*By definition, this post is a sponsored one as I was invited to Nayaab Haandi for this meal and I did not pay for it, but the views and opinions reflected within are purely my own.
Pakistani is one of my absolute favorite cuisines in the world, second only to Thai, and my quest for good Pakistani food landed me at Nayaab Haandi this week. The comforting, velvety curries that treat your palate to a harmonious opera of fragrant spices cooked down in creamy curd and tart tomatoes, and enveloped within the pillow-soft naan you use to wipe your plate clean are just what ever soul needs to remind them of all that’s good in life. The aroma of roasted coriander seeds, cumin and cinnamon are both hypnotically calming and tantalizingly exciting.
Nayaab Haandi have been around for over 10 years, and have recently opened their fourth branch in the UAE, and first in Dubai. Located on Al Wasl Rd, next to Al Ghazal Mall and close to Iranian Hospital, Nayaab Haandi is easy to find in all its grandeur. Their consistent growth comes as no surprise though, because consistency in cooking standards and the food they serve is something they strive to insure every single day.
I’ve tried a handful of Pakistani restaurants in Dubai, and they all seem to be lacking one thing or the other. While one of them might be serving up the juiciest, spiciest kababs, they’ll completely fail you when it comes to the curries; another might have the crispiest-on-the-outside-softest-on-the-inside buttery naans, but serve dry and overcooked grills. I was therefore extremely surprised when I went to Nayaab Haandi and found that (a) The ambience was much better than I expected it to be and (b) 9 out of 10 things were not just good but extremely delicious. It hasn’t even been a day yet and already I’m counting down to when I can visit next.
The first and most important piece of information to know is that these guys only serve up a buffet; there is no ala carte so take your appetite with you when and if you go to Nayaab Haandi. Secondly, the prices are so unbelievably reasonable that I don’t think anyone would complain about there not being an ala carte option. when you’re paying for a buffet of fresh, hot and delicious Pakistani food what you would normally pay for an ala carte item at a casual dining restaurant, you’ve got to have fallen on your head to have any complaints about the menu.
The buffet comprises of an array of starters ranging from soups, through dips and even exciting treats like gol gappas; a plethora of salads; spread of main courses; sizable vegetarian options; and even some seafood; Chineese; and ample amount of desserts.
I was absolutely blown away by the custom made platter of grills brought to our table, on still-smoking coal. The multi-sensory experience is not only exciting, but ensures that only the freshest and warmest grills make it to your plate and you don’t have to waste your appetite on any cold, crusty, dry pieces of meat. My favorite was the spicy Bihari Kabab, and the Fish tikka. M loved the mutton chops, and seekh kababs. The only thing lacking was the char on the vegetable skewers.
Another highlight of the afternoon was the Chicken Haandi. Ladies and gentlemen, this was hands down one of the best chicken haandies I’ve ever had, and I have had a lot of chicken haandies in my life. It was rich, fragrant, aromatic, beautifully spices, velvety, but not overwhelming nor over oily. This was basically Haandi perfection.
The menu truly has something for everyone, and I loved how there were many spicy options. Everything tasted as if it came right out of a Pakistani kitchen in Pakistan.
This was one of the best meals I’ve had in a while, and I truly can’t wait to go back. I highly recommend this to everyone who wants a delicious, filling meal at a bargain.
Prices: Sat – Wed: Lunch AED 48; Dinner AED 63
Thurs-Fri: Dinner AED 72
Location: Al Wasl Rd, next to Al Ghazal Mall and close to Iranian Hospital
Must Try: The Grills, Chicken Haandi, Biryani, Iranian Keema, Afghani Pulao.