As part of a series of culinary guides to various areas of the UAE, The National explores Cluster Y in Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai, which, arguably, has one of the best ramens and burgers in the city.
Diving straight into that ramen, Daikan is an unassuming-looking, 10-table restaurant that’s nearly always packed to the brim with discerning diners.
Most of them are there for the restaurant’s hearty and delicious ramen, of which it does six varieties – with a shio, miso or shoyu base, a choice between minced and chashu chicken, and a delicious ajitama egg. A vegetarian option comes with tofu, kikurage mushroom, bamboo shoot and baby corn.
Daikan, which has a branches in DIFC and Nakheel Mall, also does a mean pulled chicken bao and handmade gyoza.
The price point ranges from Dh22 to Dh65.
Open daily 11.30am to 11pm; Cluster Y mezzanine level, JLT; 04 876 8477
Maiz Tacos (and Good Burger)
From nomadic food truck to another of JLT’s always-packed restaurants, this home-grown Mexican concept has come a long way. It’s most famous for its moreish tacos – which, restaurant reviewer Matt Broderick tells The National, “are always freshly cooked and brimming with light, balanced flavours” – but also does burritos and quesadillas.
The founders of Maiz are also behind Good Burger, which is served in the same venue and is a veritable favourite among fans of the classic American dish.
On the menu you’ll find a number of chicken and beef options, including the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich, Nashville hot chicken sandwich, Bougie cheese burger, plus a veggie Portobello mushroom burger.
The restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating, and its price point ranges from Dh25 to Dh65.
Open daily noon to 10pm Saturday to Wednesday, noon to 11pm on Thursday and Friday; Cluster Y lake level, JLT; 04 514 4712; maiztacos.com
Sharing a wall with Maiz Tacos, Wok Box is Cluster Y’s newest restaurant and taps into the city’s popular make-your-own-wok market. Here, you can throw in mixed veggies, rice or noodles, and meat or tofu into one of four flavourful sauces named after the city its ingredients are based on: Jakarta, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Korea.
Elsewhere on the menu are popular Asian fusion starters such as dynamite shrimp and chicken gyoza; tom yum and shoyo ramen soups; and mango sticky rice for dessert.
While the restaurant has both types of seating, the indoor doubles as the open-flame kitchen, so we recommend you sit outdoors if you’re visiting.
The price point ranges from Dh17 to Dh30.
Open daily noon to 11.30pm; Cluster Y lake level, JLT; 054 545 4560; order via Deliveroo
A restaurant that celebrates Diwali all year round, positively alight as it is with fairy lights, Indiana Delights is a go-to for comfort Indian food: think fresh, fluffy upma, four types of chicken tikka, buttery Indian breads, and all manner of egg, meat and veg curries.
Insider tip: the green chutney goes with nearly everything, but ask for the spice level to be tempered as per your taste.
The price point ranges from Dh21 to Dh50.
Open daily 10am to 11pm; Cluster Y mezzanine level, JLT; 04 360 3297; www.indianadelights.ae
Mezza Lebanese Kitchen
Serving Middle Eastern and Mediterranean classics, this restaurant is a popular delivery option among JLT’s commercial crowd. If you do visit, you’ll find a neat little space with clean lines, wooden accents and lake-view outdoor seating.
On the menu are some usual suspects – from fattoush and falafel to shawarma and shish taouk – as well as a section dedicated to authentic Greek food, from gyos to souvlaki. The spanakopita pie, tirokafteri feta dip and halloumi fries are especially good.
The price point ranges from Dh12 to Dh59.
Open daily 10am to 10pm Saturday to Wednesday, 10am to 11pm Friday and Saturday; Cluster Y mezzanine level, JLT; 04 554 5872; www.mezzalebanesekitchen.com/uae
The tiniest eatery in Cluster Y boasts the most comprehensive menu. Ensconced within the lobby of Swiss Tower, this is a cafe, bakery and juice bar that serves delicious breakfast items, diverse salads and sandwiches, and hearty mains, plus teas, coffees, hot chocolate, milkshakes and plenty of fresh juices.
Depending on what time of day you visit (or order in), sample the open bacon and egg sandwich, steak salad with honey mustard sauce, spaghetti Bolognese or Caprese bagel. The bakery also does a selection of fresh cakes and croissants, while you’ll be spoilt for choice with the juice and smoothie blends: think green apple, grapefruit and mandarin; spinach, cucumber, ginger, rocket, green apple and pineapple; and banana, honey, butter biscuits and milk.
The price point ranges from Dh10 to Dh23 for beverages, and Dh18 to Dh64 for bites.
Open Saturday to Thursday 8am to 10pm; Cluster Y mezzanine level, JLT; 04 558 7358