When we fly home from Europe we usually stop over in Hong Kong or Singapore, but on our last trip we came back via Dubai. Now I know that this city is popular for shopping, but for me the thought of a Dubai food tour was far more attractive.
I love Middle Eastern food and the opportunity to try it at the source was very exciting.
Dubai is big, modern and a shopping mecca – and that is all most people experience of the place, but by taking part in a Frying Pan Adventures Dubai Food tour we visited a part of the city not frequented by most tourists – the old town.
Dubai is not a particularly old city, but there are two distinct parts. Heading north and crossing the Jumeirah Creek places the traveller in the back streets of a vibrant neighbourhood where the locals live their lives.
This town is hot and, as a South Australian born and bred, I’m used to summer heat, but I don’t function at all well in it, so was quite pleased that the tour began in the (relative) cool of the evening. A small group of us met up on a street corner and began our food adventure, winding our way through the back streets – all the while eating. And eating.
I soon lost count of the number of restaurants and food stalls we meandered in and out of, following the delightful Stephanie, our guide, like ducklings behind a mother duck. Some of the dishes we tried were familiar to me, others not – but there was no shortage of food on this tour.
Which brings me to my big tip – do not eat before going on one of Frying Pan Adventures’ tours. This was probably one of the most generous food tours I’ve ever been on (and I’ve done a lot of food tours).
The food was amazing and I wanted to try everything – by the end of the evening I was groaning with the extra weight of the food baby I was carrying around.
Our final stop for the evening was at Sadaf Iranian Sweets and Spices where, miraculously, I was able to find just enough room for Iranian faloodeh, an icy dessert of sweetened noodles with rosewater served with saffron bastani (ice cream). This store was a spice lover’s heaven, full of nuts, spices, spice blends and the cheapest saffron I’ve ever seen.
I came home with heaps, but still wish I’d bought more.
Frying Pan Adventures conducts a range of food trails all year round. All details are on its website.
South Australian writer Amanda McInerney writes about travel and food on her Lambs’ Ears & Honey blog, where this article was originally published.
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