Must try Filipino restaurants in Dubai

  • Saturday, July 09, 2016
  • By Ion Gonzaga
  • 0 Comments

Bodega's cool interior (Paw patrol mine :-)
Last updated 5th November 2016 - I'm not too hard to please when it comes to food. Seriously. I appreciate anything that doesn't taste bad.  But like you, I also have favorites.

I often get asked where to go and what to eat. Finally a post that responds to that. So based on my PERSONAL preferences, here are my recommendations in every category:

Casual Dining
Not-so-fine dining restaurants and street-smart-casual concept

1. Max's Restaurant
Fried chicken, sinigang na bangus belly, pancit luglug,  sizzling tofu, camaron rebusado are our usual favorites.
Locations: Bur Dubai, Al Ghurair Centre

2. Dampa Seafood Grill
Dump-a-seafeast (shrimps, crabs, mussels, clams) in chipotle sauce, comes with unlimited rice is the best. Their baked mussels, cajun shrimp, crispy tilapia and grilled squid among others, will never fail you.
Location: Deira, Centurion Star Building

3. Bodega
This funky resto offers Filipino street food with a twist. We tried chicken skin, fish balls, kikiam and squid balls and they're all okay. Iskramble, the street cooler is a winner.
Location: Deira, Centurion Star Building (beside Dampa)

Bodega's Iskrambol
4. Barrio Fiesta
They serve Filipino foods fairly similar to the authentic ones they do in the Philippines - well, most of the items. My picks, Sinisig na Balat ng Manok, Original Kare-kare, Sugpo sa Aligue, Manggang Sisig and Bagoong Rice.  
Locations: Burjuman, Ramada Hotel - Salahuddin Road

5. Seafood in a Bucket
Serves steamed, fried and grilled seafood goodies in tasty sauces.
Locations: Karama, Deira (Centurion Building), Ansar Gallery, Hor Al Anz

6. Manila Grill
This could be the most 'fine dining looking' Filipino restaurant in Dubai. They serve pork. Inihaw na Liempo, Lechon Kawali, my personal favorite Palabok, Bulalo and the veggies are good.
Location: Asiana Hotel, Salahuddin Road, Deira

7.  New Cabalen
We tried their lunch buffet and we like it. Sinigang na salmon is a winner. Crispy shrimps is good too.
Location: Kings Park Hotel, Muraqqabat, Deira

8. Carinderia ni Tandang Sora
Ambiance with sense. This resto honestly needs to work on more, but fairly good food naman. Papaitan is what I'll go back here for.
Location: Deira, Centurion Star Building


Fastfood
Food outlets at the malls or food courts.

1. Jollibee
Need I say more?
Locations: Dubai Mall, Burjuman, Al Ghurair Centre (soon to open)

2. Tapa King
The tapa royal family, King, Queen and Prince is a must-try. Tapa Flakes and other breakfast favorites Danggit and Boneless Daing na Bangus are equally good.
Locations: Ansar Gallery Karama, Al Ghurair Centre, City Centre Al Shindagha

3. JJ's Inasal - Little Manila
The "transformed" Chicken Inasal is so good. Crispy Shrimps and Sisig Rice are among my favorites. All the boodle fight packages are worth to try. Barbecue beef belly in the Kalayaan package is to die for!
Location: Little Manila, Muraqqabat

Little Manila JJ Inasal's KALAYAAN BOODLE PACKAGE
4. Chowking
My favorites: Beef Sisig, Chicken Wanton noodles, Charbroiled Chicken Barbecue. Chowking is one of the first, if not the first, Filipino fast food chain franchise in Dubai.
Location: Al Ghurair, Satwa, Al Nahda, Deira City Centre, The Walk 


Buffet
to sawa!

1. Lamesa
Pork (and beer!) for the win! How does unlimited Crispy Pata, Sisig, Lechon Kawali and Lechon de leche sound to you? Lamesa has the widest range of food choices in a buffet. There's also Chinese, Japanese, Thai and other international cuisine sections.
Location: Asiana Hotel Salahuddin Deira

2. Kita Kits Kafe and Klubb
Pork, again, for the win! Though they have lesser buffet range. This is more of a club than a restaurant.
Location: Al Muteen Deira

3. Intramuros
A decent spread features Filipino and other Asian specialties.They do tempura good (oops that Japanese) :-)
Location: Salahuddin Road Deira


Local Carinderia
Small to medium 'eateries,' specializing in "lutong bahay" style of food.

1. Ihawan
This is by far, the best carinderia I've tried in Dubai. Humble, yet true to its mission in serving authentic Pinoy-tasting food. Chicken Barbecue is their best-seller. Inihaw Burger, Grilled Chicken Liver, and their veggie goodies are all appetizing. Don't miss Halo-halo and Banana con Yielo coolers too.
Location: Hor Al Anz Deira (50 meters to the back of United Hypermarket)

Ihawan's chicken barbecue
2. Pita
Because of Bob K, we tried this food outlet and he was right - the Kare-kare is by far the one of the best, if not the best, in all Filipino food outlets in Dubai.
Locations: Bur Dubai, Satwa, Abu Hail

3. Authentic Angels Bisaya Resto & Bakery
Bisaya-style cuisine. I love the Lechon Manok Cebu. Their bilao meals are favorites for the Visayan natives.  Su-tu-kil is a best-seller here. We also love their Binignit (Ginataang halo-halo bilo-bilo)
Locations: Muhaisnah, Karama

4. La Mesa Restaurant and Cafe (Centurion)
Crispy Shrimps and Palabok are great here.
Location: Centurion Star Deira

5. Pampanguenos
Good "lutong bahay" quality food. Try the combo meals. Basic Pinoy food done well.
Locations: Madinal Mall, Ansar Gallery

6. Sinugba ng Cucina
One of the first that had isaw in their menu, and it's good. Tapsilog & Tortang talong is what we've tried and they're good.
Location: Al Nahda (about 1km behind Sahara Centre)


Coffee and Bites
Pinoy cafe and bakeshops

1. Bibingkinitan
This Philippine franchise serves original bibingka style and innovative ones a la Papparoti buns.
Location: Al Ghurair Centre


2. Bread Shop - Little Manila
People queue here for ensaymada. Yes, highly recommended - no fanciness, just tastiness. Also try the 'kababayan' muffins and Spanish bread.
Location: Little Manila Muraqqabat

* There's no (fake) J.Co anymore

Again, my taste might not be yours. Our preferences are different.  But at the end of the day, I'm pretty sure I have fair judgement on what I eat and experience.

Hope this helps. If you have other suggestions, please leave them in the comments below.

Kainan na!


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* This is not a paid post. The article is all opinion of Boy Dubai.

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