When Coconut Grove closed its doors few years ago, we had to find a new restaurant in Dubai, and upon friends’ recommendation we found Special Ostadi. Ever since then, every time we visit Dubai, this is where we eat at least once. Simple but delicious southern Iranian food.
Special Ostadi, established in 1978, is older than most of Dubai you see today. Owned by the same family since the beginning, it has a very different feel to it compared to many other restaurants Dubai offers. First of all, there is no alcohol. Second, local Emiratis represent the large majority of the customers (hence Ferraris and Lambourginis parked in front of the restaurant). Third, the atmosphere is cosy and “bling bling” is an unknown concept. People come here to eat seriously good, home-made food and chat. Everything is rather simple, but just like it would be if you had your own Iranian grandmother. As soon as we sat down, tarragon-infused yogurt, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and mint were brought to the table. The yogurt was so tasty that I finished it in few minutes. The waiter brought me more and I was never charged for it.A few minutes later the Arabic bread came with a mix meat plate: chicken, mutton and minced mutton marinated in saffron, yogurt and lemon. A bowl of rice with dried red Barberries (also called Zereshk) arrived, too. In the end of the meal there was nothing left on our plates (ok, maybe a little bit of rice). We ordered two mint teas, stood up, paid at Mohammed Al Ansari, the owner, who always sits by the entrance, and left.It was a lovely, very affordable meal, and we will certainly return to Special Ostadi whenever we travel by Dubai. If you are looking for a unpretentious restaurant that serves mainly meat of excellent quality, then this is your place!
SPECIAL OSTADI: Near Musalla Tower, Al Musalla Road, Khalid Bin Al Waleed, Dubai. Tel. 04-3971469, 04-3972111, 04-3971933.
PS The dinner cost us 90 AED (18€). Excellent quality-price ratio!