Boasting wallet-friendly prices that fit in well with the hotel’s location and brand, this restaurant boasts plenty of promise. The décor is elegant and unique – the long-handled cutlery that functions as knife, fork or spoon at one end, tapering out into what could be used as chopsticks at the other, are stylish and playful. But sadly, promising is about as far as this restaurant goes. Dishes are ofter surprisingly bland and they’re not all exectued that well. We've had uncooked potatoes in the massaman curry, chewy beef that should be tender in another. Staff do go out of their way to please, but just aren’t as astute as you’d like them to be. The Royal Budha could be quite a cool little local if you live within the borders of Barsha, but it’s just not quite there as a destination. If the kitchen turned up the dial a notch on flavours and perfected the dishes that they do best, the restaurant could be a good budget-to-mid-range contender. Recipes just need to be fine-tuned. That’s not to say this restaurant should be avoided. If you’re in Al Barsha and have a hankering for Thai, you should give it a go.

Moroccan 04 321 9239 Sheikh Zayed Road

Downstairs is Bertin, a bistro serving mainly dishes from the Alsace region of France, while upstairs is a lounge, Andalusia, serving Spanish and Moroccan food. Downstairs is where most people are likely to go, especially if you head there for breakfast, which we recommend. Definitely go for one of the Alsace signatures, the flammekueche, which is a kind of thin bread, topped like a pizza with cream cheese, diced veal bacon and sweet caramelised onions.

Indian +971 4 323 4333 Barsha 1

What’s unique about this down-to-earth venue in the Holiday Inn Al Barsha is that its menu is split into four different sections, spanning cuisine from four regions of India: Jaipur, Punjab, Lucknow and Hyderabad. The food is spot on – authentic, spiced well and richly flavoured. The service is great, too – staff are very friendly and know the menu inside-out. Go any night of the week and you’ll find the place bustling with a loyal clientele, drawn back time after time for the more casual atmosphere, clean setting and tasty food. You’ll also find a singer performing live tunes throughout the week – Indian and Western pop hits, which brings even more life into the small dining space. Overall, Gharana is worth a visit – it’s not high-end or fine-dining fare, but it’s friendly, fun, good value and the food is tasty.

04 304 9171 Al Barsha

A casual American restaurant serving up pretty average grub is the best way to describe this restaurant. The menu features all your Tex-Mex favourites, but there are very few features in the restaurant to make it standout. The food is mostly uninspiring and the venue has the generic feeling of an international all-day dining destination. With the creative name and fun branding outside, you’d hope the restaurant would have some personality, but it’s sorely missing from the dining area. And all of this adds up to a quiet venue. A live band livens it up on occasion, but the restaurant seems to be living off the custom provided by hotel guests who visit on a one-off basis. One good point is the cost, with the final bill coming in at a low price.


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