Heard of the viral Starbucks olive oil coffee? From charcoal hummus to a maggi sandwich, 5 quirky foods to try right here in Dubai

Check out all the bizarre food combinations residents can look forward to right here in the UAE


Anjali Garg

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Published: Thu 23 Feb 2023, 2:22 PM

Last updated: Wed 28 Jun 2023, 3:16 PM

The latest trend to take the food scene by storm has officially landed – and it involves putting a dollop of a common cooking oil into your morning coffee. Starbucks has announced that it will soon be debuting a range of olive-oil infused drinks in 20 stores across Italy, with plans to bring the quirky beverage to the UK later in the year.

The coffeehouse chain's "Oleato" Coffee range includes a latte, cold brew and a "deconstructed" drink that combines espresso with olive oil "infused with a luxurious passionfruit cold foam." At launch, there are three drinks on offer that slip extra virgin olive oil into your morning caffeine fix.

While the drinks are currently only available in Italy, Dubai residents need not be disappointed – the emirate is brimming with its own share of bizarre gastronomic delights.

Here are 5 quirky food combinations that have been creating a buzz right here in the city:

Maggi sandwich

Photo: @opaodxb/Instagram
Photo: @opaodxb/Instagram

Quirky restaurant O'Pao, known for serving sliders with an 'Indian twist', has a particularly unusual item on their menu for residents to try: the 'Maggi sandwich'. The dish is a cheesy burger made with schezwan-style Maggi – a brand of instant noodles that is particularly popular in India – nestled inside a 'pao' (or pav) bun: a soft and fluffy Indian-style bread.

Rabdi paratha

Photo: Instagram/Sthan Dubai
Photo: Instagram/Sthan Dubai

Ever wondered what it would be like to put condensed milk inside a paratha? Restaurant Sthan Dubai offers curious residents a chance to sample the odd gastronomic creation with its 'rabdi paratha'; a combination of a paratha, a type of (often savoury) flatbread native to South Asia, and rabdi – a traditional Indian dessert known for its creamy, rich sweetness. Shtan top their paratha with Lucknowi rabdi, complete with almonds, pistachios, and even sliced green grapes!

Charcoal hummus

Hidden away just off Jumeirah Beach Road is plant-based, gluten-free café Life 'n' One, offering a special twist on a classic Middle Eastern food: the iconic hummus. The vegan eatery's 'black hummus' is a satisfyingly gothic version of the traditional dip, and consists of a mix of chickpeas, garlic, lemon, and sesame tahini, with detoxifying activated charcoal mixed in.

Tapioca croquettes

On offer for adventurous diners at Chaat Bazaar Dubai is another curious creation: cheese croquettes made from tapioca. Also known in India as sabudhana, the edible starch that the croquettes are made from is popularly eaten during the festival of Ekadeshi.

Making croquettes out of sabudhana, however, is not as common, and intrigued residents can venture to the street food-style eatery for a taste of the unconventional snack.

Doughnut burgers

Can't decide between sweet or savoury? Popular burger place Pickl fused the best of both worlds by pairing two of the most indulgent treats there are: a burger and a doughnut.

Their aptly-named 'Donut Burger', inspired by The Simpsons and its doughnut-loving patriarch Homer Simpson, placed an entire double cheeseburger, complete with beef bacon and an in-house sauce, on the inside of an Original Glazed doughnut.

While the thrilling concoction was unfortunately a one-off treat, and only available throughout the month of July, it was simply too cool to not include on our list!


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