Biking in Dubai? Why not! This is a sport that I haven't done for awhile now and with the weather getting nicer everyday, it's the perfect season to make the most out of it before it gets hot again, ha!
Why Bike in Dubai?
Blends Juice Bar
We had our first stop at Blends Juice Bar, it's a small juice stand in Umm Suqueim near Umm Suqueim park. Inside this shop are fresh fruits and I will say that their juices are indeed fresh.
To get a feel and taste of local flavours, Mary ordered for us the Arabian Classic which is listed on their Dairy Smoothies. This one has dates, almond, honey, milk, and yoghurt in it. I'm not a fan of dates but this blend is amazing, I really liked it. We were quite surprised when the vendors said that the smoothies is free from spices as well because it has this strange taste of spice in it. Not sure if you'd like to read a few reviews on Zomato but some people think that their juices are quite expensive. Then again, if you are paying for quality, why not?
Dubai Local Community
We also passed by a mosque, probably one of the most beautiful mosques along Jumeirah Road nearest to Kite Beach. Most mosques, according to Mary, has a moazin house nearby. A moazin, as how I understand it, is the lead person who sings the prayer during praying hours thats why it's important that they live near the mosque.
We found Salt!
Of course, our 2nd destination is no other than the very famous and the first food truck that started it all: Find Salt! If you've been following the story about this burger place, they have been very famous on social media specifically Instagram. Why? Because all their burgers are Instagram friendly, just look at this long line at 4pm!
One thing that Mary shared is that the geniuses behind this food truck are 2 Emirati women. I found an article about it here. Even the royal family are regulars of this food truck, that's why it's really famous. I'm actually wondering if they are the same people behind another mysterious ByParkers, what do you think?
So anyway, we had the Original Wagyu Beef sliders. I'm also a regular here and I always get myself Hook Sliders because I looooove jalapeños too much! This is a bit spicy though but if you want lots of cheese on your burgers, I suggest to get the Chicken Cheetos.
Another good thing is they have already converted the food truck into a diner. They now have an air-conditioned area for those who cannot stand the heat. Before, they only have these small benches and now they have extended it and more seats are available for the sun-worshippers. Hurray!
As you may have noticed, we weren't biking on this side of Kite beach. It is actually prohibited to bike on running tracks here in Dubai. So to follow rules and the law, we simply dragged our bikes and rode it once again when we have reached the far end which has the bike lane.
Fish Market of Umm Suqueim
I've been seeing some boats near Kite beach and little did I know that this area is actually a port and there's a fish market where you can buy fresh and surprisingly cheap fish. Mary said that fishermen sail at midnight and arrive at 6:30am with lots of catch. What surprised me even more is this view:
It's like seeing two sides of Dubai, the old and new Dubai. It's beautiful, really. The skyline of the fish port looks perfect with a background of Burj Khalifa and other tall buildings of Downtown area.
Seaview RestaurantThe 3rd stop is one of the restaurants in this fish port, it's called Seaview Restaurant.
We went inside the restaurant and I didn't say a word - they have a certificate of excellence award from TripAdvisor! Lots of food bloggers have been here and all their reviews states the same: it's one of the best seafood restaurants in town, and I couldn't agree more!
The outside sitting area is absolutely perfect for winter, you can smell the sea breeze and will literally love the local feel -it's really charming. If you have a look at their menu, you'll be surprised to find the price average BUT you're sure to get the freshest of the seafood in Dubai. They have their own fishermen of course!
I first met the Jash fish on their Catch Of The Day table, it went right inside my tummy because this is what Mary ordered for us (Tandoor Jash with Mint Sauce). And believe me, it tastes absolutely fantastic. It was perfectly grilled and paired with the right kind of mint sauce. I believe we were also served a Fluffy Sesame Bread which was baked in a clay oven, it goes perfectly with the fish. By this time, I was almost full but managed to save space for the remaining stops in the bike food tour.
We also happen to pass by this fish harbour market, slightly hidden from Jumeirah Road. The nearest landmark should be the side of Burj Al Arab near KFC and Hardees. There is a small street here and you need to turn right until you find the boats.
Our 4th stop can easily be spotted along Jumeirah Road, this is called Turath Al Mandi. When we came inside this restaurant, I was a bit intimidated because they have an area for decent dining (with tables, glasswares and plates etc). But like any other restaurant that serves mandi, they also have a common room where you get to sit on the floor, relax, and dine with your friends. Oh, and locals do this too especially the gents.
I haven't eaten mandi for awhile and the one I have tried is located in Deira (sorry, I forgot what it is called) so the dish is quite new to me again. What Mary ordered for us is the traditional mandi with lamb and chicken. I don't eat lamb that much but this one was cooked well - the meat easily comes off from the bones and the chicken is really good too. I loved it with the spicy sauce that almost tasted and looked like salsa dip. Eating by hand is something that I have learned from my country so this was a bit easy peasy for me. And yes, I enjoy eating this way.
Local Bites Cafe
We cut the trip a bit to follow our 7:30pm sched and our last stop is at Local Bites Cafe , one of those prominent cafes along the streets of Jumeirah that serve local favourites: lugaimat and the bread roll with crushed Oman Chips and cream cheese. I have been introduced to Oman chips, they said that this is a local favourite especially those who grew up in the late 80's and early 90's. One word for Oman chips: BETTER than Lays.
If we weren't pressed for time, we might have completed all stops but from Seaview Restaurant alone, we were already full. It was really a fun tour - tummies filled with food, burned a few calories as well through biking, and getting to know the local community even better.
There are very few tourists and backpackers visiting Dubai who do this kind of activity and if you are one of them, this is something that I highly recommend. Mary and Lara were born and raised in Dubai - they know the neighbourhood well so if you are hanging out with these two, you are sure to be in safe hands.
|The Gang: Me, Sally of MyCustardPie, Lara and Mary, Pauline Joie, and Kenneth. Photo by Charles.|
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3:00-7:00 PM Daily
Streets and neighbourhoods of old Jumeirah
A full equipped bicycle, Arabic food, 8 dishes consisting of 3 meat dishes, 1 fish dish, juice, 3 vegetarian dishes, and 1 dessert. Also a taste guide who will enlighten you on the culture and history of the dishes. More information can be found here or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.