Three amazing African restaurants to try in the UAE

These eateries offer a flavourful taste of East and West Africa

A dish from Catfish of grilled peri-peri chicken, plantain, cherry tomatoes, salad and jollof rice with pineapple sriracha dressing.
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From shiro with injera bread to Nigerian-style efo riro, you don't have to look far for a taste of Africa in the UAE, thanks to the vast diaspora living here. These are three of our favourite restaurants serving up an eclectic mix of cuisine from the East to the West of the continent.



Nigerian musiciam, MKO Word dines in Kiza.
(Photo: Reem Mohammed/The National)

Reporter: Saeed Saeed
The efo riro at Kiza is a spicy spinach and goat stew. Reem Mohammed / The National

This DIFC restaurant offers a unique upmarket dining experience in Dubai, with pan-African dishes on the menu, from Nigerian to Cameroonian and all sorts of West African additions. There are South African options, too.

Try East African Wataalamu soup, Kenyan nyama choma or Tanzinian pilau – to name a few. For the dessert, there's West African puff puff, Southern African malva pudding and East African mandazi.

It's not just about the food here; everything from the decor to the music played is infused with African spirit.


Gbemi Giwa, owner of Catfish and newly opened The Gbemi's Kitchen
Gbemi Giwa, owner of Catfish and newly opened The Gbemi's Kitchen

Gbemi Giwa, who hails from western Nigeria, is the creative driving force behind Catfish. The Dubai restaurant, which has gathered a loyal clientele since it opened last year, showcases West African food in a holistic way, using modern cooking and wellness techniques to produce a menu free of gluten, genetically modified ingredients, dairy and refined sugar.

She’s also opened another African concept in JLT, Dubai called The Gbemi’s Kitchen. This one offers urban soul food and a menu full of Western African favourites, including jollof, eguisi and suya.

Bonna Annee

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 8 September 2017:Special food of Bonna Anne , an Ethopian, Restaurant , located at Tourist club,Abu Dhabi, UAE, Vidhyaa for The National
A plate of Ethiopian food from Bonna Annee, Abu Dhabi. Vidhyaa for The National

Authentic Ethiopian food is served at the two branches of this small family-run eatery in Abu Dhabi’s Tourist Club Area and Deira, Dubai, which long-term residents regularly cite as the best of its kind in the country.

Bonna Annee is a casual, budget-friendly spot with a firm fan following. It has a menu that spans the East African nation’s cuisine.

Expect meat and vegetable-based stews, tibs, shiro and plenty of injera, a high-protein, low-carbohydrate bread made of teff flour that comes with pretty much everything.


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