A Food & Travel Blog

Frying Pan Adventures Dubai Food Tour

13/02/2017 | By

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.

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.

One of the dubai food tour friendly faces

dubai food tour first stop

The creamiest hummus in the world!

Falafel on the dubai food tour

Falafel mahshi – chickpea falafels stuffed with chilli paste called ‘shatta,’ sumac spice and onions.

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.

Palestinian Musakhan, dubai food tour

Musakhan – a divine Palestinian chicken pie with onions, sumac and olive oil.

dubai food tour kunafa

Preparing the shredded pastry base for the wickedly delicious kunafa.

Dubai food tour cheese kunafa

Kunafa – a divine syrup-soaked cheese based pastry that should be a food group all on it’s own. I might have eaten quite a lot of this.

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.

dubai food tour - Samadi Sweets

Karabij (cookies and soapwort cream)

dubai food tour pastries

dubai food tour dessert

More deliciousness at Samadi Sweets

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.

dubai food tour, Egyptian feteer

Egyptian feteer with basturma (beef pastrami), veggies and cheese.

A dubai food tour family dinner

Just when I thought I might explode – we sat down to a family meal of lentil soup, Emirati Chicken Machboos, a meat stew called Laham Salona, Tahta Malleh a preserved salted tuna dish – all served with saffron rice.

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.

Dubai food tour dessert faloodeh

Always prepared to do the hard yards in the name of research, I just managed to fit this in. 

Frying Pan Adventures conduct a range of food trails all year round. All details are on their website.

Lambs’ Ears and Honey was a guest of Frying Pan Adventures for her Middle Eastern food tour. All opinions are her own.

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  1. Liz (Good Things)

    Oh Amanda, I wish I had known about this food tour when we were briefly in Dubai. Sounds fab and looks delicious! Bookmarking for next time!

  2. Anna @ shenannagans

    Musakhan… OMG! That looks phenomenal. I’m on the ferry home from work reading your post, holy moly… tempted to book a quick trip to Dubai for a foodie feast myself. What a sweet way to break up the long haul too. YARM!

  3. Gerlinde @ Sunnycovechef

    I love taking food tours . I just took a fun one in Honolulu. I have never been in Dubai but your food tour looks interesting.

  4. Tandy | Lavender and Lime

    I was in Dubai over Ramadan and we had many a great Iftar meals out. I love the spice souk but that one thing is not worth us flying via Dubai from here. Your tour looks amazing 🙂

  5. Tania|My Kitchen stories

    Oh I would love to do this one Amanda. It really looks like I must stop over there. Great idea!

  6. Jem @ Lost in Utensils

    I really like Dubai as a stopover but have never done a food tour. Usually thinking ahead to the food I’m going to eat in the next country lol. I’d really love to do this next time. Thanks for the alert!