Top Ten Places To Get A Curry In JLT
All the best Indian Restaurants seem to be grouped in this one part of Dubai
It's been happening for a while, but with the opening of even more Indian restaurants in JLT this year...we're officially calling it the home of the curry as far as Dubai is concerned. You'd be hard pushed to find ten Indian eateries in most areas in Dubai, but in JLT, whittling it down to just ten to include in this list was pretty hard...but we gave it ago. Enjoy!
Can't be bothered to go to JLT? Worry not, every one of these places delivers (apart from Spice & Ice - you really need to visit to experience that one).
10. Egg Dhaba – Cluster H
Probably one of the newest additions to the choice of curry houses in JLT, it's done well to wrestle some old favourites to make our top ten. Open just a few months, it's already getting rave reviews which is quite something as you have to walk right past one of our favourites to even get to it (more on this later). A 'Dhaba' is a traditional 'truck stop' style canteen, found roadside or at petrol stations across India and Pakistan and tend to serve 'Punjabi' style curry to suit the tastes of many of the truck drivers. Egg Dhaba continues this theme...with off course the added theme of 'eggs'. But don't worry, not all dishes are egg-based, although the breakfast options, egg breads, omelettes and egg curry are well worth trying, also give the chicken curry and chicken biryani a try...they're delicious. A meal for two will set you back just AED 70 to AED 100.
9. Desi Inn – Cluster D
With no website or Instagram account and a Facebook page with just 72 likes and two posts (it hasn't been updated since 2012), Desi Inn might sound like it's not got much to show, but it just lets the food do the talking. Hidden away on the lake level of Cluster D, this tiny gem of a restaurant is a bit of a secret find, blink and you'll miss it. Look out for the blackboard with chalked specials outside, think main dishes for AED 15, meal deals for AED 25 and special offers on thalis too. The stand out dish here is the Murgh Chholay (chicken and chickpea curry), which on a Sunday is just AED 15. The drinks and breads are cheap as too, with chapattis and naan costing just AED 1.5 each.
8. Punjabi Khu – Cluster T
Situated in Fortune Tower at lake level, Punjabi Khu is a busy hub of families and friends wanting a delicious curry, either inside the cute restaurant or looking out onto the lake from the outdoor seating. If you like mutton...this is the place for you: the Mutton Handi, Mutton Rogan Josh and the Mutton Seekh Kebab are all perfectly cooked and presented, as are many of the vegetarian dishes, be sure to try the Dhal Makhani. Desserts here are particularly good...leave room for the delicious Gulab Jamun and the creamy Ras Malai. It's easy on the pocket too, expect to pay around AED 80 for a very full belly.
7. The Yellow Chilli by Sanjeev Kapoor – Cluster U
With nearly 30 branches in India, you know these lot must be doing something very right, before you even walk through the doors at the JLT branch of The Yellow Chilli...and we can confirm they are. We'd recommend the fragrantly spiced Coconut Zaffrani Shorba soup for starters, it sets you up perfectly for mains that have a bit of a kick. If you're veggie, go for the Paneer Taka Tak (spicy cottage cheese) or the Murgh Survedaar (spicky chicken curry) for meat lovers. They do plenty of non-spicy dishes too, as well as delicious non-alcoholic cocktails and desserts. Mains average at around AED 35.
6. Kulcha King – Cluster O
With branches all over Dubai, this chain restaurant is easy for those outside of JLT to reach too. This particular one overlooks the fields and basketball end of JLT, which means it falls smack bang in the middle of the JLT area. Named after the famous fluffy breads of the Punjab (kulcha), it goes pretty close to being the self proclaimed 'King' of the dish: try the aloo or gobi versions with the Amritsari Chole (chickpeas).
Kulcha King also does a mean Prawn Curry and Chicken Tikka Masala. The interiors are authentic in decoration and the staff are friendly – what more could you ask? Prices start at around AED 30 for a main.
5. 800 Thali – Cluster B
It might not be much to look at when you walk past: bright green chairs in a tiny white-walled room, but the food at 800 Thali has had us going back time and time again. We've visited a couple of times but where this place comes into its own is for delivery (they've never taken more than 45 minutes). The lunchtime thali comes in a veg and non-veg option - both equally delicious with nine different bits of food and costing just AED 24 and AED 27. The standout dishes here are the Dal Makhani (brown lentil curry) and the mouthwateringly-good Fish Tikka Masala. They also run a very worthy 'adopt a labourer' scheme.
4. Spice & Ice – Cluster A
This is the poshest and most adventurous Indian restaurant on the list...if we weren't such creatures of habit and lovers of the traditional curry, this could easily be sitting at number one! The other thing that makes Spice & Ice stand out is THE BOOZE! Yes, located under the Movenpick in JLT, next door to Pizza Express, it's fully licensed, so as well as an amazing a la carte menu, they have a ladies night and brunch option too. The Chicken Masala Chaat and Broccoli Parmesan are both worth ordering but this place is really known for its molecular gastronomy and surprising way the delicious food is made and served. We don't want to ruin the surprise but see the Instagram video below for a taster!
A little pricier than our other options, but Monday is 'Half Price Full Spice' night...all food and drinks are...yep, you guessed it - half price!
3. Bikanervala – Cluster H
If you love deliciously cheap Indian food, that's 100% meat free and served super quick, in a clean and modern canteen style restaurant, then Bikanervala is for you. Originating from Delhi, the various locations around Dubai are quite often full of Indian people – which is a great sign when looking for a good curry, this one is about 15 steps away from Egg Dhaba (see above) on the lake level of JLT. The variety of dishes (think chickpea curry, various lentil curries and fluffy breads) and deserts available are huge – there's three or four different types of the sickly-sweet-but-delicious gulab jamun balls, alone. To save yourself having to choose – go for the mini or deluxe thali – that way you get to try a bit of everything and it's cheap as chips. Prices start at less than AED 30
2. Spice Kraft – Cluster I
Just round the corner from Egg Dhaba and Bikaneverla (and underneath 101 Parathas, which just missed out on the number 10 slot), this Indian restaurant stands proud amongst this cluster of little India. Spice Kraft is in a lovely setting, outside seating that includes secluded tables, with huge drapes, and being on the lake level of JLT means it's also dog-friendly. It has an extensive menu of all vegetarian curries but the stand out winner is the Punjabi Thali for a mere AED 22, complete with at least four curries, yoghurt, a starter, rice, a variety of breads, popadoms and a desert. Every dish is super tasty and can't be faulted.
1. Cafe Funkie Town – Cluster Q
If the only thing Cafe Funkie Town served was their Fish Curry...they would still top this list. Freshly diced fish cooked in coriander and chilly paste, simmered in coconut milk, served piping hot and looking deliciously green...yum yum! With a tasty Butter Naan on the side or one of their perfectly cooked Romali Rotis...all washed down with a delicious Masala Chai...right this is making us hungry now!
Cafe Funkie Town, is based on 'Irani/Parsi cafes of Bombay', and is the stand out winner of this top ten, not just for the delicious food (try the Butter Chicken and Paneer Tikka too) but the decor makes you feel like you're on holiday. The staff are friendly (they even bring out water for the dog), and the service is quick (they do breakfast and lunch too – try one of their wraps).
With everything so perfect...you'd expect to pay a dear dirham...nope, mains average at AED 30 and breads cost AED 5. What are you waiting for?