Highway Inn

Very cheap Indian and Chinese buffets on Sheikh Zayed Road

Time Out Says

Ten dirhams doesn’t go far in the restaurants of Dubai. It’s peanuts, a mere trifle or (if you’re lucky) half an egg salad. However, bop down Sheikh Zayed road to the Highway Café and you’ll enter a new and magical kingdom, a place of dreams realised and fantasy fulfilled, where Dhs10 gets you all the Chinese and Indian food you can scrum.

Although it’s clean and pleasant inside, little attempt has been made to spice up the décor, which consists largely of adverts for fruit juice. These hang with their singularly unconvincing slogans next to row upon row of canteen furniture: I took a squeaky seat between ‘Celebrate with a pineapple’ and ‘I am an orange, try me here.’

Once you’ve rented a plate at the door, a whole buffet lies in wait with new dishes introduced every day. As you might expect, it’s light on meat and heavy on cheapo appetite-fillers, with a large salad cart and five types of rice. Having bumped my bill up to Dhs17 with a beaker of OJ (oh, the insidious power of advertising) and a lovely sweet lassi in a frosted rose-coloured glass, I loaded my plate with moreish chicken dosa pancakes, ‘idli’, a sort of savoury cake made with rice flour, and three ladles-worth of sambar, a dal-style lentil dish. A second helping contained nutty lung pou chicken, delicious aloo harela filled with crunchy burnt onions, biriani, chicken kadai and some powerful coconut chutney. Dessert is a huge glass bowl brim-filled with chunks of ‘rangeela burfi’, a tooth-cracking almondy Indian snack.

The no-frills cuisine is far from haute, but if you’re broke and hungry there are few better ways to spend ten chips than by hitting the Highway.

By Rob Orchard  | 01 Mar 2003

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Show number 04 338 4500
Dubai, Al Quoz, Dubai - United Arab Emirates

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