Sharjah is home to a booming art and culture scene and is rapidly becoming a cultural hotspot in the Middle East that can keep up with Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The city’s restaurant scene focuses on high-quality Middle Eastern and Indian dishes, which means that eating in Sharjah is an authentic, aromatic experience. We offer ten restaurants in Sharjah that reflect local culture and cuisine.
Gazebo explores the Indian regions of Lucknow, Hyderabad and North West Frontier to present a varied and rich menu. Their Dum Biryanis, especially the most popular Indian recipe in the world, are of particular value and worthy of their reputation. Guests can enjoy their meal in the midst of a beautiful interior, soft music and subtle lighting for the perfect dining atmosphere. It can get a bit tight at peak times, but with two other branches in town, customers are sure to find a pavilion that can accommodate them.
Seashells offers a change from the Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine that seem to dominate the city. The Seashells is a fish restaurant that serves fried or grilled shrimp, tuna, hammour (grouper) or a seafood platter at reasonable prices. It also has the unusual peculiarity of being open until midnight. For those in a hurry, it’s a good option for a late dinner, although it’s worth it in the brighter hours, of course. The food is tasty and cheap and if you want to eat like the locals you couldn’t do better.
The Shababeek restaurant means “window” in Lebanese Arabic and offers an insight into the world of luxury and fine dining in the Middle East next to the Al Qasba Canal. Modern Lebanese dishes are a specialty here (albeit with a solid tradition), but there is something for everyone, especially families with Shababeek’s excellent children’s menu. Service can vary a bit here, but that’s part of the food in the UAE, and the food makes up for it. Popular dishes include soujouk, a Lebanese sausage sautéed in garlic, lemon and coriander, lamb kebabs and potato harra, fried potato cubes, tossed in lemon, olive oil and garlic. From October to March, when the weather is a little cooler, guests can also enjoy their meals on outdoor seating.
This Indochinese restaurant is known for its steamed momos, handi dum biryani and kati rolls. It’s a great low-budget option that resonates with both locals and tourists. The interiors are quite simple and do not offer a natural ambience. However, since Katis is more known for its food, it is not surprising that the venue prefers to focus on the kitchen rather than the decor. Kati’s motto, “Excellence is not a skill, but an attitude”, is reflected in the food and service, which are of a high standard even in the relatively small space of the restaurant.
5. Masala Craft
Masala Craft is another entry in Sharjah’s remarkable Pantheon of Indian restaurants, specializing in what they call “Live Takatak Tava Tandoor” and a variety of other types of Indian cuisine. The menu is carefully compiled and offers a wide selection of dishes with a delicious selection of Indian flavors and aromas. Examples include the delicious spicy Mirchi-Pakoda (and a variety of spicy curries in general) and an authentically crispy onion bhaji that is miles away from the balls found in most Indian restaurants around the world. The Masala Craft is also ideal for large parties. It offers plenty of space, outdoor seating and a good cocktail menu to make the evening unforgettable.
6. India Palace
India Palace focuses on the Mughal cuisine and the royal Mughal dynasty that spawned them. Heavily influenced by Persian, Iranian and Afghan cuisine, this food is often associated with a distinctive aroma and spice, and the offer from India Palace is no exception. The food is pre-marinated before serving and cooked in veal ovens or tandoor. Examples of this are Murg-e-Tandoor, grilled spring chicken in a special marinade or Maas-ke-Shole-Charbroiled lamb chunks in a special marinade. The restaurant also aims to restore the “dazzling size” of the Mughal dynasty through hand-carved woodwork, elaborate picture presentations and of course the “secret recipes” that make its dishes so popular.