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Ravi in Dubai – Finding Cheap Eats in Dubai


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Dining at Ravi in Dubai, and Finding Other Cheap Eats
Ravi in Dubai

Ravi in Dubai

Photo by Alison Stein Wellner
Let’s just say this upfront: it is possible to spend an absurd amount of money in Dubai on a meal. Just as it is possible to spend an absurd amount of money on anything in the oil rich, Russian oligarch play land of the United Arab Emirates.

Ravi is not one of those places. A meal here is not only delicious, it will cost you less than a cocktail would run you at some of the city’s swankier bars. Yes, the floor is a little sticky, but the Punjabi style cuisine served here is fresh, well-prepared, and a favorite of locals and visitors alike.

A Pakistani restaurant that caters at least in part to Dubai’s many residents that hail from the region, Ravi is actually a small empire of restaurants, some more casual and cabbie catering that others. Ravi’s Palace Restaurant is a sit down establishment in the Satwa neighborhood on Satwa Road. It’s an area near to the giant architectural showpieces of Sheikh Zayed Road, but quite different in feel –here are low slung buildings, housing smaller shops, selling items that are for the most part not sequin encrusted and lame sparkling. In other words, a totally different scene that at the malls where you’ll find your Marks and Spencer, Galeries Lafayette and Shake Shack Dubai outposts.

The Ravi menu will be familiar to any American experienced with eating Indian food – you’ll find standbys like butter chicken, which is very well prepared indeed – but you can also get more adventurous. I enjoyed, for instance, bheja fry – translated as “brain fry”, or “brain masala.” (Click to the next page to see a photo of the dish and learn more about it.)

Ravi’s can get crowded later at night, when the competition is apparently keen for outside seating after the heat of the day has passed. Bear in mind that as Ravi’s is not affiliated with a hotel, there is no alcohol on the premises – a shame as a beer sure would go down nicely with that bheja fry.

More about Ravi

Find more cheap eats in Dubai

  • Read Time magazine’s pick for cheap and chic eats in Dubai, including Ravi, which it describes as “one of the city's best regarded, if least presentable, curry houses.”
  • Read Serious Eats' compilation of The 16 Top Ethnic Eats in Old Dubai, a gorgeous slideshow worth flipping though whether or not you have any plans to visit Dubai. It’s a guide to the best dishes to try in Dubai which hail from Lebanon, Syria, China, Japanese, Egyptian, Nepalese, and yes – Emirati, which can be very difficult to find for tourist.

    Click through to the last slide – number sixteen – to learn about chebab pancakes, balaleet(a vermicelli and egg omelet) and lqiemat, a type of fermented dumpling.

    The slideshow was created by Arva Ahmed a Dubai food blogger who runs the site I Live in a Frying Pan – a must read for any foodie planning to visit Dubai.

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