Indian food could be, we expect, the most popular cuisine in the world, which is why Dubai is packed full of restaurants serving it (some better than others!). This hugely varied, carefully spiced cooking is on show at the Gharana Restaurant and keeps a crowd of regulars coming back for more week on week, as well as attracting a flock of new diners regularly too.
Stepping into the Gharana Restaurant is like walking into another world with its palatial design. Arches are created and carved into sweeping shapes, while marble floors and pillars add to the dramatic nature of the space. A gilded swing even hangs from the ceiling, decked out in plush red cushions for lounging – or simply for that all-important photo opportunity – should the mood take you. Pick between tables in the main space, which are surrounded by comfortable armchair-style seating or plump for one of the cosier bench setups in one of the side rooms.
The menu is split up into regions, showcasing dishes from Jaipur, Punjab, Lucknow and Hyderabad so that you can get a flavour of all kinds of corners of India. To begin there are wonderfully popular chicken tikka chunks, marinated in curd until tender and then cooked in the tandoor until brown and smoky, or succulent lamb chops cooked in a clay oven for crisp edges and a juicy centre. From Jaipur, try the biryani for mains, with succulent king prawns and a musky, savoury scent from the saffron-stained rice. Elsewhere there’s a signature gosht dish which sees slow braised lamb cooked until meltingly soft and combined with a wonderful combination of spices, and a comforting dal dish that is tempered with garlic, chilli and cumin seeds.
Finish off with something sweet, choosing between dishes like rich saffron ice cream or a spiced, sweet crème brulee.