Al Fanar Restaurant & Cafe

Anyone else love the Dubai Museum? I really do. I love the little vignettes and set ups. I have heard the argument several times that compared to museums all over the world, it’s not much. But I beg to differ. It really does give us some perspective on exactly how far Dubai has come and in such a short time too. If you look at it in that way, you are left a tad awe-struck, in my humble opinion.

My sister, mom and I were looking for a nice ladies day out and wanted to do some shopping without battling crazy crowds. We chose Dubai Festival City because it really isn’t as busy as Dubai Mall or Mall of the Emirates but has so many of the stores. We decided to eat while we were there and Al Fanar came to mind. I had heard so much about this place and given my sister wanted a “traditional experience” before she left, this seemed to fit that like a glove!

Honestly, what a great decision! If you are looking for traditional Emarati food, this is where you should go.


Now why I was talking about the museum ? Simply because this place has hints of it in their set-up. I am so glad I visited in the winter and had the chance to sit outside. Everything was so quaint and they had little vignettes everywhere creating quite the ambience! 

As we sat down, I kept my fingers crossed that the food would match the experience of just walking in – and boy did it do just that! Luckily, we managed to beat the lunch rush and got a table outside, no problem. However, they don’t do reservations on weekends so if you are looking to sit outside while the weather is fabulous, head over there earlier than most!

Now on to the good stuff…

We started with a an order of the Robyan Mashwi, aka grilled jumbo shrimp. The shrimp was how I like it – complete; head and tail et all. And grilled to perfection with the most delicious spices. I would drive back there right this moment for these! 

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For the mains we had the Machboos Laham – lamb cooked in yellow rice that is simmered in lamb stock. They also use dried lemon in this dish. The lamb was cooked very well and the rice was flavorful. 

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We also decided that we couldn’t leave without kebabs of some sort. We settled for an order of the Tekat Deyay Emarati. Succulent bits of chicken marinated in yogurt and Arabic spices.  A total must try! 

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And to end the meal, a hot glass of Karak Chai. Perfection! 

Amazing vibe, awesome decor and great staff! Al Fanar is a must try, especially if you have visitors in town but also if you’ve lived in Dubai all your life like we have but have never been!

p.s. – one of the other things I LOVED about this place…

I mean, how glorious is this truck? The country song version of myself was so stoked, I wished I could have taken this baby home and then written a song about it!

Author: Namrata

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