A popular Filipino restaurant was closed on Tuesday after a fire tore through the premises causing extensive damage.
Dampa Seafood Grill, a neighbourhood favourite in Deira, has temporarily closed, a representative told The National.
The fire is believed to have started between 4am and 5am on Tuesday, workers at the scene said. Police and the Dubai Civil Defence were contacted for further details.
The restaurant declined to comment further while the cause is being investigated.
One TikTok user posted a video of the blaze and commented: “Our favourite restaurant Dampa caught fire at dawn.”
The restaurant, which has a second branch in Abu Dhabi, is known for its seafood, from prawns to mussels and crabs with white Jasmin rice, all served on the table for diners to eat with their hands.
The Filipino-owned hotspot, located at the foot of the Centurion Star Tower in Port Saeed, was one of the first restaurants to bring the seafood dining concept of “dampa” from the Philippines to the UAE.
The concept involves customers choosing their own freshly caught seafood (or sometimes from a live tank) and asking restaurants on site to cook them to their liking – grilled, steamed or fried.
The Dubai restaurant quickly grew a cult following, not just among Filipinos, but also among the UAE's other expatriate groups. Diners also come back for their special sauce.
Other Filipino restaurants that offer the same experience include Off The Hook, also in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, as well as Spice Grill in Sharjah.
Aside from the food, Dampa Seafood Grill is also loved for its dancing waiters and atmosphere. Last year, the restaurant was named a Favourite Local Gem at the Expo Eats Awards.