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ANTIQUE BAZAR: A hidden gem: gorgeously rich Indian experience
(Licensed – Serves Alcoholic beverages)
This is my number 1 favourite Indian restaurant in Dubai.
Looking at this little-known & little-advertised hotel in Bur Dubai, you wouldn't expect to find a culinary gem tucked away inside... I certainly didn't! That was until my friend Siddharth told me to try what must be one of the loveliest & most authentic Indian restaurants in town.
Forget the depressing sterility of many high-end restaurants: this ornate Indian is full of patrons who want to eat & drink copious amounts, sing along to the band with high-pitched singers & a wild-ish dancing, and generally enjoy themselves. You can even purchase some Indian souvenirs and trinkets at a little stall outside the restaurant's front door.
It's a relatively small venue with silver goblets, heavy wooden furniture, glass-top tables displaying scattered spices & pulses, red candles and a big helping of that warm, fuzzy feeling you only get in a place where both large families, loved-up couples & a bunch of friends are at ease laughing & reminiscing over bowls of gorgeous food -
this place feels so genuine, it's my absolute favourite.
The golden rule of authentic dining: if Indians eat here, it has to be good - and indeed they do. I looked around: there were only 5 non-Indians in the restaurant, including John & I... fantastic. ;-)
The menu is extensive and divided into comprehensive sections for vegetarian or non-vegetarian, spicy or mild dishes. It's good value for money, very attentive service & great for an evening of relaxed fun & feasting.
Favorite Dish: We had a selection of starters, including scrumptious Panner Tikka for starters, followed by yummy (spinach) Palak Paneer. For extra spice, try the Hyderabadi vegetables & John had incredibly rich & flavoursome Jinga (prawn) Jalfrezi. And if you like Dal, try the Urud Dal or Dal Makhani (black lentils); it's amazing! And if you can't finish all the food (which we couldn't!) there's no problem with having the surplus packed to take home (which we often have to do!)
On our most recent visit (July 2008) John ordered the Butter Chicken, whilst we both really enjoyed a bottle of King Fisher beer :-)
God I love the sweet taste of India
Lingers on the tip of my tongue.
Gotta love the sweet taste of India
Blame it on the beat of the drum.
It's like the first taste love of vindaloo that sets your heart on fire.
And if you let her stuff get into you, it will be all that you desire.
When you make love to the sweet tantric priestress
Drinkin' in the bliss of delight.
But I'm not afraid when I dance with her shadow
The time I'm gonna get it right,
She's gonna wet my appetite.
(Sweet Taste of India - Aerosmith)
Opening Hours: Daily from 12:30pm - 03:00pm & 07.30pm - 02:00am.
Prices are more reasonable, as this is "only" a 4-star hotel.
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THE ANTIQUE BAZAAR: GREAT FOOD WITH AN INTERESTING FLOURISH
In the foyer leading up to the entrance, lies a large collection of ethnic trinkets, pendants and the like brought down from Rajasthan. Right next to the front door, hangs a huge, beautiful portrait of a princess. And stepping inside, you're greeted by the faint strains of a sitar. Ok, so you're clearly stepping into an Indian restaurant. But where does Antique Bazaar stand with respect to Dubai's seemingly endless array of Indian eateries?
Well, pretty close to the top tier actually. While the restaurant's decor milks that whole 'exotic' thing unashamedly, it manages to do so in a pretty classy, unobtrusive way. In fact, you feel warm and comfortable seated beneath the lovely subdued lighting, surrounded by ornate furnishings. The husband and wife duo whispering out slow Hindi ghazals I could do without, but atleast they're soft enough not to annoy you away from your conversation. Ok, that being settled, onto the main stuff - the food!
Here's where Antique Bazaar scores really high. The curries are mild, delicious affairs while the biryanis are brimming with spiced-up flavour. Not grandiose displays of Indian culinary treats, but a softer, more satisying approach. I especially freak out over the mutton ghosht korma and the very well-done desserts, gulab jumans included. And I'm not the only one, since the Bazaar has packed in plenty a Readers Favourite award from What's On Mag and the like. Good stuff!
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