Dubai hosts several pan-Asian and fusion restaurants that ooze sophistication and oh-so-delicate dishes. But if you want to load up on authentic Asian street food with no fuss, there are loads of no-frills, wonderful restaurants in Dubai that will bring you all the authentic flavors of Southeast Asia, from Thailand to Korea or China, and loads in between. From crispy Korean chicken wings to colorful made-to-order wok creations, these places will have you feeling like you’re wandering down a bustling street in Asia.
This awesomely authentic Asian food hall has been causing a stir since it opened in JLT in January. The brainchild of three guys from Dubai who are passionate about Asian street food, Wok Boyz is an explosion of Asian artistic creation, both in the menu and in the loud and colorful design of the cafe. ‘Freestyle’ your wok special with your choice of base, veggies, sauces, and protein, and see it cooked right there in front of you. Pick from vendors with quirky names like Fat Aunts, King Hee, or Zen, then perch up at one of the rustic tables with colorful chairs and devour your favorite Asian dish with wooden chopsticks.
Love your Ramen bowls? You need to check out Daikun Ramen, the walk-in bar in JLT, where you can get the noodle treat alongside traditional Asian Bao Buns. It might not be the fanciest restaurant, but it’s up with some of the best Ramen. Mango Tree in JBR is more of a restaurant than a quick grab-and-go, but it’s well worth it for its delicious Thai street food dishes. Head there on a Wednesday for unlimited dishes served from 7 pm till 9 pm for Dhs99 per person, with dishes like crispy spring rolls to start and Pad Thai for the main. They also have a daily happy hour from 5 pm to 7 pm with drinks starting at Dhs28.
Savor the flavors of South Vietnam without worrying about your waistline at Vietnamese Foodies. Vietnamese Foodies are super health-conscious, using fresh vegetables and lean meat or seafood cooked in water or 14-hour broth instead of cooking oil. There’s a branch in JLT and a recently opened second spot Downtown. Asian5 promises fresh Asian street food from Thailand, China, Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Vegans can get in on the action, too, as they have several special plates that won’t compromise on taste. 24th St. is worth a visit, not only for its expertly crafted Indian, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese cuisine but also for the restaurant’s atmosphere. The layout of food stations means you will feel like you’re in an Asian food hall.