Congee at Royal China
Popular across China as an everyday breakfast staple, congee is simply a cross between a soup and a thin porridge, made with rice, sometimes eaten plain, and sometimes mixed with meat and vegetables. If you visit Royal China for dim sum (a traditional breakfast in the Cantonese regions such as Hong Kong and Macau), you can also sample items on the congee section of the menu, which includes recipes such as plain, salted chicken with preserved egg and prawn with fresh scallop.
DIFC, Building 4 (04 354 5543).
Dosa at Venus
Dosa, paper thin pancakes, served (and sometimes stuffed) with different chutneys, sauces and sambals is a popular meal throughout most of the day in India, including breakfast, but particular popular in the south of the country. At Karama-based vegetarian restaurant Venus, you can try a vast array of different dosas.
Opposite Karama Park and Lulu Centre, Karama (04 335 2113).
Empanadas and scrambled eggs at Boteko Brasil
At this Brazilian café you can sample a range of breakfast items, including granola made in-house, freshly baked breads, or two intriguing breakfast twists on Brazilian favourites. The first is empanadas (little stuffed pastries, popular across the continent) given an early morning twist by stuffing them with scrambled eggs. Also available is a new baking hybrid of pão de queijo waffles.
Jumeirah Fishing Harbour, Jumeirah 2 (04 385 6668).
Foul at Zaroob
Foul is an Egyptian dish, often eaten for breakfast, of mashed fava beans, mixed with olive oil, cumin and onion. To some extent, foul is to fava beans what hummus is to chickpeas. You can try foul at Time Out Dubai’s best budget restaurant, Zaroob, and if you’re keen on starting your day (or ending your night) with Egyptian flavours, you can also try a selection of feteer here too.
Jumeirah Tower, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 327 6060).
Hoppers at Red Box
Breakfast in Sri Lanka usually means hoppers. These fluffy little pancakes (also popular in the southern Indian states, where they are known as ‘appam’) are made from fermented rice batter and coconut milk. In Sri Lanka, you’ll find them topped with ingredients such as egg, cheese and onion. In Dubai, you can sample plain or egg hoppers at Sri Lankan eatery Red Box, which now has a second branch in Discovery Gardens.
Damascus Street, Al Ghusais (04 258 3318). Other location: Discovery Gardens (04 258 3318).
Huevos rancheros at Bystro
When the Mexicans make breakfast, they don’t do it by halves, and this Latinised version of fried eggs is no different. Typically, ‘huevos rancheros’ (literally meaning, rancher’s eggs) are served along with central American must-haves tomato salsa, re-fried beans and rice. You can sample this dish at new Dubai café Bystro in Al Manara, where it is also served with cheese.
Al Manara, next to Reem Al Bawadi, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 336 8056).
Kaya toast at Ya Kun Coffee and Toast
The menu at this chilled-out Singaporean coffeehouse chain is crammed with breakfast favourites from the peninsula. In fact, most of it is made up of breakfast sets centred around tea, coffee, eggs and ‘kaya toast’, which is spread with Singaporean kaya jam (made from coconut).
Ibn Battuta Mall (04 453 8886).
Manakish at Man’oushe Street
A classic early morning repast across countries in the Levant region, manakish is a little like the Arabic answer to the Italian pizza: a baked circular flatbread topped with anything from cheese to zaatar, kofta, sujouk and more. Man’oushe Street is a favourite Dubai spot, both for home delivery and very early morning manakish, since branches are open until the early hours and deliver 24 hours a day.
Locations citywide, including TECOM, JLT and Sheikh Zayed Road. www.manoushestreet.com (600 566 667).
Paratha at Paratha King
Pan-fried flatbread paratha is a popular breakfast item across the northern Indian provinces. If you head to specialists Paratha King, you’ll find a staggering 101 different varieties of paratha, which include recipes stuffed with spinach, onion, green gram, kidney beans, green peas and radish. Not enough variety for you? Well then finish with a dessert paratha, smeared with chocolate.
Karama, opposite General Post Office (04 397 9110). Other locations: Al Nahda (04 220 7771), Bur Dubai (04 351 5121), Internet City (04 445 6977).
Pho at Hanoi
Pho is not only considered to be Vietnam’s national dish, it has also become a typical breakfast dish across the country, since it was conceived in the 1950s. Classically, pho is a simple noodle soup of beef broth, slices of beef and flat rice noodles, served with plenty of fresh herbs and condiments on the side to add to your liking. Currently, Hanoi in JLT is the only spot we know of in Dubai where you can sample a near-enough street-food approximation of this famous dish.
Gold Crest Executive, Cluster C, JLT (04 431 3099).
Ryoog aljumaa at Klayya Bakery and Sweets
This café specialises in an Emirati-inspired breakfast menu. ‘Aljumaa’ is an Emirati favourite for breakfast, made from sweet vermicelli noodles and scrambled egg. Here at Klayya Bakery and Sweets you can try it with freshly baked Emirati breads such as khameer, chebab and regag.
Al Barsha Mall, Barsha (04 325 5335).
Shakshouka at The Pavilion Downtown Dubai
Traditionally originating from North Africa, this breakfast dish of baked eggs has come to be something of a fashionable inclusion on café menus across the city. Usually you’ll find that shakshouka consists of eggs baked along with bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, chilli peppers and additional spices such as cumin. At The Pavilion Downtown Dubai you can try this Arabic breakfast dish, teamed with Arabic bread, hummus, labneh and a selection of vegetables.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai (04 447 7025).
Tapsilog at Tapa King
The kabayan on the Time Out Dubai team swear by Tapa King for a traditional Filipino breakfast. For those not in the know, tapa is dried or cured beef strips, while ‘tapsilog’ is breakfast plate of tapa, served with rice and fried eggs. Other popular ‘-silog’ breakfasts served with fried egg and rice include longsilog (with ‘longaniza’– a variety of Spanish style sausage), daingsilog (with air-dried fish) and hotsilog (with hot dogs). Well worth trying whether you are a fan or a newcomer to the dish.
Ansar Gallery, Karama (04 357 6700).