Ahmad has been eating at Al Tawasol, one of the oldest restaurants in Dubai, for as long as he has lived here. Its one of his favorite places, and has quickly become one of mine. A few weeks ago we were making plans to meet up with Arva from I Live in a Frying Pan, and so when she suggested we meet at Al Tawasol, we were all for the idea.
So we meet Arva and a photographer friend of hers for mandi, traditional Yemeni chicken and rice. With four of us eating, we decided to mix it up and try three different chicken preparations, and three different rices. We ordered mandi chicken on plain rice, charcoal grilled chicken on mazbi rice, and biryani chicken on biryani rice (pictured clockwise from the top).
Ahmad always asks for the ‘special’ rice, with nuts and raisins on top. It is a necessary touch in out book, as it adds the perfect fruity crunch to the rice. The whole thing is eaten with a spicy red sauce and plain yogurt.
As far as the decor goes, the restaurant features traditional floor seating. The dining areas are enclosed by tents, there is a large tent for men in the front, and a few private tents and tables in the back for families, or the less adventurous. The place seems clean-ish… it’s passable.
In the end the bill came to less than 100 AED, a pretty awesome deal for three extra-large entrees and all the fixings (feeds four).
(Arva is a suburb blogger here in Dubai, and the co-founder of the U.A.E. food-blogging community. Her post on this meal and especially her photography is definitely worth a look. Check it out here.)
Our final scores…
Food (5/5) ***** Reliable, delicious.
Decor (3/5) *** Authentic. Minus two stars for rice on the floor. The furniture could use an update as well.
Customer Service (4/5) ***** The wait staff were very patient with us as we interrogated him for details about the difference in cooking technique, etc. Minus one star because of a few stare-ers.
Deira, Abu Baker Al Siddique Road, just before the clock tower, Dubai – U.A.E.