Calicut Paragon is one of the best restaurants for Malabari coastal cuisine in the UAE. This al Nahda branch is the second of two in Dubai, the famous first (and original) is in Karama. The interior is simple, nothing fancy – this franchise is all about food and service, both of which are equally good.
I have only once tried their starters, preferring to spare whatever capacity I have for their amazing mains. But if you must have a starter, try their Pandan leaf wrapped Chicken (called Pandanas) and/or the Coconut Grilled Prawns – they’re to die for. I always order a fried fish and either a shrimp or crab curry. Calicut has a number of curry sauces to choose from. Friendly staff members are on hand to guide you through their menu. On this occasion, I ordered both Hamour and Red Snapper, one tawa fried and other in a sauce. The crab I ordered came in a fiery mango-coconut sauce which was like a little bit of heaven served-up in a bowl. My two friends and I rolled up our sleeves and went to town. Another Calicut favourite of mine is their buttermilk or chass – OMG. I think we went through five or six glasses…each.
Service is a Calicut strong point. You are greeted and sent off with a warm, friendly South Indian smile. If you are new to Malabari cuisine, fret not, there are tablet welding, English speaking staff to guide you through their menu. Calicut Paragon remains the benchmark for Indian coastal cuisine and is well worth a detour.
Waste NOT. Want NOT.