This popular, smoky aubergine dip may be a staple in many of the city’s Arabic restaurants (and a few non-Arabic to boot), but that doesn’t mean the mezze isn’t varied. Time Out tested a few ghanouj around town.
Swirled with pomegranate seeds aplenty, this bad boy is fruitier than some of its blander brethren. Roughly beaten aubergine and the extra seeds provide a texture that’s chunkier and richer than the usual mezze mainstay. While it may not be the best looking Ghanouj ever to have graced my pita (it’s got a slightly greener hue than many), it possesses an earthy side that stands out.
Capitol Hotel, Satwa (04 346 0111). Other location: JBR (04 424 3838).
Arz Lebanon Restaurant
If you want to know the difference between your Arz and your elbow, or your baba ghanouj from your ‘Baba O’Riley’ (hint one of them is a song by The Who, though that’s not strictly relevant), stop by this smart Lebanese eatery. Their eggplant speciality is one of the smokiest we’ve tasted in Dubai, neatly contrasting with the sharp, sweet sprinkling of pomegranate seeds on top. Do we like? Yes we do.
Beach Road (04 394 7736).
The song may be entitled Baby Love, but you’ll be waxing lyrical about Baba Love after this stellar offering. Replete with fulsome smoky notes and sinus tingling lemony zing, it does everything you could ask for from a dip and tastes even more sublime when slathered over Sidra’s slightly sweet fresh-baked bread.
Al Diyafah Street (04 345 3044).
We’re addicted this dip’s smouldering undertones brought out by the addition of charred aubergine. If the smoky taste wasn’t enough to hook us, the texture, a thick, chunky, rustic, tongue-coating paste, surely is. This dish is well-served with the restaurant’s home cooked Arabic bread, which has a light dusting of cinnamon.
Garhoud, opposite Dubai Creek & Golf Club (04 282 3388).