From Punjabi soul food to Levantine comfort eats, it reads like a walking tour of the eateries, but one to be experienced from home.
“Staying at home can mean missing out on the energy of Dubai’s usually bustling streets – a stark change for both residents and restaurant owners alike,” the guide reads.
Nahla Tabbaa, a curator with Frying Pan Adventures, says: “As the Covid-19 storm continues, we are seeing beloved businesses struggle in unimaginable ways, and find it necessary to do what we can to help support the elements that enrich our communities.
"It has been difficult to get on the phone with them and hear how they are staying afloat ... While this list is by no means finished, it gave us the opportunity to reach out to these restaurants, check up on their well-being, and do what we love best: tell stories and curate a menu."
Frying Pan Adventures has been running food walks across Dubai for seven years, and has given more than 10,000 guests a real taste of the emirate.
Taking that approach, they recommend 13 outlets:
- Palestinian/Jordanian restaurant Qwaider Al Nabulsi in Deira
- JLT Mexican restaurant, El Mostacho
- Satwa confectioner, Nujood Sweets
- JVC Thai family-run favourite, Sticky Rice
- JLT Asian food hall Streetery by Zen
- Lebanese home-style cooking spot Bait Maryam
- Pho specialists Vietnamese Foodies
- Keralan Karama restaurant Calicut Paragon, famous for its crab curry
- Karama barbecue specialists The Meating Room
- Parsi restaurant Kebab Bistro
- Korean favourite Hyu
- Chicken tikka specialists Sind Punjab in Bur Dubai
- Legendary Iranian grill spot Al Ustadi Special Kebab (try the saffron chicken)
For each restaurant, the guide details the story behind the establishment, tips on what to order and some ideas for what to do with leftovers. The guide also directs people to the restaurants' social media, provides the address, delivery details and contact numbers.
"Even as this guide is compiled, the restaurant scene is changing on a daily basis," the team says.
"Hence, we recommend directly contacting these restaurants to place your order and encourage you to look beyond food delivery apps or services that may absorb a large portion of restaurants' profits."
Tabbaa adds: "Ultimately, we are deeply indebted to these restaurants that have welcomed us. They have taught us to reflect, ponder over and use their dishes as a wider lens to better understand the culinary world."
For foodies in Dubai, tours by Frying Pan Adventures have become a must-do. They typically take four hours, walking through Bur Dubai and Deira and cost Dh395.
The tours have been cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic, however the company is still offering Hug-in-a-Box delivery. The services bring movie snacks, treats and special epicurean selections to your door, with free delivery in Dubai, and charged delivery in Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and Umm Al Quwain.
Frying Pan Adventures has also introduced a special limited edition Ramadan Hug-in-a-Box.