Shabestan – Deira, Dubai

As you are probably aware if you live in Dubai, this place is old school. About as old school as you can get in Dubai these days. It’s been around since the 80s apparently and well, it certainly looks like it. At the prices being charged, it would be nice to see it undergo a facelift – it felt like being in a time warp. I always thought it was a good sign however that it has lasted in the Dubai dining scene all this time, so figured it was worth checking out.

Probably the best part of our experience (apart from the service, that was certainly awesome!) was the complimentary starters – bread, salad, feta and yoghurt. These were lovely.

For appetisers we ordered the Koko Sabzi – oven baked spinach mixed with egg and saffron and the Mirza Ghasemi – puree of baked aubergine, tomato and fried eggs. The aubergine dish was my favourite out of the two, but they were both well liked by the table. Went well with the bread and starter platter.

For mains we chose the Ghormeh Sabzi – tender cuts of lamb in a colourful and aromatic stew, and Fesenjan – Ba – Morgh – chicken in a pomegranate sauce. The pomegranate sauce was extremely sour and I could only manage a few spoonfuls before it became too much. There was also only two very small chicken legs in the curry and nothing else to speak of, a bit disappointing for the price. The lamb had an equal absence of meat and vegetables – mostly sauce and beans. i wouldn’t call it ‘colourful’, unless by ‘colourful’ you mean a murky greeny-brown. This one was pretty sour too, and again most of the reasonably small portion was left behind. The rice that accompanied was nice enough.

Complimentary petit fours were delivered after the mains which was another nice touch, delivered on a beautiful antique platter.

In conclusion, the restaurant does seem to be trying hard to make your experience a good one – the complimentary breads and salad and petit fours are a really great surprise! The mains let the experience down for us, but maybe those who eat these dishes regularly will enjoy them. Shabestan is certainly a trip back in time to old Dubai.

Shabestan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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