A few weeks back, we dined at the vibrantly inviting Desi Village. Located in the heart of Garhoud near the Emirates Aviation College, this spacious, beautifully decorated restaurant offers Indian, Arabic and Continental cuisines.
The head chef and most of the staff are from the North Indian state of Lucknow, the capital for Mughlai cuisine and kebabs, and we therefore indulged in a gastronomy of North Indian delicacies.
We started off with refreshing sips of Masala Chaas, a traditional yoghurt-based drink laced with cumin to beat the summer heat.
A smorgasbord of special kebabs was presented to us. Loved the authentic taste of the smoky Kakori Kabab, and then there was the new-age Tangri Kulfi; a creamy sweet morsel of chicken drumstick served in a cocktail glass.
However, my favorite from the night was the ‘melt in the mouth’, traditional Lucknowi Galawati Kebab. The texture was as soft as a cloud, yet the hint of fiery spices was exotically North Indian. Highly recommend a plateful of this!
The vegetarian variants included the Dahi Ka Shola, a clever take on the very popular Delhi yoghurt-based street-food that has been transformed into a crumbed kebab stuffed with creamy, sweet and spicy yoghurt.
The Gunnar Aloo features scrumptious bite-sized pieces of stuffed potatoes, and my favorite from the vegetarian section was the Mushroom Skewers, chargrilled and stuffed with cheese and roasted tomato.
For our mains, we tried the creamy, aromatic Murg Tikka Labradar. This is a more refined version of its ever-popular Butter Chicken cousin. The depth of flavors is so much more refined, and we scooped it all clean with an array of delicious parathas and buttered naan breads.
My husband’s favorite was the Bhuna Gosht, a deep brown mutton curry. The curry owes its deep brown color to well-fried, minced onion and a blend of freshly milled spices. This is a deliciously aromatic, meaty dish that has a high status in traditional Mughlai cuisine, and Desi Village has nailed the flavor to perfection.
And if you are a biryani fan, the Chiken Biryani we tried at Desi Village is one I’d gladly go back specifically for! The long-grained rice was aromatically steamed with the choicest blend of spices, and the generous morsels of chicken were succulently soft and flavorful.
We drowned all this yumminess with special mocktails. My husband tried the Ginger Mojito, a spiked-up version of the refreshingly fizzy lemonade. I had a very pretty Billy’s Berry, a whizzed-up concoction of fresh berries.
And what’s a meal without dessert?! We left the calorie-counting for another day and spooned into the sinfully soft and creamy Delhi-style Shahi Tukda and Malai Kulfi.
After an indulgent dinner like this, who wants to move? We managed to crawl up the stairs to the comfy shisha lounge and blew our stress away with puffs of Lemon Mint smoke.
Desi Village is a hidden gem of Garhoud Dubai. Loved the chilled-out vibes here and the food was absolutely delicious. Will be back soon with a bigger, hungrier crowd!