Dubai has a special relationship with India. An important port in the Persian gulf, Dubai has naturally seen trade with India for centuries. What this has resulted in is a glorious mix of cultures of two great civilizations. Even today, one can see a sizeable Indian population that has made Dubai its home.
It is no surprise then that Indian is one of the hottest cuisines in the Dubai foodscape and restaurant scene. Prepare to gleefully run into Indian and Mughlai restaurants everywhere – from small roadside establishments serving up masala chai, deliciously meaty biryani and succulent kababs at affordable rates (Also read: The Best Street Food to try in Dubai), to some of the most dazzling and experimental restaurants headed by master chefs and competing to showcase cutting-edge, and the most contemporary trends in Indian cooking. Here is a list of some of the best, absolutely must-visit Indian restaurants in Dubai, for the times you find yourself craving the flavourful curries and spices of desi Indian khana.
Indego by Vineet
Headed by celebrity chef Vineet Bhatia – the first Indian chef to win the coveted Michelin star in 2001 (a feat that he repeated in 2009), Indego by Vineet is a true treat to your senses when it comes to Indian food. In the Chef Patron’s own words, Indego by Vineet does not compromise with the authenticity of Indian cuisine while giving it a modern look and feel. The result is an experience worth having – as the food tantalizes your taste buds like no other. (Find out: Everything You Need to know about Indian Tourist Visa)
Must Try: Chicken Biryani, Lamb Chops, Butter Chicken, Lassi, Kulfi
Price Range: AED 650 for two
Open Hours: 7 pm to 1 am
Location: Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina
Carnival by Tresind
According to the restaurant, this is where Indian food sheds its modern charm and enters the postmodern era. What they mean by that is that they reach into the past and revive the age-old, possibly forgotten culinary traditions and find new and unique ways to contemporize these lost recipes. Every dish here is an amalgamation of the childhood memories of the team members in the kitchen staff, making eating here an emotional and nostalgic experience. From food design to plating, utmost care is taken to make sure that you only get an experience of Indian food like never before at Carnival by Tresind.
Must Try: Biriyani, Scallops, Ajmeri Kachori, Vada Pav, Tanga Chaat
Price Range: AED 385 for two
Open Hours: 12 noon to 3.30 pm / 7 pm to 1 am
Location: Podium level, Burj Daman, DIFC, Dubai
Mint Leaf of London
Touted as the best Indian fine dining restaurant in all of Dubai, Mint Leaf of London is a gastronomic experience you are likely to tuck away in that special place of your fondest memories in Dubai. The eclectic mix of Indian food evident on the menu at the restaurant is prepared with uncompromising traditional techniques of cooking, while adding a creative flair to the dish that completely changes the way it is experienced. Special care is taken in preparing spicy and non-spicy variants of all the dishes, and each dish is paired with a refreshing beverage.
Must Try: Chicken Masala, Butter Chicken, Dal Makhani, Gulab Jamun, Peanut Chikki
Price Range: AED 450 for two
Open Hours: 12 noon to 2 am
Location: Level 15, South Tower, Emirates Financial Towers, DIFC, Dubai
You don’t need to go to uber expensive places to find great food. Often, it can be found by following your nose on the crowded streets around Jama Masjid in Delhi, Charminar in Hyderabad or Gawalmandi in Lahore. Ravi Restaurant in Dubai is reminiscent of a similar no-nonsense culinary experience. Here you will find a simple setup that accommodates into its space special Mughlai fare – leaving you a tad nostalgic about home by the end of your meal.
Must Try: Mutton peshawari, dal fry, mutton biryani, haleem
Price Range: AED 60 for two people
Open Hours: 6 am to 5.30 pm
Location: Shop 245, Opposite Union Cooperative Society, Near Al Satwa Roundabout, Al Satwa, Dubai
Another contender in the high end Indian fine dining scene, Jodhpur restaurant has a no-holds-barred approach when it comes to sensational gastronomic experiences. Every dish on the menu here is an adventure, from the mixed fruit sorbet that comes in mini pressure cookers dunked in dry ice to the crazy and equally delicious macaroon chaat. This bespoke Indian fine dining experience has the ability to pleasantly surprise you every time you visit.
Must Try: Rasmalai, Jumbo Prawns, Passionfruit Mojito
Price Range: AED 500 for two
Open Hours: 12 noon to 3 pm / 7 pm to midnight
Location: Roda Al Murooj, Downtown Dubai, Dubai
It is a unique experience to try the cuisine of one great desert while sitting in another. Manvaar brings to Dubai the authentic taste of Rajasthan, the great Indian desert state. Treat yourself to classic Rajasthani fare, from the famed banjara maans (mutton cooked in traditional nomadic spices) to the staple, beloved daal bati churma. Don’t forget to end your meal with the rich marwari kulfi or the legendary laapsi.
Must Try: Dal Bati Churma, Lal Maans, Achari Chicken
Price Range: AED 120 for two
Open Hours: 12 noon to 3 pm / 7 pm to midnight
Location: Opposite Reem Residency, Near Fish Market, Al Karama, Dubai
Dubai is replete with luxe experiences of grandeur, delicious food, desert adventures, beautiful beaches, great nightlife and shopping. Find out the best time to visit Dubai for all the things you’re looking to experience. Hurry and get in touch with TripFactory to customize and book your fabulous Dubai holiday.