Indego by Vineet $$$$
Grosvenor House Dubai, +971 4 399 8888
If you are after a curry house meal, this is not the place to come. There is nothing standard about this restaurant and we think you’ll agree with us when you first step into the opulent Grosvenor House. Seating style is intimate and service impeccable. The food is based on traditional Indian flavours but with a modern twist. That doesn’t mean to say the spice levels are reduced to cater for western palates, you just won’t find your typical chicken madras or jalfrezi here but a host of different ingredients such as salmon and monkfish. For starters we highly recommend the crab trio cooked in three different ways. Indego is pricey, but for a spicy, romantic evening to remember, you won’t regret it.
25 Degrees North $$
DAMAC Executive Heights Tower, TECOM, Al Barsha, +971 4 452 7779
It's surprising to get such a good restaurant in Al Barsha, and it is much needed. However, there's no surprise that this is one of the most popular delivery joints for the area - because the Indian food is tasty and upmarket but doesn't put you in recession mode. 25 Degrees is the new kid on the block, set up in 2013, and it's quietly setting up a reputation for itself. The restaurant is always busy - and that's a good sign. News travels fast in Dubai - so it's no wonder. There are the regular favourites on offer, but 25 Degrees North has a very nice Tangdi Wajid Ali (chicken legs marinated in spices). The fried mutton (Galawati Kebab) is something worth experiencing before you dig into your mains. Our favourite is teh Nalli Roganjosh, but for those of you with tamer taste buds will be pleased with one of the best butter chicken's in Dubai (Ask for Murg Makhani. The Shahi Tukda is originally a Pakisani dish made from bread and milk and sprinkled with nuts and is a tasty desert. Our favourite is the Awadi Kheer - comfort rice pudding. You will love it, and you will love this elegant restaurant - it is authentic and cooked with pride. The meat is fresh - and there's choices for the masses as well as dishes from back home, that bring memories of chilhood to the elder subcontinent expats. The restaurant is open planned and it's good that you can see the chefs cooking away at your meal. You may even be tempted to an extra dum biriyani. Taste buds and waist lines beware! Worth going for the business lunch is you are in the area.
Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, The Palm Jumeirah, Crescent Road (West), +971 4 453 0444
Ever been to an indian restaurant and been totally bowled over by the huge selection of tasty dishes you just can't make your mind up? Well, Amala could be the answer to your ordering dilemas. Firstly, its not a posh indian buffet but quite the opposite. At Amala, you pay one fixed price per person and can order unlimited dishes from the a la carte menu, cooked from scratch with fresh ingredients. Dishes are perfectly portioned so as not to fill up the belly too fast. Service is fantastic here and if you can't make your mind up, the waiters will be more then happy to advise your choices based on preferences and spice levels. You actually feel as if the dishes have been made to order around you which is definitely unique for a restaurant! in terms of ambience and location, the decor is themed at Regal India but does have a subtle modern feel with its furnishings. The location is set in the luxurious Zabeel Saray Hotel on the Palm Jumeirah, an elegant and more quiet hotel to its competitor - The Atlantis. Don't let the distance of this hotel put you off, Amala is well worth the trip and you may be back for more. For children, the set menu price is 50% off for 4-11 yr olds and under 3 yrs are free of charge. Bear in mind, the restaurant is only open for dinner from 7pm - 12am and is closed on Mondays.
Lotus Hotel, Deira Dubai, +971 4 227 8888
With so many curry houses occupying the Dubai scene, if all you crave is a great selection of food, good surroundings but not have to pay five star prices, head to Dakshin. Located in the Lotus Hotel, it is not a dry restaurant, like most that will feature in a budget restaurant guide, but at Dakshin you get veg and non veg choices, clean, comfortable interior, alcohol, live entertainment, on most evenings and good value for money. Menu is based on mainly south indian cuisine. Favourites are the Masala Dosa, Egg Masala Uppam and for non- veg fans, their Chicken Tikka Masala is yum.
Rangoli $ (Vegetarian, Unlicensed)
Meena Bazaar, Bur Dubai, +971 4 351 5873
A vege heaven for the price of water quite literally. Rangoli is renowned for its friendly service, fantastic 'Pani Puris' and superb value for money. If you are a tourist in Dubai, one of your stops on the itinerary has to include Mina Bazaar, the Little India of Dubai where you can get great fabrics and ready made indian suits, sarees and ofcourse the tiny shops selling bric-a-brac plastic and cheap goods. It's worth a wander and when you get tired and hungry, dig into some fab vegetarian comfort food at Rangoli. Their fresh puris, parathas, samosas and masala dosas (huge rice pancakes filled with a dry potato curry) are awesome. As a guide, four people can eat well for 80 AED.
Delhi Darbar $ (Unlicensed)
Karama, Zabeel Road (opposite Karama post office), +971 4 334 7171
Deira, Sabkha Street (Nr Gold Souk), +971 4 235 6161
Now budget quality restaurants can't get any better then this. Dubai is full of budget indian restaurants, but from what we and our friends have tried most lack in something or the other. People want a great curry but the quality and clean, inviting interior and of course AC has to be there. Delhi Darbar offers good north indian cuisine with an array of variety at the price of a shoe string. Delhi Darbar has become so popular it has now opened two more outlets in addition to the first Karama restaurant. We recommend starting off with some bihari kebabs and for mains you won't be disappointed with the classic butter chicken and palaak paneer all washed down with fluffy naans and pilau rice. The array of dhaal dishes are great too. Try whatever pleases you as you wont find prices like this back home!
Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel and Towers, +971 4 207 1733
Ask anyone for their best Indian in Dubai and they’ll most likely reply back with Ashiana. This curry house has been around for years and has well established itself as Dubai’s top place for fine Indian cuisine. Here, everything ticks the boxes from authentic Indian ambience, staff who are knowledgeable in the food they serve and their style of service and ofcourse the delicious food. This restaurant is not one of those swanky, designer type restaurants who like to entice their clients with shimmering interiors rather then the food firsthand, but despite it’s authentic and traditional feel the interior is welcoming and intriguing. Portions here are super, so beware if dining as a couple, not to over order. The kebabs are succulent and so tender and the highly rated murg ashiana is super. A great selection of vegetarian options are an offer. Service is good and unobtrusive, unlike the live entertainment which can be fun and interesting.