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Panda’s Pick of Asian Food in Dubai

January 20, 2020 7 Comments

Finding a good place to eat in Dubai is a struggle mostly because of the vast variety of options on offer and the fact that a google search will bring up 20 posts with recommendations which have all been sponsored for the writers. 

Buying advertising is a huge part of how restaurants ensure that their establishment gets featured on all those ‘Top ten places to eat…” lists that are so popular. If you live in the U.A.E., you know the websites I am talking about; I won’t name and shame. Often I would go to eat Asian food in Dubai and wonder how would such a place even get recommended and then my partner- who works in the food and beverage industry- enlightened me.

This inspired me to create my own list of what  I call the ‘hidden gem’ restaurants serving Asian food in Dubai; none of them are paying for advertising in the above alluded to websites and truly they don’t need to- their food speaks for itself. 

This list- and all forthcoming lists and recommendations were all paid for out of pocket and there were no invitations or sponsored meals. For more of my foodie recommendations in the UAE, I suggest you follow me on Instagram.

Note: Most of my recommendations are in the Southern part of Dubai- the JVC/JLT areas. This is purely based on the proximity to where I live. The average price is based on 2 main courses and 2 non alcoholic drinks.


A cozy family owned place in JLT that serves up an authentic Korean style dining experience. If you close your eyes, the scents of kimchi and sounds of the staff speaking Korean will make you think you’re in a 한식점 (Hanshik jum) in South Korea. As someone who lived in South Korea for 2 years, I struggle to find Korean food that isn’t diluted to cater to western tastes or part of a ‘fusion cusine’. This place is the real deal though and if you’re looking for reasonably priced authentic Korean food, this is the best place in the UAE only to be rivalled an unrelated Abu Dhabi counterpart called Hankook.

Panda recommends you order: The jjampong

Polar recommends you order: The bibimbap (with beef)

Cost: 160AED for 2 people

Panda’s Rating out of 5:


Marketing themselves as a Japanese style noodle bar, I can’t speak for the authenticity of the food as I have never been to Japan. However, the décor is cute, the service is friendly and the Asian food (of many different cuisines) is absolutely delectable. My partner and I are besotted with their Udon noodles and Thai iced tea latte. The outside area with the fairy lights & gorgeous lanterns is perfect for the cooler months especially if you have pets! 

Panda recommends you order: The laksa soup

Polar recommends you order: The udon noodles with Shanghai sauce

Cost: 150AED for 2 people

Panda’s Rating out of 5:

Sticky Rice

From the time this Emirati-Thai family opened their doors, I’ve been a huge fan of their authentic Thai cuisine. If you’re looking for Thai food specifically and not any other Asian food in Dubai, then this is your place. Everything tastes pretty much as it does in Thailand and I have tried almost all of their menu. Their Tom Yum is definitely my favourite in Dubai as well as their Kanom Cheep (dumplings) & pad see ew (flat noodles). However, while I love Sticky Rice, you can’t just show up- you need to book a table in advance since they are so popular nowadays and their restaurant is tiny. They also don’t deliver anymore which means going there takes some planning and forethought. Its worth it though! 

Panda recommends you order: The Tom Yum soup

Polar recommends you order: The Pad Thai

Cost: 150AED for 2 people

Panda’s Rating out of 5:


An unobtrusive little restaurant at the bottom of an apartment building in the depths of Jumeirah Village Circle has been a place I keep returning to due a small menu which they do oh so well! From the Granny Smith margarita to the Burmese Khao Suey I haven’t eaten anything there’s that wasn’t made exceptionally well. Its good value for money as well, with their main courses being buy one get one free if you have the Entertainer app. A serious hidden gem and the interiors are pretty good as well! 

Panda recommends you order: Seafood Burmese Khao Suey

Polar recommends you order: Grant Smith Apple Martini

Cost: 150AED for 2 people

Panda’s Rating out of 5:

Vietnamese Foodies

I first tried food from Vietnamese Foodies when I ordered through their app and got a sizeable discount on my delivered order. I tasted the food, fell in love and decided to head to the restaurant itself to see what this place is all about. It didn’t disappoint with the refreshing spring rolls and pho!

Panda recommends you order: The Chicken Pho

Pug recommends you order: Com Ga Kep Sa

Cost: 150AED for 2 people

Panda’s Rating out of 5:

If you haven’t really explored all the Asian delicacies out there, then it’s time that you get stuck in. With an abundance of dishes, cuisines and flavours to choose from, you will be spoilt for choice. Hopefully this list inspires you to hit up your one of the many Asian restaurants in Dubai!

I love to play with photograph my food so find my foodie snaps over on Instagram under the UAE highlight.

If you are looking for more recommendations for food in Dubai please click here. Nothing is ever sponsored.

Do you enjoy Asian food? Or is it something you are keen to try? Let me know in the comments below! 


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  • josypheen January 20, 2020 at 8:49 pm

    Nom nom nom these all sound fab! I don’t think the Wokyo places sounds particularly authentic (judging my the flavour combinations and looking at your photo.) BUT who cares when it’s that tasty! 😉

    I love your little panda stars!

    • expatpanda January 21, 2020 at 11:41 am

      Haha I think Wokyo tried this noodle bar concept but then realised they had to cater to the flavours of all kinds of people. It’s definitely not authentic but it’s sooo good! Panda ratings are important for good food, lovely atmosphere & a generally pleasant experience 😁

      • josypheen January 21, 2020 at 8:03 pm

        We have a place like that in the UK called Wagamama. It’s not authentic, but I am still happy to munch their noodles. 😀

        • expatpanda January 22, 2020 at 1:40 pm

          I have seen Wagamama branches in quite a few countries. Guess I need to check them out!

  • the_wanderlusting_hijabi January 21, 2020 at 11:39 am

    I would also recommend 3fils. It is modern Asian cuisine and the food is just delicious 👌🏽😋

    • expatpanda January 21, 2020 at 11:41 am

      Sadly I never made it here! Will have to try it when I return 😌

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