Ravi’s is something of a Dubai culinary landmark where affordable Pakistani food is concerned. But, although it has now mushroomed into several branches, and spawned many pretenders, wannabes and imitations, it will always be the original in Satwa which I will consider THE Ravi’s, the ashram. And with good reason; the others, this Karama branch included, simply aren’t in the same league.
The Karama restaurant is quite presentable. There are two sections, the one on the left (if facing the restaurant) is supposedly “for families” and is the better of the two; the section on the right is for the rest of us, the great unwashed.
My food buddies and I had not been to Ravi’s in a while, so we ordered many of our favourites – Keema Nan, Chicken Tikka, Butter Chicken, Mutton Handi, Nihari, Daal Fry and a veg Biryani. In our haste we also forgot many…thankfully. But here’s the thing, except for the Mutton Handi which I was having for the first time, I found everything else disappointing and underwhelming. Nothing had kick. Not just that, there are in fact two specific things I have singled out as ‘best avoided’, namely the Butter Chicken and Keema Nan – both possibly the worst I have ever had anywhere.
It pains me to write this about a franchise I have been visiting since moving to Dubai in the early ‘90’s. So I am going back to make double sure; perhaps my taste buds were off the day we visited. And then I’m going back to Satwa, back to the ashram.