Calicut is one of the oldest restaurant-cafés in Ras Al Khaimah. It’s maybe 40 years old, my local host, Abdul-Latif told me. Located in Sidroh, one of the original parts of town, Calicut is distinguished by a big yellow Lipton sponsored signboard and a small, very popular veranda on the outside.
Inside it’s a classic, minimalistic South Indian eatery complete with look-in kitchen on one end and hand (and mouth) washbasins on the other.
The veranda was already fully occupied by locals drinking tea and engrossed in lively conversation when we got there at around 08:30 in the morning. Although humid, the ceiling fans kept them cool…and the flies at bay. Abdul-Latif and I found a table by the window inside.
The Calicut menu is very basic. It’s one of the few South Indian restaurants I have been which doesn’t offer dosa, idli or vada for breakfast. We didn’t feel like keema, so Abdul-Latif ordered us a sweet and salty Emirati speciality called Balaleet – sweetened vermicelli noodles topped with a thin egg omelette. This delicious breakfast dish is traditionally served on the Eid holidays along with boiled garbanzo beans and black-eyed peas.
You must try it some time. He also ordered us the most amazing ‘masala’ scrambled eggs and the softest, fluffiest parathas I have had in a while. Oh, and of course piping hot, over-sweet, 1 Dirham Karak Chai.
It’s not fair to comment on the service, Abdul-Latif was obviously very well known and respected. He got a lot of attention. I really enjoyed my experience at Calicut. I couldn’t help think, only 12 hours before I was dining at one of the arty-fartiest Indian restaurants in Dubai. And you know what? I preferred this better – much, much better. Why? Because it was back-to-basics, honest to goodness REAL food. If you’re in the area, give it a try.
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Xerxes physically visits (and dines at) each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat and drink. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews. What you have read was not influenced in any way by the venue. Join me on Instagram @ravenousxerxes or email me on: firstname.lastname@example.org