Street food is growing rapidly across the emirate. You can find food trucks in every neighbourhood dishing out artisan meals adapted for on-the-go consumption.
From tacos to shawarmas and burgers with fries, every type of cuisine is on offer. And while I love variety, I was a bit sceptical about eating seafood from a food stall. But the setup at Urban Seafood is too appealing to pass up.
Situated on the vibrant Al Bahar beachfront strip, Urban Seafood is conveniently located
near valet parking and the pedestrian underpass to a huge parking lot on the other side.
The quaint food stall has a covered patio with limited seating but if you are lucky enough to get a table, you can enjoy views of Nation Towers and the city’s skyline while dining. If you’re not up for eating outdoors, you can always order take away.
The menu is well rounded with fishy appetisers, soups, salads, mains, signature dishes and handhelds – sandwiches, essentially – to choose from. The dynamite chili shrimp comprises six pieces of jumbo shrimp that are battered, fried and coated in a spicy mayo for a deliciously fiery starter.
For something a bit cooler, try the creamy Caesar shrimp salad, comprising Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, Parmesan, croutons and grilled shrimp tossed in a classic Caesar dressing. There’s too much dressing for my taste, which undercuts the crispness of the lettuce, but this could be remedied by requesting the dressing on the side.
When it comes to fried seafood, the crispy fish and shrimp platter hits the mark. Nile perch filet, which is coated in tempura, is flanked by four pieces of tempura shrimp and served with a side of fries and coleslaw. It’s filling but leaves me longing for more.
The signature seafood pasta, which contains generous portions of shrimp, calamari and mussels, is served over tagliatelle and tossed in a creamy alfredo sauce. The fusion of flavours is remarkable, with no single ingredient standing out; instead, the lingering memory is of a completely unique taste.
All in all, the Urban Seafood experience has allayed my concerns about seafood being a viable option for street food. With fresh ingredients and dishes made to order, Urban Seafood is flawlessly bringing seaside fare to this island city.
Need to Know
Location: Urban Seafood, Al Bahar, Corniche West
We say: A fresh selection of seafood on the go
Cost: AED 250 for two
Opening times: Sun-Wed 10am-11.30pm, Thu-Sat 8am-2am
Contact: 055 570 3678, urbanseafood.com
WORDS Tamara Clarke