Where to find the best Filipino food in Dubai

  • Saturday, July 08, 2017
  • By Ion Gonzaga

I've been to countless Filipino restaurants in Dubai, big and small, good and not-so-good. That's why I always get asked, "Where's best to eat?" I would often respond based on the 'taste' of the person asking.   

As a blogger, it is on me to ensure I give impartial reviews about MY experiences. At the end, it is still MY experience, if you find similarity to my 'not-so-hard-to-please' taste, take my word for it. Otherwise, to each his own.

We have different preferences. What's good for me may not be pleasant for you. What you like, I might not.

I won't just recommend the best restaurant within your location, because food experience must be beyond practicality - except when the situation really calls for it. If I go back to a restaurant because of location, I'm just being practical - "Pwede na yan para di na tayo lalayo."

I'm a fan of "dayo" for restaurants that deserve my petrol and toll.

The creativity is overflowing inside Hot Palayok in Karama, but the wow factor ends there
If a customer returns to a restaurant for the ambiance, something's wrong with the customer. 

The restaurant is good if I return for the food. Even if I get lost in Karama, I'd drive makakain lang ng tama - even if it's just a small eatery, as long as the food is well beyond satisfactory.

It's all about great dining experience.

Here's a list of my most preferred food to order, and in where I found the best experiences. So saan nga ba masarap kumain ng...


Beef Belly Barbecue - JJ's Inasal, Little Manila

Beef Tenderloin Skewers - Ihawan

Bulalo - Tagpuan [2nd, Max's]

Kare-Kare -  Pita

Lechon Kawali - Ihawan

Lechon Paksiw - House of Lechon, Little Manila

Lengua Estofada - House of Lechon, Little Manila

Liempo Grilled - House of Lechon, Little Manila

Tapa (Tapsilog) - Tapa King

T-bone (grilled) - Ihawan


Chicken Inasal - BBF Multicuisine

Chicken Longanisa (LongSiLog) - Ihawan

Chicken Sisig - Max's

Chicken Skin Sisig - Barrio Fiesta

Fried Chicken - Max's and Jollibee (where else)

Lechon Manok (Cebu Style) - Authentic Angels

Lechon Manok (Tagalog Style) - House of Lechon Manok, Little Manila


Crispy Pata - Kitakits Kafe & Klubb

Lechon Kawali - La Mesa

Liempo (Inihaw) - Boracay


Baked Mussels - Dampa

Crispy Shrimps - JJ's Inasal at Little Manila

Crispy Tilapia - Dampa

Daing na Bangus - Tapa King

Grilled Squid - Dampa

Relyenong Bangus - Casa Pinoy

Seafood Mix (Grilled in Chipotle) - Dampa

Sinigang na Bangus - Chowking

Sweet Chili Crab - Binondo Komedor

Tahong Pesa - Ihawan

Tahong Tinola - Max's


Adobong Kangkong - Tapa King

Lumpiang Sariwa - Max's

Sizzling Tofu - Pampanguenos

Tofu Sisig - Max's

Tortang Talong (Relyenong Talong) - Sinugba Ng Cucina


Arroz Caldo - Ihawan

Goto - Delmon

Another great concept of a Filipino restaurant with a lot of intresting twists. Check out our experience at BBF.

Pansit Bihon - BBF Multicuisine

Pansit Luglug - Max's

Pansit Malabon- Pampaguenos

Pansit Palabok - Lamesa at Centurion [2nd, Pampaguenos]


6-pcs isaw for only AED15 at Casa Pinoy - by far the cheapest price in Dubai, yet tastes really good.

Beef Isaw - Uling at Parilya

Chicken Barbecue (Skewers) - Ihawan

Chicken Liver Barbecue - Ihawan

Grilled Burger (Filipino style) - Ihawan

Isaw (Grilled) - Ihawan [2nd, Casa Pinoy]

Fried Isaw - Carinderia Ni Tandang Sora [2nd, Casa Pinoy]


Calamares - Lamesa at Centurion

Camaron Rebusado - Max's

Papaitan - Carinderia Ni Tandang Sora / Uling at Parilya [2nd, Ihawan]


Banana Con Yelo - Ihawan

Bibingka - Veto Pizza

Binignit / Ginataang Halo-halo - Authentic Angels [2nd, Ihawan]

Ensaymada - Breadshop at Little Manila

Ensaymada Cebu - Pinoy Lomi House

Espasol - Pinoy Lomi House

Halo-halo - Ihawan [2nd, Chowking]

Iskrambol - Bodega

Mais Con Yelo - Tapa King [2nd, Ihawan]

Nilupak / Tibok-tibok - Casa Pinoy

Shakoy / Inipit - Authentic Angels

Silvanas - Uling at Parilya

Ube Halaya - Ihawan [2nd, Barrio Fiesta]

Ube Pianono - Authentic Angels

Ube Roll - Max's


There are more or less a hundred Filipino restaurants in Dubai. Unfortunately, not many of them prioritizes authencity and quality of food. Having the opportuniy to talk to many of them, restaurateurs, I can tell who does it for purpose and passion, or primarily for money.

We don't order much of the common household recipes, because, well, my wife does it best at home, you know.  I wouldn't trade her Sinigang, Tinola, Embutido, Adobo, Batchoy, Pork Sisig, Bistek Tagalog, Porkchop Steak, Dinuguan, even Spaghetti and Buco Pandan and Kutsinta over any restaurants out there. Oops, didn't I say I'm on healthy diet?

And oh, this post is in no way influenced by the preferred restaurants I mentioned above okaaaay.

Your thoughts please...

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