Eating out.

One of the nice things about Dubai is that it’s easy for us to indulge in one of our favourite pastimes – eating out.

We have hundreds, maybe thousands, of cafes, coffee shops, restaurants from horribly expensive signature restaurants in five-star luxury hotels to little neighbourhood street cafes. And cuisine from just about anywhere in the world, so the choice is amazing.

We like to ‘graze’ rather than have a set meal – the Spanish tapas, Chinese dim sum, Arabic mezza style with several small dishes of different items giving a range of textures and flavours.

I’ll talk about mezza another time because I wanted now to highlight something that has always surprised me – the amount of free food that comes with an Arabic meal.

Salad, olives, pickle, bread basket are all normal complimentary items, and not in small amounts either.

For example, here’s what we get in Automatic, which is a small chain of restaurants dotted around the city. We go to the one in Beach Centre Mall at the top of Beach Road in Jumeirah where I took this photo of the free inclusions:


The freebies vary slightly from restaurant to restaurant, naturally, but all are excellent. Here for example is the complimentary fare at l’auberge, which is also on Beach Road in the Town Centre Mall next to Mercato Mall:


Another favourite, where we go most Friday lunchtimes, is Al Hallab in Mall of the Emirates. The malls in Dubai not only have the usual food halls with their fast food outlets, they also have a range of much more upmarket, quality restaurants. Al Hallab is one of them, located near Ski Dubai and here are the complimentary dishes they provide:


I should also point out that the food you pay for isn’t heavily loaded in price to pay for the ‘free’ items. For plenty to eat for two of us, including mineral water, juice and Turkish coffee for me, we spend less than AED100. That’s less than US$27, £13, Aussie$31 etc.

1 Comment so far

  1. Sameer (unregistered) on August 16th, 2007 @ 6:40 pm

    wow nice pics…itna bara lemon

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