I wanted to check out a frankie place in Dubai to blog about (post on that coming soon). When I mentioned it to Vineet ‘Potson’ Pabreja, he scoffed. Oh, how much this man can scoff. He started waxing eloquent about this place in Bur Dubai which has the best rolls “EVAAAAAR”.
So off we went one day to lend some truth to his claim. The journey there was exciting: he claims I drove like a maniac (I did not) and then said he wasn’t sure how good the rolls were (See? How can I trust such a bipolar person?).
And so it was, on a sunny Friday afternoon, I found myself in front of Shiraz. Potson is prone to lists, so he had a little guide on what we should order. Early birds us, we were the first to enter the restaurant and snagged a window booth – which meant more light for my camera woohoo!
Settling in with a sweet lime soda, we went about picking what we’d stuff ourselves with.
First up was the chicken tikka kabab plate. Succulent, hot and juicy. Perfectly average and right.
I’m very unsure, looking back at the pictures, why I was eating chicken tikka kababs with a fork. Even though I’m perfectly useless with eating rice with my hand, I’m of the opinion that most foods taste better when you get down and dirty with it!
Ordering the kathi rolls was one of the hardest things I had to do. I mean, just in the egg and chicken category were these choices: single egg, single chicken; single egg, double chicken; double egg, single chicken; and, double egg, double chicken. I felt like tearing my hair out. WHICH ONE DID I WANT?! What’s more important: the chicken or the egg? After many mental ruminations and imaginary hair pulling, and the wish to be able to taste all those types to pick my favourite, I went for the single egg, double chicken.
COME TO ME… Be still my Chicketarian heart!!! Kathi rolls are essentially very common in Kolkata (Calcutta) and has grown in popularity the world over. So chicken, eggs and onions rolled up inside a nice paratha roll, made that much tastier by whatever outta-this-world marinade used. I want to eat these again. I will seriously travel all the way to Bur Dubai (hey I live far away okay!) to have this again.
Then the chicken biryani and mutton chaap arrived together. I loved the mound of yellow-white rice peeking over the rim saying: “Eat me now. Like, now.”
So when we were served the biryani, I probably amused the waiter no end by clicking away. He was probably thinking: “You want to take pictures of me moving rice from one vessel to one plate? Seriously? Erm, okay. Let me do this fast and run away from crazed clicking monsters.”
At the end of it, biryani with some raita was heaped on our plates. This was good but didn’t make me want to marry it (yes some foods I feel that much intense love for). It was very light, which I appreciated. Left more space for the next item on the menu!
The mutton chaap was a winner, like the kathi roll. A traditional Bengali dish, juicy, tender bits of meat swimming in its own oily gravy…fireworks in your mouth when you do bite into it. I mixed a bit of it with the chicken biryani and decided it tastes equally good with something (like rice, or I imagine naan) and stand-alone (yeah I did). A very rich dish, I expected it to be spicy as well, but it wasn’t. But then again, my level of spice tolerance is very high; I’ve often found what isn’t anywhere close to spicy for me leaves others gasping and lunging for cold water.
I do believe by the end of the meal, Potson and myself were stuffed. I think I left one lonely little piece of mutton staring at me as it floated in gravy, almost as if admonishing me as to why I didn’t eat it up. I’m sorry mutton, I did love you so. I shall return.
1 single egg double chicken Dhs 19
1 murgh tikka kabab Dhs 25
1 murgh biryani Dhs 22
1 mutton chaap Dhs 25
1 lime soda sweet Dhs 10
TOTAL Dhs 101 (less Dhs 20.20 using the Gulf News Good Living voucher for 20% off) = Dhs 80.80
Parking tips: Don’t forget to put a parking ticket if you’re going on any day other than Friday! Best to use your mobile for this though – you get a reminder before the ticket expires. Last thing you want is to suddenly remember halfway through your kathi roll that you need to run like a maniac to your car, hoping against hope you didn’t get a fine.