dhs6
1x lassi Dhs10
1x masala chai Dhs5
Total (excluding service) Dhs90

By Penelope Walsh
Time Out Dubai,

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

Details

  • Location: Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai
  • Tel: 04 452 6664
  • Travel: Sheikh Zayed Road

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User reviews

ValueAmbienceService
DecorFoodOverall
  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Family friendly

User reviews:

Posted by: Chris on 13 Jun ' 13 at 15:50
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Edited by TimeOutDubai.com

Has anyone been lucky like me and tasted the Doner Kebab and other amazing food over at Flames Grills and Curry. OMG if you have not then I recommend you get to try it very soon, it's absolutely amazing. Best restaurant in Dubai by far!!!

Posted by: Tee O on 02 Jun ' 13 at 15:18
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Edited by TimeOutDubai.com

I have eaten at this restaurant and had a home delivery. Both times the food was fantastic. My best chicken tikka to date not only in Dubai but the UK too! The masala mashed potato is to die for...so yummy!! I can also recommend the lemon rice, so soft and tasty. It's great to find good food close by and very reasonably prices. And for any UK doner kebabs fans I have heard they are delicious too!! Keep up the good work :-)))))

Posted by: Bridgett Lau on 20 Apr ' 13 at 06:32
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Great new restaurant! Fantastic service where the owner Tom is there to guide you and create the relaxed atmosphere. The portions are generous and the flavours are great. We are always in search of a good curry house and we have just found it!!!!

Posted by: Genesis on 18 Jan ' 13 at 16:07
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

One of the best restaurants I've eaten at in my entire life. My coworkers and I were in training in Dubai and this place was one of the restaurants close to our apartment. They literally cook magic in here! And for the price, there is no better deal in town. Our group was very international and everyone had come from different countries, and yet everyone loved it. That's when you know a place is excellent: people from different cultures and taste palates all enjoyed the food. The staff was very kind and the owners really do go a long way to explain what you're eating (considering we didn't know a lot about Indian and Kenyan cooking). We only wished that the menu had explanations with the items on it so we wouldn't have to ask all the time :D They also were very accommodating when our group wanted to pay separately. Really nice place and would definitely come back to it if we get the chance to go back to Dubai! I'll be dreaming of the Butter Chicken and Prawn Biryani for years to come!

Posted by: Gavin on 10 Jan ' 13 at 07:30
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Yet another valuable addition to the JLT restaurant scene, this time Indian food with Kenyan and British influence. I ordered their lunch combo where you get a choice of kebab, choice of rice or naan bread, choice of chips or their amazing masala mash and a soft drink all for only 30 Dhs. As well as that, they provide complimentary mini-popadoms with a lovely green spicy mint dip. The food was all excellent, the kebab was as good as I've had in Dubai, including 5 star hotels and it was good to see the friendly owners on hand helping out and engaging with customers. Not a single negative about my visit, so I will certainly be back regularly!

Posted by: Andy on 04 Jan ' 13 at 16:29

We had a business lunch with a very important client and had made arrangements with another outside catering company locally, only to be let down by them at the very last minute.
Flames answered our distress call and rescued us.....the food and service was fantastic, and we also won the contract. I can not thank Tom and his team enough great job.

Andy

Posted by: Tarun on 03 Jan ' 13 at 16:01
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Brilliant...

Posted by: Emma on 30 Dec ' 12 at 05:29
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Great Indian good, and the best kebab in Dubai. Very family friendly and the owner is very helpful.

Posted by: Roshan on 23 Dec ' 12 at 17:53
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Excellent service , great food
Best restaurant in Dubai, for Indian food!!!

Posted by: NARIKUNDIL on 21 Dec ' 12 at 16:30
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Prijith Narikundil on 21 Dec ' 12 at 08:17
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Romantic
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Tasty food "Mouth Watering" like the history of the recipe says uniquely traditional. The staff was friendly "literally" greeting was like they knew me since my child hood.
Cheers flames. Remember this "You’re going to concur UAE"

Posted by: NARIKUNDIL on 20 Dec ' 12 at 13:58
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

A very good restaurant. with homly food and good people. really worth.

Posted by: Pari on 20 Dec ' 12 at 11:16
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FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

Posted by: Coz on 20 Dec ' 12 at 04:21
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

This place is becoming a regular for me a couple of times a week if not a curry its a nice doner kebab! (Spot on btw). Its certainly a gem in JLT and if you haven't tried it I'd say you're missing out big time.

Posted by: Gavin on 20 Dec ' 12 at 04:04
OverallDecorService
FoodAmbienceValue
  • Best for: Business lunch
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

I go here quite often to take advantage of their excellent value lunch combo. The grills are among the best I've tasted in Dubai, including 5 star hotels. The owners who work there are lovely people and you can tell they're very enthusiastic about their food. It's a great dining experience I would recommend to anyone.

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