If you want you food fast with a side of street theatre, Diyafah is your destination. Starting from Rydges Plaza on Satwa roundabout and working towards the flag, Time Out picks out five more of the culinary catwalk’s stunners.
It may not be Thailand, but this cute little place certainly doesn’t ‘ruin’ its Thai (apologies…). Meals begin with a complimentary starter – small dishes of finely chopped lime, ginger, onion, toasted coconut, red chilli and peanuts, while the khao phad bai grarou gai (say that with a mouthful of appetiser) is our tip from the mains menu. If you’re lucky you might catch the little lady who sits in the window and carves flowers out of carrots.
Ruan Thai, 04 398 8590. All major credit cards accepted. Average price of a meal for two with soft drinks Dhs100-200.
The Pizza Company
The Pizza Company does exactly what it says on the box, with a little charm served up on the side. The menu offers enough cruststuffing configurations to bamboozle the uninitiated: pastry twists, extreme double cheese and tom yam pizza to name but three. Not the best for the waistband, but perfect if you like your food fast and carby.
The Pizza Company, 04 345 4848. All major credit cards accepted. Average price of a meal for two with soft drinks Dhs50-70.
No Dubai lifetime is complete without the experience of chugging down Al Mallah’s cheese breads at 3am. A stalwart on the Al Diyafah Street scene, Al Mallah is the place to go for simple Arabic fast food during the afternoon or into the night. Skip the mezze, which are much better elsewhere , and munch on arguably the best shawarmas and falafel sandwiches in the city. Wash it down with one of their fruitful special mocktails and count the number of gold-plated Hummers that cruise by.
Al Mallah, 04 398 4723. Credit cards not accepted. Average price of a meal for two with soft drinks Dhs50-70.
This vibrant restaurant serves some of the most delicious and carefully prepared Cantonese food in town; something suggested by the reassuring number of Chinese diners present. A failsafe starter of spring rolls sets a high standard, and works well when followed by a delicious bowl of seafood, snow peas and Chinese mushrooms, braised with noodles in oyster sauce – the perfect accompaniment to a bountiful bowl of soft, chewy rice.
Noodle Bowl, 04 345 3381. All major credit cards accepted. Average price of a meal for two with soft drinks Dhs100-200.
Sit outside on the terrace of this busy restaurant and watch the street life as you tuck into fluffy, freshly baked Lebanese bread, succulent kebabs and fresh mezze. Food can be inconsistent – at times they display a heavy hand with both the salt and the oil – but recently service has sped up. Overall, a good spot to enjoy both people watching and Lebanese food.
Sidra, 04 345 3044. All major credit cards accepted. Average price of a meal for two with soft drinks under Dhs100.