April 10, 2011

Appa Kadai - Dubai's not so hidden treasure

When is a restaurant no longer classed as a hidden treasure? 

Well you would think once it has won a few awards including Masala Magazine's Best Asian Restaurant 2 years running, that the secret would be out by then..

Still it amazes me how many people just walk past this gem of a restaurant in Dubai Marina without giving it as much as a second look, in fact I was guilty of it too.. maybe it has something to do with the lack luster decor? or maybe the lack of any decor at all other then the large neon sign on the outside? You can't let this put you off as "A.K" is all about the food. You would think a restaurant that has won multiple awards would have sky high prices and spot on service? Well you would be wrong, a meal for two will still set you back only 30-40 Dhs and their service is still sketchy as ever - good to know they haven't let their success go to their head as it were.

I digress, when it comes to food Appa Kadai's is technically a South Indian restaurant but this is not your typical Idli, Vada joint.. they consistently churn out great food ranging from their signature Appam's meant to be had with the various curry combo's to their Indian Chinese combo's with the Manchurian being a firm favourite of yours truly.

I was pleasantly surprised that they recently updated their menu, which is now a lot more descriptive and visual, making it even easier for those of us who struggle to distinguish their Appams from their Uttapam's.

Even though their first restaurant was in Karama and their latest in Discovery Gardens, its nice to see they are trying to target those who might not be as familiar with their style of cuisine by their visual menu.

Pictured is the Appam page of their updated menu as of Jan 2011 and as always prices are subject to change.

I am a massive fan of Chaach a.k.a Buttermilk and Appa Kadai's offering is usually spiced to perfection, you can always ask them to spice it further if you are feeling brave.

It's also the ideal way to cool down after coming in from the blistering summer head. Just don't over do it or you won't have any room left for the rest of the food.

When it comes to South Indian restaurants, you can not, not try their fish offerings - it's kind of their thing. Pictured below is their Tandori fish but having tried each and every item on the fish menu the Malabar Fish curry is a firm favourite.  Pictured below is their Fish Thali, with their signature Fish curry which even with a coconut based sauce is quite spicy.

As for their Hyderabadi Biryani.. it's one of my favourites, perhaps not THE favourite but none the less it hits the spot when needed. Next up is their Non-Veg Indian Chinese combo, it comes with one dry and one gravy version of the Manchurian along with the fried rice and their delicious Chicken Curry.

And last but not least, is their Rawa Halva - my dad swears by it and claims it is one of the nicest he has had, who am I to argue.

The sheer range of cuisines that their offerings encompass; from South, North & Indo-Chinese amongst others and the true value for money along with their consistently good food, makes this place a must, even for the die hard 'Desi' foodie.

A fellow UAE foodie, Dubai Bite's also has a fabulous write up On Appa Kadai which is worth checking should your mind not be made up: http://dubai-bites.com/2011/02/24/hidden-gem-simrans-appa-kadai/

Appa Kadai has 3 locations at Karama, Marina & Discovery Gardens (their newest and our current favourite), for opening hours and locations: http://www.aappakadai.com


inafryingpan said...

This is totally my kind of place, how have I not been here before? Both the Tandoori fish and Malabar fish curry look crazy awesome, gonna have to try. Would you know if the one in Karama is equally good?

Complete Foodie said...

I have been told the Karama one is the original and therefore the best, their menu is meant to be little less photo-ey but the same none the less. I have yet to try it..

They do have my favourite dish the King Fish Tava Fry there which is no longer available at the Marina branch, make sure you try that and the Malabar fish curry with plain rice and you will be going back for more :)

Do let me know what you think if you try it!

Anushka M. said...

Looks v. nice! Tried Tubers after reading on here now will have to try this also

Hamza Bin Tila said...

Tried their Rava Kesari Halwa and Gajar Halwa , both were brilliant :)

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