Sufraa Bani Yas is an Iranian Afghan restaurant I recently came upon on my way back from Jelfar Café – both on (different sides of) Al Sabkha Road in Naif. The restaurant has a modest yet respectably decorated interior as well as a small shaded outdoor area which, unless you are desperate to sit outside, is best avoided due to the noise of traffic and the buzz of what must be the most persistent flies in the world. My guest and I took a window table inside.
Wanting to sample a cross-section of their kababs, I ordered a mixed grill which comprised of Koobideh, Tikka Masti Chicken, Tikka Masti Meat and boneless Jujeh Kabab. Rather than the typical buttered Iranian rice I ordered Kabuli Pulao or Qabeli Polo (in Persian Dari). These guys are relative newcomers to the Iranian/Afghan culinary scene, yet their kababs are among the best I have had throughout Dubai. And OMG! I hadn’t realised how perfectly matched Iranian kababs are to Kabuli pulao.
There is a fine line between eating and gorging which, judging by the shocked look on our waiter’s face, I think my guest and I may have crossed. He brought hot Afghani flatbread to our table thinking, in his own innocent way, that our frenzied eating was because we were really hungry. We sent him back to the kitchen with an order for more kabab and more pulao. This time we ordered Tabrizi Kabab along with more tikka masti. The Tabrizi kabab at Sufraa looks like a giant koobideh freckled with chopped herbs. It has a chunkier bite to it than koobideh too. It’s an excellent alternative (or companion) to koobideh, that’s for sure. But listen, do not leave this place without trying their tikka masti – it’s insanely good.
Service at Sufraa was surprisingly good, not least because we were looked after by a young Afghan by the name of Abdul-Ghadir. He didn’t call us uncle but, believe me, he treated us with the attention, kindness and respect one reserves for an uncle (a big deal in this part of the world).
Manage your expectations and this restaurant will reward you with an amazing culinary experience. Sufraa Bani Yas came from nowhere to surprise me with a meal which I still think about today, weeks later. It is one of the first restaurants I plan on revisiting this new year and, although I have only been there once, I have no qualms in highly recommending.
#1 Food Blogger on Zomato Dubai – 2018, 2019 and 2020
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. Join his culinary journey on Instagram: @ravenousxerxes or reach out to him via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.