10 unusual and authentic dishes to try at Expo 2020 Dubai before it ends

The world fair is offering traditional flavours and those with a modern twist

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While the closing date of Expo 2020 Dubai draws near, foodies and culture lovers still have time to enrich their palates.

From the pavilions to food trucks, the world fair is a culinary melting pot of traditions, cultures, gastronomy and street food attitude.

To savour it all, visitors can sample the eclectic flavours on offer.

Here are 10 authentic or unusual dishes to try at the Expo that are steeped in culture and heritage.

1. Pato no tucupi at the Brazil Pavilion

Linked to the city of Belem in the lower Amazon region, pato no tucupi is duck meat served in a yellow sauce extracted from wild manioc root found in Brazil's Amazon jungle.

The dish is on the menu at the Brazil Pavilion’s in-house restaurant Nossa Gastronomia Brasileira. It's in the Sustainability District.

2. Soursop gelato at the Colombia Pavilion

Head to the Colombia Pavilion for soursop delicacies. Victor Besa / The National

With Colombia renowned for producing more than 400 types of fruit annually, this pavilion, located in the Opportunity District, is the best place to sample some.

A go-to dish, particularly as the weather heats up, is the soursop gelato. Soursop is a prickly green fruit with creamy texture and a zesty flavour comparable to pineapple and strawberry.

3. Keshek at Aklet

The Lebanon Pavilion is in the Opportunity District. Photo: Expo 2020 Dubai

A traditional treat fit for a summer’s day.

With the advent of the hotter months, families in Lebanese villages would often roll coarse bulgur with milk before leaving it to ferment and dry out.

The end result is keshek, which is best served with onions and tomatoes. You can find this savoury gem at the Lebanon Pavilion's restaurant Aklet. The pavilion is in the Opportunity District.

4. Fried beef liver at Arabian Tea House

A carnivore’s delight and a staple of Levantine cuisine.

The fried beef liver is served sizzling hot alongside seasoned chopped onions, tomatoes and potatoes and drizzled with lemon juice.

Make sure to eat it with traditional Iraqi tanoor bread to soak up all that juicy goodness.

Find it at the UAE favourite Arabian Tea House, a branch of which is located near Al Wasl Plaza.

5. Dragon’s breath waffle at the Norway Pavilion

Find the Dragon’s Breath waffle outside the Norway Pavilion. Victor Besa / The National

Not exactly a traditional meal from the Nordic country, but definitely worth trying for the uncompromising flavours.

Served from the Wofl food truck outside the pavilion, dragon’s breath is a waffle (buckwheat or gluten-free) packed with sweet chilli beef, fresh crispy yellow bell peppers, romaine lettuce and spring onions on a bed of sour cream.

6. Tim Tam freak shake at the Australia Pavilion

A treat fit for a cheat day.

The Tim Tam freak shake is as indulgent as it sounds: it is a vanilla ice cream-based milkshake blended with Milo — a popular Aussie brand of chocolate malted powder — and the popular Australian biscuits, TimTams.

This is served in the open-air courtyard at the Australia Pavilion, which is in the Mobility District.

Scroll through the gallery above to see more of the Australia Pavilion.

7. Hashi almashi at the Saudi Arabia Pavilion

Try hashi almashi in sandwich form at the Saudi Arabia Pavilion. Victor Besa / The National

While most Saudi restaurants in the UAE serve various rice and meat dishes, it is in the kingdom’s pavilion, which is located in Opportunity District, that you will truly find a deep dive into authentic cuisine.

A must-try is the hashi almashi, a modern take on a Saudi staple, with a camel meat patty rubbed in Saudi coffee, almond and sesame sauce served in wholewheat flat bread.

8. Hiyashi chawanmushi at the Japan Pavilion

The Japan Pavilion in Opportunity District already got UAE foodies buzzing with its amazing sushi and sashimi served at in-house eatery Sushiro.

However, scan further up the menu and you'll find the hiyashi chawanmushi, a traditional appetiser that is a cold egg custard steamed in a small bowl with shrimps, scallops, fish paste and salmon roe.

9. Beshbarmak at the Kazakhstan Pavilion

For centuries, Kazakhs were herders who often raised fat-tailed sheep, horses and Bactrian camels.

For such a rugged and physical lifestyle, Kazakh cuisine is often hearty and full of protein. Both qualities are exemplified in beshbarmak, a popular dish made from boiled horse meat, served on a bed of noodles.

The Kazakhstan Pavilion is serving up a version of the traditional item in Opportunity District.

10. Kniddelen at the Luxembourg Pavilion

Think of it as Luxembourgish dumplings made halal-style.

The pavilion’s head chef Kim Kevin de Dood reinvented the national staple, which is normally served with bacon, by replacing it with smoked duck breast.

With the dumplings softy and buttery, you will surely be eating more than one.

Luxembourg Pavilion, which is famous for its slide, is in the Opportunity District.

50 things to do at Expo 2020 Dubai before it ends on March 31 — in pictures:

Updated: March 16, 2022, 5:24 AM
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