Go on a food journey through Asia with these no-fuss eateries…
Dubai plays host to a number of pan-Asian and fusion restaurants that ooze sophistication and oh-so-delicate dishes.
But if you want to load up on authentic Asian street food with no fuss, there are loads of no-frills, wonderful restaurants in Dubai that will bring you all the authentic flavours of South-east Asia, from Thailand to Korea or China and loads in between.
From crispy Korean chicken wings to colourful made-to-order wok creations, these places will have you feeling like you’re wandering down a bustling street in Asia.
The brainchild of three guys from Dubai who are passionate about Asian street food, Wok Boyz is an explosion of Asian artistic creation, both in the menu and in the loud and colourful design of the cafe. ‘Freestyle’ your own wok special with your choice of base, veggies, sauces and protein and see it cooked right there in front of you.
Wok Boyz, Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Durrah Tower, Dubai, Sat to Wed 11am to 4pm, Thurs & Fri 11am to 4pm. Tel: (04) 330 0060. wokboyz.com
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This awesomely authentic Asian food hall has been causing a stir ever since it opened in JLT back in January. Pick from vendors with quirky names like Fat Aunts, King Hee or Zen, then perch up at one of the rustic tables with colourful chairs and devour your favourite Asian dish with wooden chopsticks.
Streetery Food Hall, Cluster D, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai, daily 11am to 11pm. Tel: (04) 5873373. @streetery
Love your Ramen bowls? You need to check out Daikun Ramen, the walk-in bar in JLT, where you can get the noodle treat alongside traditional Asian Bao Buns. It might not be the fanciest restaurant inside, but it’s definitely up there with some of the best Ramen around.
Daikan Ramen, Lakeshore Tower, Cluster Y, JLT, Dubai, 11.30am to 11pm, daily. facebook.com/daikanramen
Mango Tree in JBR is more of a restaurant than a quick grab and go, but it’s well worth it for their delicious Thai street food dishes. Head there on a Wednesday for unlimited dishes served from 7pm till 9pm for Dhs99 per person, with dishes like crispy spring rolls to start and Pad Thai for main. They also have a daily happy hour from 5pm to 7pm with drinks starting at Dhs28.
Mango Tree Thai Bistro, Hilton Dubai, The Walk, JBR, Dubai, daily 12pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 374 7555. facebook.com/MangoTreeJBR
Savour the flavours of South Vietnam without worrying about your waistline at Vietnamese Foodies. Vietnamese Foodies is super health-conscious, using fresh vegetables and lean meat or seafood, cooked in water or 14-hour broth instead of cooking oil. There’s a branch in JLT and a recently opened second spot Downtown.
Ground Floor, Burj Vista Residence, Tower 1, Downtown Avenue Dubai, 11am to 10.30pm Sunday to Wednesday, 11am to 11.00pm Thursday to Saturday. Tel: (04) 554 2090. vietnamesefoodies.com
Asian5 promises fresh Asian street food with dishes from Thailand, China, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia. Vegans can get in on the action too as they have a number of special plates that definitely won’t compromise on taste.
Asian5, Al Murooj Complex, Downtown Dubai, Sunday to Thursday 11am to 9.30pm, closed Fri & Sat. Tel: (04) 325 99 55. asian5restaurant.com
24th St is worth a visit, not only for its expertly crafted Indian, Japanese, Korean and Chinese cuisine, but for the atmosphere of the restaurant itself. The layout of food stations means you really will feel like you’re in an Asian food hall.
24th St Asian Street Food, Dusit Thani, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Tel: (04) 317 4515. facebook.com/24thStDubai
This pan-Asian restaurant has been steadily growing its popularity on The Palm, however, recently they’ve also opened another branch in Jebel Ali. Head to the one on Palm Jumeirah for stunning views out across the water and try dishes such as their flavour-packed seafood curry.
Asian Kitchen, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, daily 12pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 568 7439. facebook.com/AsianKitchenDubai
Stepping into Miss Tess feels like you’ve jumped into a backstreet in Asia, with patchwork and brick walls, colourful umbrellas and multi-coloured lanterns hanging from the ceiling. There’s even a neon-lit Tuk Tuk structure in the middle to really put you into the scene and the Asian street food bites, consisting of traditional fish cakes, chicken spring rolls and deep fried tofu are served in a wheel designed for two.
Miss Tess, Taj Dubai, Business Bay, daily 6pm to late. Tel: (050) 498 8505. misstessdubai.com
This cute little cafe nestled in JLT is the perfect pit stop to grab some North-eastern Thai food. They do loads of great combos, or, if you’re really hungry, try their full moon bucket of wings and fries with a special Thai marinade served with chilli sauce and garlic mayo.
Cafe Isan, Waterfront, Cluster M, JLT, Dubai, Sun to Wed 12pm to 10pm, Thurs to Sat 12pm to 11pm, Tel: (058) 287 3181. facebook.com/cafeisan
The Noodle House
There’s loads of branches of The Noodle House dotted around the city, but we recommend heading to the one at the Madinat Jumeirah for the unbeatable atmosphere and views over the aquamarine waters. At the moment they’re celebrating Taiwanese cuisine with their ‘Feed Your Asian Soul’ campaign where you’ll get a set menu for Dhs119.
The Noodle House, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, daily 11.3oam to 11.30pm. Tel: 800 666 353. thenoodlehouse.com
Wise Kwai is definitely a restaurant that you won’t forget in a hurry, with funky multi-coloured chairs and tables, featuring artistic lights hanging overhead. Try their Nuea Phayu Foon (Dhs50) ,which is strips of marinated crispy beef in roasted rice. For when it’s not so hot, it’s got a really cute outdoor area too, adorned with twinkling fairy lights.
Wise Kwai, Barsha Heights, Dubai, Sun to Thurs 12pm to 2pm and 6.30pm to 11pm, Fri & Sat 12pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 567 2247. wisekwai.com