Dubai boasts of a large number of expat population, especially from the Asian regions like India. Those who make up most of the Indian population in Dubai would be South Indians, especially from Kerala. The people from Kerala, or Malayalis as they are popularly known, observe a religious and cultural festival known as Onam.
Onam is one of the main festivals in Kerala and each thought of Onam brings nostalgic memories flooding into the mind of each Keralite. Schools stay closed for 10 days, offices for 4 days and everyone, irrespective of age or gender, engage in a variety of fun events. Onam celebration starts with a Pookalam (flower arrangement) and the main event is an Onam Sadhya (Onam Feast) on Thiruvonam day.
The Onam Sadhya is a sumptuous traditional vegetarian meal that contains almost 2 dozen dishes, including chips, payasam (desserts) and so on. So, if you are residing in Dubai and wish to have an Onam Sadhya, here are the 10 best places where you can enjoy an Onam Sadhya on the day of Onam:
1. Calicut Paragon
A journey that started in 1939, with the intention of providing people with good quality food, the Paragon is one of the most famous South Indian restaurants in Dubai. The restaurant offers a wide variety of Kerala and South Indian dishes that excel in taste and quality.
Location: Shop 5, Ground Floor, Al Sharooq Building, Opposite Karama Park, Al Karama, Dubai
If you wish to taste authentic dishes made with fresh and quality ingredients, the Aaraamam restaurant is the place for you. You can find a variety of dishes from Kerala and Indian cuisine at this restaurant.
Location: Ground Floor, Belhasa Building, Street 9 A, Al Karama, Dubai
3. Tamarind Terrace
The Tamarind Terrace is the best restaurant in Dubai when it comes to experiencing the authentic taste of Kerala in each dish. The unique structure and interior details, combined with a lovely ambience of the restaurant, make it a memory of a lifetime.
Location: Shop 6, Ground Floor, Wasl Opal, Street 26, Al Karama, Dubai
4. MotaFish Restaurant
Set up for seafood lovers, the MotaFish restaurant is one of the most popular restaurants in Dubai. This restaurant has a great menu of authentic and delicious dishes from Kerala and South Indian cuisines. This has made the restaurant a favourite of the expats.
Location: Ground Floor, Barsha Horizon Building, Behind Ramada Chelsea Hotel, Al Barsha, Dubai
5. Salkara Restaurant
Salkaram is a Malayalam word that means feast. The Salkara Restaurant in Dubai functions with the intention of providing the people with original and tasty Kerala dishes that provide the expats with home food experience. No wonder why people are flocking to this restaurant.
Location: Food Court, Beside Lulu Hypermarket, Qusais, Dubai
6. Penuel Restaurant
Good food is what everyone desires and good food is what Penuel Restaurant provides each people with. Cooked in the traditional way, with ingredients at its exact amount, the delicious Kerala dishes at this restaurant is something every expat should experience.
Location: Shop 1, Building P-06, France Cluster, International City, Dubai
7. Malabar Express
Care to have some awesome food in a train? Well, not exactly a train, the Malabar Express is a train-themed restaurant that serves hot and delicious food. The restaurant boasts of an impressive menu of Kerala and South Indian cuisines that makes it a must-visit restaurant in Dubai, for expats.
Location: Ground Floor, Hitoof Building, Opposite Dubai Central Laboratory Department, Zabeel Street, Al Karama, Dubai
8. Lallumma’s Kitchen
Lallumma’s Kitchen is one of the most popular restaurants in Dubai that offers authentic dishes from the northern part of Kerala at an affordable rate. Each of the dish is made the traditional way with the recipes and method passed down from the mother to the children.
Location: Grand Service Station Building, Baghdad Street, Qusais, Dubai
9. It’s Malabar
The simple thought of traditional Kerala dishes is just enough for mouths to start watering. If you wish to experience the best of Kerala cuisine in Dubai then you ought to visit It’s Malabar Restaurant. The restaurant has a wonderful and lively ambience that makes dining there a much enjoyable experience.
Location: Ground Floor, Metro Building, Beside Emirates Stars Hotel Apartment, Al Nahda, Dubai
10. Calicut Notebook
The Calicut Notebook restaurant has a great menu of unique recipes and contemporary Kerala dishes. The quality of the dishes and its authentic taste has made the restaurant much popular with the expats in the city.
Location: Level 1, Lulu Hypermarket, Al Barsha, Dubai
These are the top restaurants in Dubai where you can enjoy an Onam Sadhya. Well, another great news awaits all the expats who are planning to go to Kerala till September 13. If you are wondering what this is all about, it is that Emirates flight will be serving Onam Sadhya to those who fly to or from Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. This special offer is applicable across all cabin classes, making it a wonderful experience for the Keralites.
The delicious menu prepared by the Emirates chef and catering team for the special Onam Sadhya include the traditional appetisers such as Kaya Varuthathu (Banana Chips), Sharkkara Upperi (chopped banana roasted in jaggery), Kondatta Mulaku (deep-fried sundried dwarf chillies steeped in yoghurt. Other traditional dishes include Puli Inji, Kaalan, Cucumber Pachadi and so on. The passengers of First Class and Business Class will get Pappadam and Mango Pickle additional to the rest.
The passengers of Economy Class can choose between Alleppey Chicken Curry or Sambar and Koottu. First Class passengers have an additional option in the form of Mutton Pepper Fry. The Onam Sadhya also includes a delicious Pallada Payasam (Dessert), which tastes even better high up in the sky. The sadhya will be served the traditional way in a banana leaf. The airline also has a great collection of Malayalam films available in the inflight entertainment system. This makes each Malayali passenger feel right at home, despite being thousands of feet up in the sky.
This is all there is to know about the best places to enjoy an Onam Sadhya and the Onam related events in Dubai.