Quick Chop! Tastes of the Middle East

Tastes of the Middle East

Continuing the theme of sharing my favourite food spots around the world, I (Mirko) provide my next instalment in my overseas food travel diary. This time - the Middle East!

United Arab Emirates - Dubai

Compared to the other locations mentioned in my overseas posts, Dubai is not the food capital of the world. However with the significant expat community present, there is an abundance of different cuisines available. Couple this with significant wealth and a need for all things 'on trend', and a number of the world's greatest chefs (think Marco Pierre White) have restaurants located in this Middle Eastern metropolis.

Falafels and Salad from Zaroob
Shawarma from Zaroob
Zaroob, located in Downtown Dubai is a local restaurant with a funky feel. The food is simple and honest with great flavours and is a modern take on Middle Eastern food. The labneh and chickpea and hommus (not pictured) are definitely worth trying if you get a chance to visit Dubai. Whenever I'm visiting my friends here, this is a place I go for a quick meal.

Camel Milk latter at Majlis - Dubai Mall
Walking down one of the Souk's in the Dubai Mall, my friend and I stumbled across this Camel Milk Cafe where, as the name suggests, all items have camel milk. Not being game to try the milk by itself I decided to try it in a latte. The verdict, not bad. A little more nuttier than cow's milk and a little reminiscent of Soy.

Cocktails at Zuma - Dubai
Whilst this is not food, I thought that I would give this place a mention. Zuma is currently ranked 77th best restaurant in the world for 2014 so is definitely worth a go. The cocktails here are made with care and precision and its a great place to go for a few drinks on a Thursday night (the start of the weekend in Dubai).

Delicious food at French Bistro La Serre - Dubai
On my final night in Dubai my friends took me to a favourite of theirs, French Bistro La Serre. The food here is a little pricey, but worth a visit if you are in Dubai. Dishes ordered from Top Left clockwise are: Buratta with tomatoes, sesame crumbed goat's cheese with cherry tomatoes, smoked salmon tartare, passionfruit cheesecake and the truffle pasta.

We were quite lucky that we ordered a few entrees and a main as the truffle pasta was very rich. From the picture you can see that La Serre did not skimp on the truffle and as a result price was on arrival. We were hoping to try the white truffle but it was not available on the night. The cheese items were delicious however I preferred the light flavour of the buratta compared to the texture of the goats cheese. The salmon tartar was delicious and the passionfruit cheesecake light, creamy and tart.

Jordan - Amman

Final on this list was a visit to Jordan. Whilst there I went to Petra and the Dead Sea but was told of a little falafel sandwich shop that I had to visit - Al Quds Falafel.

Falafel sandwich - Sorry for the ugly pic. Al Quds Amman
Al Quds Falafel frontage
This hole in the wall shop (literally) is run by three generations of family who simply sell falafel sandwiches. According to a newspaper article that they proudly place on their walls, Al Quds opened up in the 1960's and were the first shop to place falafels in a sandwich roll.

At less than 75 cents Australian dollar per sandwich, they are basic (bread, falafel and sauce) but the falafels are the freshest that I have tasted. Soft and fluffy with a rich green inside (from the mixture of herbs used) they are delicious. Simple, honest food done with love. We had one whilst sitting outside on the streets of Amman and purchased another for the ride back to the Airport.


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