Review: Ihawan - a humble but great tasting Filipino restaurant in Deira

  • Tuesday, June 14, 2016
  • By Ion Gonzaga
  • 0 Comments


Sometimes the best presents are not wrapped in glossy papers. Ihawan is a proof to that.  This humble 'carinderia' in the busy Hor Al Anz district in Deira serves great Filipino food - simple, easy but essentially tasty - yung tunay na namimiss mong lasa.

Ihawan is a Tagalog word for grill (station) - now you know what they are famous for.

There are freshly cooked dishes on the counter for quick orders. There's also a wide range of choices on the menu for a la cart.


We had chicken barbecue sticks on our first visit and it was really good. Masarap! It taste like the famous authentic Pinoy barbecues in the streets of Manila. This is an original recipe perfected in so many years. Tender meat with a smoky aroma. So distinct from a typical commercial sweet BBQ flavor.

Chicken liver barbecue tastes equally savory.

Beef isaw here is the best I've tried in Dubai. Soft but not elastic, well grilled, rightly flavored and not rancid.

Chicken barbecue, grilled chicken liver and beef isaw... highly recommended for a delectable street food experience.


Inihaw burger, one of their best sellers, is their version of grilled beef burger. The patty is 100% meat without extenders. Mouthwatering. I'm surprised. We like it charcoal grilled - tastes organically home-made.

Grilled tender beef ribs is okay too - perfect with vinegar dip
And there's this grilled boneless bangus with fried rice.
Coconut juice, Melon juice, Sago't Gulaman, Banana con Yelo, Halo-halo (and Mais con Yelo)
All the ingredients of Mais con Yelo, Banana con Yelo and Halo-halo are freshly made, none from preservative-packed cans and bottles. The flavorful ice-cream (ube, mais and banana) on top is also home-made.

Sorry for the injustice to the pictures, but the coolers are really cool!

I had an interesting chat with the hospitable owners who put up the restaurant last October 2015. The couple who hails from Nueva Ecija, Philippines were inspired to start Ihawan to address the ever-growing cravings of Filipino expats of real Pinoy-tasting food.

Pinoy chicken chopsuey
There's a lot more to try in the restaurant. Grilled kwek-kwek, grilled siomai, grilled prawn balls, isaw ng manok, chicken adobo sa gata and whole lot more on my list next.

Despite not having fancy ambiance, no elegant utensils, the place is orderly and the servers are friendly and attentive to details.

You can find Ihawan about 50 meters to the back of United Hypermarket in Hor Al Anz - nearest metro station is Abu Baker Al Siddique.

You may call for delivery or catering inquiries at 04-2692599.

Ihawan is worth to DAYO for. I'm telling you, this place has character.

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