A short overnight stop-over to break up a long-haul flight means that I get to add a tick to my bucket list – a Dubai food tour.
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 ever experience of the place, but by taking part in a Frying Pan Adventures Dubai Food tour we visited a part of the city not generally 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 amount 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 lovers 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 conduct a range of food trails all year round. All details are on their website.