Established in 1964, Hatam Al Ta’ai could possibly be the oldest Iranian restaurant in Dubai. Located next door to Shiraz Nights, itself a golden oldie of Dubai’s Iranian culinary scene, both eateries can be found opposite the Kuwaiti Supermarket behind Baniyas Square. Although Hatam Al Ta’ai has not been Iranian owned for many years now, nor have any of their chefs been anywhere close to Iran, I was told the current (Singaporean) owner maintains very high standards of quality and authenticity. I also heard they serve an amazing breakfast. So, I went to find out.
Hatam Al Ta’ai has a dedicated breakfast menu which includes everything from Fried Eggs to Kaleh Pacheh, which literally means “head and (lamb) trotters”, otherwise known as Khash, Pacha, Paya, etc. It was going to be very hard remaining calm in this place. After much deliberation, my Emirati friend and I ordered La-ham Nashif, an Emirati dish made with meat fried with spices, (of course) Kaleh Pacheh, which is served with a piping hot bowl of rich lamb’s broth on the side, Āsh, a thick herb and pulses based soup/stew (similar in consistency to a French potage), which is found in Afghan, Iranian, Azerbaijani, Caucasian, and Turkish cuisine, and finally some delightfully mushy Ful Medames – our eyes obviously bigger than our stomachs. With all this, we were also served a customary portion of fresh greens and fresh Taftoon style flatbread.
Delicious, everything was absolutely delicious, and we ended up eating far more than we bargained for (of course we parcelled whatever was leftover). Whilst I liked the La-ham Nashif and Kaleh Pacheh most, I was most impressed with the Āsh; for a non-Iranian chef to so successfully capture the taste of Āsh is commendable. In fact, I consider this one of the best Iranian breakfasts I have had in Dubai, better even than Yashar Palace. The only thing missing was Haleem.
Service at Hatam Al Ta’ai is friendly and accommodating. Although I must return to try their Kabab and Khoresh, I believe this restaurant (for breakfast) is definitely worth a visit, a detour even.
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Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue.
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