Taste the world at these street food favourites

We recently headed out into the capital in search of staples from around the world. We struck gold! 

Words: Ferdinand Godinez 

Abu Dhabi’s street-food scene is pretty prolific, thanks to the city’s diverse population. This is great news as we get to taste the world but at affordable prices. 

So, here’s our go-to list of street-food eateries by country to eat on the go!

Malaysia

Mamak dishes up Malaysia’s vibrant appetising influences such as Chinese, Indian and Portuguese. Try the roti kaya or paratha (soft bread) stuffed with sweet coconut jam and murtabak ayam, which is thick paratha stuffed with egg, onion, chicken and spices.

Yas Island, behind ADNOC petrol station. Daily 7am-midnight. Contact: 02 563 1525

Indonesia

Head to Bandung for authentic Indonesian fare. The chicken skewer with peanut sauce is a good place to start. Feeling famished? Then try the spicy beef with coconut milk or nasi goreng (fried rice with dumplings). Rice not your bag? Go for the noodles, particularly mie ayam baso – steam noodles with chicken and meatballs.

Al Zahiyah, opposite Mina Al Madina Supermarket. Daily 11am-11.30pm. Contact: 02 654 2008

Philippines

This bijou eatery serves an array of Filipino street food. The aptly named Kabayan Zone Café has the buzz of Manila, doling out unique street bites like grilled chicken feet and wings, deep-fried chicken skin and even the notorious isaw (barbecued chicken intestine). Too much to handle? Opt for squid ball, fish ball or kwek kwek – battered quailed eggs, instead!

Al Dhafrah. Daily 6am-2am. Contact: 056 883 3072

India

Hankering after Indian street food? Try Indian By Nature for true South Asian fare. The extensive menu features favourites like samosa chaat, masala dosa, dahi puri, kachori, dhokla and more. Typical of lots of Indian restaurants, this eatery carries vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.

Al Markaziya. Daily 7.30am-11pm. Contact: 02 666 9060

Venezuela

Tequeland serves Tequeño, a fried, breaded cheese stick popular in Venezuela. The tiny stall (blink and you’ll miss it) serves different flavours of this popular snack, including plain halloumi, halloumi with zaatar or with beef pepperoni. There’s also pasteles – a tasty pastry stuffed with savoury beef and chicken.

Al Mantab Street. Sun-Wed 10am-10pm, Thu-Sat 10am-11pm. Contact: 054 342 8511

Lebanon

Head to Man’oushe Street for a Lebanese breakfast of flatbread smothered in akawi cheese or zaatar (a type of herb) served hot from the furn (oven). Try makanek – mini sausages topped with tomatoes and onions or burek, baked-filled pastries of beef and mushroom, Cajun chicken, and cheese and potato. Don’t forget the beef or chicken shawarma.

Najda, opposite Etisalat and near National Hospital. Daily 24 hours. Contact: 02 673 3360

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