Swades is a 100% vegetarian Indian restaurant chain in Dubai with branches in Academic City, Discovery Gardens and this main one in Karama. It’s very much a jack-of-all-trades kind of restaurant which serves Gujrati, Punjabi, South Indian (including breakfast), Chaat, Namkeen and Sweets. Having already tried their South Indian breakfast (at their Academic City branch) I decided to give their Dhs22 unlimited thali a try. And, while waiting for it to be prepared, I couldn’t resist ordering some (surprisingly good) Pani Puri.
The basic thali at Swades is pretty…um, basic especially when compared to thalis from the big boys – Rasoi Ghar, Maharaja Bhog and Rajdhani. In all fairness, it is half the price of the others. Is it half as good? Purely from a hunger satisfaction point of view, yes, of course it is. But bring culinary satisfaction into the equation and it falls some way short of the mark – even at half price. And I’m not saying this because of the lesser variety of dishes offered, Jay’s Café (also in Karama) offers a similarly sized (and priced) thali which runs circles around Swades. So will Kathiyawadi Express, Kathiawar, Pravin Bhai Naashtawala, Rangoli, etc. – get the picture? I’ll be honest, I enjoyed the dosa at their Academic City branch more than I did the thali at this Karama flagship. And that’s all I have to say about that.
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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 email@example.com.