Kabab Al Fareej is a recently opened authentic South Iranian ‘Khodemooni’ Kabab House in Jumeirah 1. Part of the famous Al Fareej restaurant group, it follows their tradition of being located within the grounds of a mosque. Like the original in Qusais, which dates back to 1987, this new branch only has an outdoor seating area. While it may be enjoyable to sit out and eat in this winter weather, come burst into flames season in a couple of months, I think it won’t be as much fun. That said, I am told the entire outdoor dining area will be shaded and air-conditioned by then. Let’s hope so otherwise this restaurant will only be good for take-aways or late-night dining. As things stand, the outdoor area comprises of a number of sturdy wooden tables and benches, the tabletops of which are decorated in beautiful multi-coloured Iranian tiles, the only give-away of its origins. It also has an amazing view of Burj Khalifa.
Al Fareej has always impressed me with its diverse range of kababs, especially its Tikké Maasti. Tikké, which means ‘small piece’ in Persian, is a reference to the bite sized pieces of either chicken or lamb which are marinated in hung yoghurt (maast means yoghurt in Persian) before being skewered and finally char-grilled on hot coals. Tikké is often written Tikka but shouldn’t be confused with the similarly named Indian Tikka, i.e. Chicken Tikka, which is a totally different thing.
The other kabab the boys at Al Fareej do exceptionally well is their Bahraini or Kabab Limooi (lime kabab). Here, the yoghurt is replaced with powdered dried lime (Limoo Amani or Omani) and black pepper as a marinate. Both kababs are tart and tangy and incredibly delicious.
If you order a mixed grill (recommended), in addition to the above two, you also get a skewer or two (depending on how big a mixed grill you order) of Jujeh and Koobideh – both are better than most. The one to avoid, however, is the Chicken Koobideh which is unusually bland. See if they will replace it with any one of the other kababs. Al Fareej is one of the only kabab houses which also serves saffron marinated prawn and fish kababs – both are exceptionally good, especially the prawn. If you like seafood both are highly recommended. There are a number of other dishes available, but I would stick to the kababs mentioned in this review. Believe me, they are all among the best available in Dubai.
I am very excited that Al Fareej has finally opened a branch on this side of town as it really is one of the most unique and undoubtably one of the best places to enjoy authentic South Iranian kababs. As the outdoor area is not yet shaded, unless you don’t mind sitting in the sun, I would visit in the late afternoon / early evening (an hour before or just after the Maghrib prayer at around 18:00). If you like kababs, you will love Al Fareej. Worth a detour.
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Xerxes (pronounced Zûrk’seez) 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.