Expat Life in Dubai

Filipino Restaurants in the sandpit.

October 1, 2011

I have been craving for Filipino food for the past few days. Barrio Fiesta, 3 weeks ago, did not satisfy this particular craving as I was really disappointed with the way they cook their bulalo (why do they put ginger in it???).

So the week after that very disappointing visit at a Filipino restaurant, we tried our luck once again with Max’s. We arrived at around 7pm and we were listed as the 7th customer waiting to be seated but it wasn’t really a long wait before we finally got our table well, what can I say other than the fact that the servers were all fast and efficient. As soon as we were seated, we ordered the following:


Whole Max's Fried Chicken of course

The above along with 2 cups of rice and 1 large water cost us AED108.00. The bulalo was perfect! No ginger or any other unwelcome ingredients in it, it tasted like how a bulalo is supposed to taste. The boyfriend liked loved it! It’s funny to see him put some of the soup on his rice before eating the latter, very Filipino. Hahaha! The chicken on the other hand is a totally different story, it was really very good! Me and the boyfriend love how the chicken skin is so crispy without having to taste too much oil in it. Not really sure how they cook their chicken but it somehow gives me the idea that it was cooked in a turbo grill? Anyway, it was very tasty and we were very satisfied. To prove the case in point, please see below photo of what was left from our whole chicken:

The boyfriend already made a mental note that we must go back there soon.

A new discovery for me though was the restaurant that we ate at earlier this evening, Four Seasons at Rydges Plaza. I have been in Dubai for 4 years now and just discovered this gem hidden inside this almost dilapidated hotel of Rydges Plaza. The interior of the restaurant is very Chinese but the menu states otherwise, everything in it was a Filipino dish. Add to it the fact that the restaurant is a bar and karaoke place as well. Thank goodness we went there early and so the diners were not drunk yet to belch their throats out and we’re able to dine decently although the music was a bit too loud. We ordered the following:

Lechon Kawali (Deep fried pork belly)

The above is usually just an apparition for us Dubai-ites since we are living in a Muslim country and pork is very restricted here. However, this particular restaurant perfected this Filipino delicacy! It was oh-my-God-it’s-f*cking-awesome kind of food.

Grilled chicken.

Another hit was the above, grilled chicken. It had the right amount of sweetness which the sauce served along with it can contradict with it’s sour/salty taste. It was, just like the lechon kawali, was done to perfection. We ordered bulalo as well which the restaurant missed in a huge way! The soup tasted like warm water. Seriously! If I knew that it was going to be that bad I should have ordered a warm water and salt on the side. The meat was as bland as the water itself, it was such a shame because the other two dishes surpassed our expectations and so we were expecting the third dish to be just as good as the others. It was not, the course of the evening took a 180 degrees turn when the bulalo was served. It was THAT bad. The servers were all very bored as well, it seems to me like they’re sleepwalking. Or maybe they just got off the bed and still haven’t psyched their minds that they’re supposed to be working now. Anyway, apart from the sleepwalkers and the very bad bulalo – I will definitely go back and try out their other pork dishes. And you know what’s the best part though? The boyfriend paid only AED86 for those 3 dishes, 2 rice and 1 big bottle of water. Sweet hey?

Do you know any other Filipino restaurants here in Dubai apart from Barrio Fiesta, Chowking, Jules Bar, Four Seasons and Max’s?

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