Valentine Dinner In A Simple Yet Nice Restaurant In Dubai

The Restaurant

After my wife gave birth to our lovely baby girl days back, the feelings of excitement and joy for me and my wife including our 3-year old Kuya Yuri, are still there until now. But since both my wife and I are still on leave, sleeping late at night and waking up late in the morning, some of the not-the-usual routines we are having, are also part of it.

Days have passed as if nothing happened that we haven’t even made any plans for  Valentine’s Day. We kind of forgot this day. Haha! But truth is, how can we forget such occasion when Valentine memes are all over the net?

Long time back, I learned something from this famous American Chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain, which was part of his No Reservations documentaries on YouTube, about a simple yet nice restaurant in Dubai called Bu Qtair Restaurant.

I opened the idea to my wife of having our valentine dinner at this “talk of the town” restaurant somewhere in Umm Suqueim, the same place where Burj Al Arab is.  If this is the first time you’ve heard about this Bu Qtair Restaurant, please don’t think of any luxurious and fancy setting here. As the title suggests, this sea food restaurant is one of the simplest ones here in Dubai. But personally, I like it very much. Why? This is the place to eat without any pretensions. 🙂

Bu Qtair Facade

Bu Qtair Restaurant facade.

 The Location

There’s a lot of directions if you google it, but you need no GPS to find it even if it’s kinda located secretly somewhere in Jumeirah Road, Umm Suqueim (especially for the newbies in Dubai).

If you travel from Bur Dubai, you just have to drive Jumeirah Road straight until you reach Umm Suqueim Public Library which is on your right, after it is a mosque, take right after the mosque, go straight till the end of the road and take left. From there, you’ll see old and new dhows (Arabic for traditional sailing boats) that surround the restaurant.

The Food

The middle eastern winter breeze’s still there when we arrived, t’was past 8:00 in the evening, the plastic tables and chairs were all occupied. We saw different nationalities busy eating and enjoying their ordered sea food. Inside the small shack, I joined the queue while smelling the good Indian spices from the kitchen. Minutes later, before reaching the counter to take my order, I have noticed that more and more people came and joined the queue. A confirmation that the place is indeed, a talk of the town.


This was after I took my order. The queue extends outside the shack. The people kept on coming even until we’ve finished our food.

marinated fishes

A pile of marinated fish for you to choose.

Spicy shrimpo

A large cooking pot full with spicy mixed and skinned shrimp.

I saw sherry fish and other fish varieties but I ordered 1 not-so-big hammour fish (lapu-lapu in Tagalog) and half a kilo of skinned shrimp. No menus displayed to look at, just point and pay kind of thing. 🙂 The marinated fishes displayed are the catch of the day by the fishermen in a nearby fish port.

30 minutes after, I was called by my name and we were assigned to a table in their sandy open ground, fortunately nearer to the shack that gave us little lighting for our food to munch. 🙂 With 3 chapatis, one serving of rice, one bowl of Indian curry, a small salad with sliced lemon, the deep fried spicy shrimp and hammour were awesome. But what we liked very much is the crunchy fried hammour with a slight taste of Indian’s famous spices and the tender hot and sweet-fresh fish meat. The fresh meaty shrimp was also good but it was only I who managed to finish it because it was a bit more spicy than the hammour.

Hammour and shrimps

Ready to be munched.

kuya and tatay

Kuya Yuri had his first bite in this pic.

We had our Valentine dinner quite fast but filled our hungry tummies well. If not for the cold weather, if not for the many people waiting for the limited table and seats, and if not for our 1-week old daughter crying and complaining from her stroller waiting for a warm embrace which made us feel guilty, we could have stayed a little longer and spent more time to further our Valentine celebration.

bu qtair

Our kuya’s perfect aim and blurry effect snap. :)

The Verdict

For a total of Dhs 150/- for two, I think it was good. Though it was a bit pricey for a simple menu, I’d still go there again and even my wife, soon. Might ask if I’d recommend this to friends? Yes, but only to my select of friends who are into exploring different kinds of food in simple yet nice restaurants.

They say Dubai is a very small city, I beg to disagree, because it took me more than five years to discover this place. LOL! If it were not for a non-resident Bourdain, I wouldn’t have known this Bu Qtair Restaurant and I wouldn’t be among those who are talking about this place “in town”, now. 🙂

This is not a sponsored review and this is of author’s own opinion.




A Filipino expat in Dubai, an online ad specialist, a social media influencer, a photographer wannabe, a music lover, a loving husband and a loving father, a movie freak, a gadget geek, a foodie etcetera

1 Response

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